Sticking with his preferred horror genre, writer-director Alex Galvin will commence pre-production on his third indie feature, Before the Darkness, in March.
Following on from When Night Falls and 2013’s NZ-Hong Kong made Eternity, Before the Darkness is also being developed with a keen eye on international markets. Galvin spent much of last year in Los Angeles working on developing his scriptwriting skills. He credits the support he’s had from mentors there and believes Before the Darkness is a step up.
This week a deal is announced with producers Wendy Benge and Sharon Roggio (House of Cards, Whip It, Red Dawn) to move Galvin’s script into production. Before the Darkness will be the first of several projects that Benge and Roggio aim to film in New Zealand.
“We are proud to be part of an initiative that will bring further international exposure… along with creating new avenues to aid the sustainability of New Zealand’s screen economy,” said Benge.
In terms of above the line talent, Galvin noted that there’s a strong female presence. In addition to the two women producers, the script offers three lead roles for actresses. Galvin hopes the production will be able to showcase NZ talent onscreen as well as off, although accents will be required as two of the female leads are American.
Galvin, Benge and Roggio have been working with WelTec students, and that relationship will continue through to the production of Before the Darkness. In an arrangement similar to that which has seen Southern Institute of Technology place students as interns on South Island-shot feature projects including Rob Sarkies’ Two Little Boys and Disney remake Pete’s Dragon, some WelTec students will have the opportunity to intern in various departments on Before the Darkness.
Galvin hopes the internships will give students not only experience of working on a project they’re not in control of but also the opportunity to show off their skills and build relationships with people they’ll be ringing up for work when they finish their courses.
Some of WelTec’s tutors will also work on the feature, including former Weta Workshop HOD Gareth McGhie (The Lord of the Ringstrilogy, District 9, Avatar). David Hillary (American Psycho, The Virgin Suicides, Broken Vows), whom Galvin praised for his valuable input during script development, has also joined the production as an EP.
Before the Darkness will shoot in the the second half of 2016.
Image: (from left) producers Sharon Roggio and Wendy Benge and writer-director Alex Galvin
Photo: Andy X. Cao