Alex Galvin’s horror-thriller Before the Darkness will begin production in Wellington tomorrow (12 March).
The film marks the first feature collaboration between Wendy Benge’s production company Bullet Entertainment and the New Zealand screen industry, in keeping with plans developed with Admit One NZ and Screen Wellington to attract US productions and talent to the country.
“Bringing US and New Zealand talent together is an ideal scenario. There’s so much we can learn from each other while creating a film that will appeal to both domestic and foreign audiences,” said Galvin.
Before the Darkness male lead, American actor Zach Touchon (Checkmate), is in Wellington for the first block of shooting, some of which will take place in Kaitoke Regional Park (a.k.a. Rivendell).
Set in a forest, Before the Darkness tells the story of a family who must face their own demons and unleash their primal instincts in order to survive unspeakable horror.
“The film takes interconnecting storylines and multiple protagonists to keep the audience in suspense,” explained Benge. She added that Before the Darkness was intended to be the first of many genre films she would produce in NZ, “helping to improve the sustainability of New Zealand’s mid-tier screen economy”.
Benge’s most recent US feature, psychological thriller Broken Vows, starring Wes Bently (Interstellar, The Hunger Games, American Beauty), Jamie Alexander (Thor, Thor: The Dark World), and Cam Gigandet (Twilight), has been acquired by Lionsgate.
Admit One NZ’s James Partridge agreed that changes in distribution were offering opportunities for lower budget genre titles to target specific audiences. In Benge’s plans, they’ll generate sales which will help fund future productions.
Benge’s Bullet Entertainment and the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) have done a deal that will place WelTec students intern in various production departments.
Production on Before the Darkness will take place both in March and November this year.
Image: ( L to R) Katie Frost (Screen Wellington), James Partridge (Admit One NZ), producer Sharon Roggio, director Alex Galvin, actor Zach Touchon, and producer Wendy Benge at Wellington airport
Photo: Rick David