Behind the Scenes of aN INDIE feature film

We are making a full feature film! How ridiculous is that?

 

The film’s working title is Chronesthesia which means time travel of the brain and is an indie romance with time travel.

 

Written and directed by me, Chronesthesia stars an eclectic cast, a whole lotta beautiful New Zealand locations and is shot by Simeon Duncombe. Produced by Steve Barr and Kelly Kilgour.

 

 

I’m documenting the entire process from beginning to end here on the behind the scenes blog.

 

Please comment, ask questions, tweet me at @haydenjweal #HJWBTS

Chronesthesia Love and Time Travel Shanghai International Film Festival

Shanghai International Film Festival – Chrono selected!

Chronesthesia got into Shanghai!   We first got the email in February, 2017. I was in the South Island on a voluntary tour of primary schools for a charity organisation called Duffy Books in Homes. “Congratulations!” it started. “Chronesthesia has been selected for the 20th Annual Shanghai International Film Festival.” In the body of the […]

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Chronesthesia Love and Time Travel

Securing an International Sales Agent

We got an international sales agent!     How ridiculous is that? Chronesthesia is now being represented internationally by WPE, operating out of the United States of America, selling around the world. As many territories as possible, as much money as possible, getting seen as far and wide as possible.   Hold up – what’s […]

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Hayden Weal and Simeon Duncombe

Releasing in Cinemas

To play in cinemas   Completing a feature film under the age of thirty. That made me feel pretty damn good. Sometimes I wake up and remember it, in the same way that you often wake up and remember it’s a Saturday, and I feel fuzzy. And warm. And inspired to do more.   But […]

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Steve Barr, Hayden J. Weal, Simeon Duncombe, Kelly Kilgour, Conor Cameron

Chronesthesia Premiere!

PREMIERE!   It’s been a long road and a lot of work. Chronesthesia played to a sold out cinema audience as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival on Friday 29th July 2016. The positive response and reviews we’ve been receiving have made every single minute of hard work on the film worth it. […]

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Hayden J. Weal holding Chronesthesia hard drive

Chronesthesia, our first feature, is Finished!

Finished?     Yes, completely finished. Visual effects: check. Colour grading: check. Sound: check. Score: check.   Weird, weird feeling. Early last week I took the final finished film into a cinema and tested it all the way through. It was a great experience watching what we made out of nothing. A year ago we […]

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NZIFF selected Chronesthesia premiere

Big Announcement – Chrono has a Premiere!

CHRONO HAS A PREMIERE!!   Big news dropped today. Chronesthesia has a premiere. It’s playing for the first time in the world in the city is was shot in – Wellington, New Zealand.   We are stoked to be screening on the big screen, obviously, and Wellington at the NZIFF (New Zealand International Film Festival) […]

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Silhouette Hayden camera with Nova sunset

Delivery Deadline Looming!

Deadline: 5 weeks!     That is how long we have to finish the film. That’s not a lot of time. I was under the impression our premiere was our deadline, but of course that’s not the case! There’s mixing and DCP making and testing and ingesting and censorship boards and ratings to do…   […]

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Smiling Hayden with Phil Underground Sound

New Team Members and a Locked Cut (VIDEOS)

  New Team Members?     As we progress from the editing stage through to the REAL POST PRODUCTION world of colour, visual effects, sound, music, marketing and promo, we need more people. More power. More genius. Which leads us to these new team members: Welcome to our new producers Kelly Kilgour and Steve Barr. Welcome […]

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LOCK IT UP text over passionate man at computer locking the cut of a feature film

Locking the Cut (VIDEO)

  It’s official – we’re locking the cut   Terrifying. Exciting. All of those great emotions are flitting and bouncing around in my warm fizzing heart. I shot a video today (it was raining – perfect activity to do stuck inside) about the process of locking the cut.   Basically we’ve cut the film into […]

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Hayden Weal Simeon Duncombe windy beach filming movie

Shooting Pickups (VIDEO)

Need to fix holes? PICKUPS   Every film, so far as I know, shoots pickups. I feel that when I describe to people what pickups are, and why we need them, I’m admitting to a certain failure in the film. But that’s definitely not the case. We’re pushing the ceiling of the film’s story to […]

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Smiling man thumbs up in front of white car

Making Some Moves (VIDEO)

