Monday, July 19, 2010

That Wonderful Sinking Feeling

Das Tub. Here's a fun little story and the fun little story behind the story. A little while ago a myself and a group of my mates where sitting around at a BBQ and we started rifting on a rather silly little idea. Why do aliens travel millions of lightyears to visit our planet? From this simple premise we came up with a series of very funny ideas. Ideas that I took away and wrote into a fun little short film.

Just an exercise in fun really. Anyhoo then I started thinking about how could I get my alien story on screen. It wasn't the usual dark, depressing kiwi short film. No poor Maori children being beaten by their drunk father. Nobody commits suicide. And their was a distinct lack of a quirky loner. So chances of getting it funded and made? Zero.

Then I remembered that my friend James Cunningham was teaching at the Media Design School here in Auckland. It's an excellent course and then end products come out looking pretty dam flash. Added to this James himself would be directing it. James is the director of the outstanding short "Poppy." So cheeky sod that I am I gave him the script. Maybe his class could make it as a project?

The answer was yes. James liked it and his class loved it. Just one small problem. They didn't have enough time or manpower to make it in it's original form. Any chance we could cut it down? As a screenwriter we live in a world where we watch our babies being interfered with on a daily basis, so since I was donating my work for free naturally I wasn't interested in compromising it.

However the doorway was open. They wanted a film and I wanted to write one for them. So I went over to James' house and we sat down over a few beers and came up with a whole new story. Something they could make in the time and would offer a suitable challenge. Das Tub was the short film we created. It was strange, fun and most importantly it was short. Sidebar: too many short films aren't short at all, sorry but fifteen minutes isn't short! I think short films should be ten minutes max.

Right putting my soap box away now.

So the class liked the new script and we were away. We were also lucky enough to attract the acting talents of two of our countries finest actors. The devilishly hansom Craig Hall and the multitalented Gareth Reeves. These guys brought their A game.

The finished result speaks for itself I haven't been this proud of something I've produced for a while so please sit back and enjoy...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

On The Road Again..

My Dad is ace. When I think of all the projects I want to get finished - and share here on my blog - I don't even come close to the aceness of my Dad. All my life he has been building things to such and expert finish it has made me look at him as a man who always gets things done. On one of my recent movies they needed a 1915 brass radiator Model T so my Dad built them one - in three days! He can build and make just about anything. But since 1979 there is one thing he hasn't been able to finish. A 1933 SS1 Jaguar. This car has fraught my father at every turn. But he has kept at it. He has has found unfindable parts. When no plans or photographs existed of details of this vehicle Dad would discover someone somewhere with the answer. It's been hard on him. A few years ago after spending years shaping the side of this car he discovered the door didn't fit. The Jag is "coach built" which means it is essentially metal panels nailed to a wooden frame. So, as you can imagine, fixing this problem wasn't easy. In fact when it came to building the car much of the frame had actually rotted away. It was as much a carpentry job as it was an exercise in panel beating. Dad and I have always had a friendly bet that he wouldn't finish this car. $100. I'm happy to announce that yesterday I lost that money when my father took me for a ride in this wonderful car. Yes you can shift from fourth to third gear and he had to tied the exhaust on with his jacket when it fell off on a test run but just over thirty years from whoa to go the SS Jaguar is on the road. Number 28 (it left the factory on the afternoon 23rd March 1933) off the production line and believed to be one of the oldest in existence. And my Dad fixed it. Proud? You bet your cotton socks.Well done Brian Ward.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Never stare directly at an Eclipse!

I'm visiting Wellington (the Capital city of New Zealand for my overseas readers) at the moment and today some worrying news has come over the local wire. It seems a 23-year-old man was found at Reading Cinemas in Wellington after a screening ofThe Twilight Saga: Eclipse last night.

I'd always suspected that the Twilight movies were capable of inducing pain but now it's seems that they can actually cause death. Watch at your own risk.