A few people have been asking what I’m working on, and I feel bad about brushing them off because I’m too busy, but … I’m too busy.

Because I’m making a movie.

So I’m going to write about it here, so I can rudely give people a link instead of just saying I’m too busy. Because I am too busy. Because I’m making a movie.

Yeah. 15 years of busting my big hairy keister in Hwood without a feature to my name, but within a year of being here… well, see above.

The path here has been pretty wacky. There’s really only one “studio” in New Zealand, and it’s the government (aka the New Zealand Film Commission). They’ve started a new program called Escalator which will fund four $250K movies a year for the next 3 years.

For this first round they had something like 250 applications (which required 1-page treatments for 3 different movie ideas each, so a total of 750 stories). They chose 12 finalists, and one of the finalist teams asked me to write the screenplay for them.

We had 3 months to write the screenplay, which was a cool idea right up my alley – a horror comedy about zombies invading an old folks’ home.

At the same time, I was chatting with one of the other finalists, a filmmaker named Sally Tran who is a very good director but hadn’t written a feature screenplay before. She was collaborating on the script with a friend named Omar, who also hadn’t written a feature script before. I read each draft and offered my advice.

When the greenlight committee chose the four projects, they didn’t choose the one I had written (I suspect they didn’t think we could make it for the budget, but that’s just a guess) but they did choose the one I’d been consulting on. So Sally asked me to join the team and write the next draft.

And so, voila, I have a greenlit feature.

Which needs the new draft by, like, three days ago.

So I’d love to tell you all about the story and the cool shooting philosophy, but I can’t. I’m too busy. Because I’m making a movie.