What started as a vampire-themed photoshoot idea in April 2020 has now developed into a short feature film for Whenuapai couple Chris and Petra Gloyn.
Entitled Bloodlines the film is a collaboration between Icarus Productions and JS Visuals. Described as a psychological thriller, it has been filmed on location in Whenuapai, Swanson, Kumeu, Piha, Dairy Flat, North Shore and Waiuku.
Petra jokes about how she came to be scriptwriter. “When our Director of Photography, Joel Staveley, suggested turning the photoshoot idea into a film I said, ‘You’ll need a script’, electing myself to the role. Three days later I had an initial draft.”
It was meant to be a short film, but the vision grew and developed, undergoing many scriptural changes along the way.
“As our first film,” Chris, the director, said, “it has been quite a learning curve. We started with a small cast and crew but our complement has grown exponentially as the story evolved.”
It hasn’t all been plain sailing. There have been many cast changes and location issues, and Petra had to come up with creative ways to solve them. All these issues are now behind them and cast and crew are working toward a December wrap date, or mid January at the latest.
Casting for the project was done initially through the couple’s own talent agency, Icarus Talent Ltd.
“The Agency couldn’t supply all the cast we needed,” Chris said, “so we engaged a Casting Assistant, Leonard Matthews, who runs Pasifika Actors Group on Facebook.”
The project is self funded and actors and crew are collaborating in the project for no payment. Shoot dates were organised around people’s schedules.
“We took largely unknown people,” Petra said, “and threw them in the deep end. We have been blown away by what we have got from the actors. We believe we’ll have a product that everyone can be proud of at the end.”
The couple took a different approach to other production companies, allowing cast to put forward ideas to improve the script, and dispensing with the normal practice of separating extras from cast and crew.
The production is in the final stages of principal photography and the editorial process has just begun for scenes already shot. The couple already has cinemas interested in showing the film and they are looking at a release date in 2024.