An innovative film shot in Motueka has council backing to help get it off the ground.
The feature-length film Blue Moon is written and produced by Motueka Dark Horse Films’ Stef Harris.
Harris said the movie received $10,000 from the Tasman District Council, which meant “a green light” to produce the film.
“However, there is still a lot of work to do to put together a business plan before shooting can begin,” he said.
Blue Moon is a crime thriller, featuring Wellington actors Mark Hadlow and Jed Brophy, who had roles in The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings movies.
It tells the story of a gas station owner who finds himself held up by a robber.
“We’re taking an innovative approach to production, filming on iPhone 7+ and shooting in real time,” Harris said.
“So the story starts at 4.25am and finishes at 6.05am. The ticking-clock suspense story features the iconic Motueka clock tower.”
Harris said he had received support from local businesses but was still looking for quality accommodation for out of town cast and crew.
He previously produced the award winning feature film The Waimate Conspiracy, which was shot in six days and also featured Mark Hadlow.
Harris said he was always thinking about story ideas and couldn’t pin-point where the inspiration to write Blue Moon came from.
He worked on the set of Mel Gibson’s production Edge of Darkness in the USA after winning a scholarship in 2009 to study with director Martin Campbell.
Harris said he moved back to Motueka in 2014 to be closer to family and “became convinced” Tasman was “the perfect location for feature films”.
“The other [film] I have in development with the New Zealand Film Commission is a big budget adventure story entirely located on Takaka Hill.
“It involves a group of police offers who take a serial killer to the scene of a crime and then the killer escapes from him.”
Harris said Tasman District Council would be hosting the red carpet premiere screening of Blue Moon before the film travels to film festivals worldwide.
Auditions to find six local actors and extras would be held before March 6, on a to be announced date.
He said actors, experienced crew and potential sponsors were encouraged to contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org.