Wellington to Auckland   This month has brought with it a major change in my life. Moving away from Wellington. I’ve spent nine years living in New Zealand’s capital city, and I’ve loved it so much. It’s a creative place, filled with awesome cafes and progressive forward thinking, friendly people. The next stop will more […]

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The Slump writing in front of a confused man

The Inevitable Post Production Slump

  No posts for two months?     It’s a slump. Let’s call it what it is. A slump. A big, great dirty slump of life.   The good news: The film is cut.   The bad news: Work has temporarily ceased on it. Here’s why:   It happens to a lot of people after […]

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Relaxing While Others Work Chronesthesia

Relaxing While Others Work (VIDEO)

Simeon’s working; I’m relaxing Collaboration is key in this filmmaking venture, and I truly appreciate finding a collaborator as passionate and dedicated as myself. While I’m relaxing here in Tenerife, Simeon is back home gearing up for pick-ups and a huge slog of visual effects.   Not only is the film coming along great, but we […]

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Topless man on computer Chronesthesia Second Cut

The Second Cut

  You must be doing the second cut from somewhere boring   Aha, you’d think so, wouldn’t you? Working on the first cut is akin to a rockstar’s lifestyle, nights spent drinking and partying, experimenting with scenes and music and sound effects while coked-up supermodels anxiously clamber over your shoulders, hands grasping for your belt, eager to please the editor […]

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HJW BTS HJWBTS rough cut done

Rough Cut Finished

The first rough cut of Chronesthesia is complete!     What a feeling! After assembling the footage every week after the weekend’s shooting, every week for four months, and editing here in Europe every day, we have a full rough cut of the film in just under two months.   Very quick work. Editing on […]

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HJWBTS, HJW editing, Chronesthesia

Editing Update

I am basically halfway through EDITING the film!   Editing is a blast. It’s not all easy going fun times however. A lot of details are making themselves known to me. Problems with sound, issues with continuity, performances that aren’t up to scratch (mostly me), and parts of the story that aren’t flowing well, to name a […]

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Hayden J. Weal in front of computer editing

European Editing Suite

Post Production Abroad   With all the shooting in the can (well, excluding potential pick-ups), it’s time to start what I find the most daunting task of all: editing.   As you can see above, I have a Marty McFly figurine from Back to the Future. This was given to me by my Secret Santa […]

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Panoramic image of the shooting locations of Chronesthesia in Wellington NZ

Feature Film Locations Map

  BEHOLD our feature film locations map   Our film’s locations in an infographic! Click the image to see the full size render and please feel free to be impressed.       Pretty stoked. We covered some decent ground in Wellington during this shoot. It really shows on the screen, the beauty of New […]

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HJWBTS, HJW, wrap

That’s a WRAP on our first Feature Film!

HOLY SH*T WE DID IT Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand… that’s a wrap? THAT’S A WRAP! We’re finished principal photography on our independent feature film, working title ‘Chronesthesia’. It’s a very lovely feeling, kind of like stepping back from a well cooked meal, knowing you organised all the ingredients, friends came in and operated the stove, chopped vegetables for […]

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Castlepoint feature image

Shooting on Location at Castlepoint

Castlepoint! Finally!       Something I was looking forward to throughout the whole shoot was us going to Castlepoint. It’s a fun sequence for the characters and I’ve been wanting to film something at Castlepoint for years now. It’s a gorgeous place and there’s something mystical about it. With a long flat beach extending […]

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Julian Dennison, Nova Waretini-Hewison

Julian Dennison, our young male romantic “BENI”

  75% done! Every day we turn up and get straight into it. Pick up cast, arrive at location, discuss the scene, block, discuss coverage, and line up to (usually) shoot sequentially. Last weekend brought the introduction of a wonderful character, as well as the wrap of Nova Waretini-Hewison.     INTRODUCING JULIAN DENNISON   Julian plays […]

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Shooting Obstacles and Serendipity

Something happens when you’re filming outdoors in a public arena. Every time, and I’m not exaggerating here, every time you’re ready to go, you’re presented with an obstacle. The actors are ready, the camera is up, the sound is clean, there’s a break in traffic, the sun is diffused behind a cloud as if expertly […]

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HJWBTS, HJW

Halfway Through Shooting

HALFWAY. What a feeling.     61 scenes have been filmed, with 61 scenes remaining. Yes, if you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that 61 plus 61 equals 122 and the original scene count was 137. We have omitted 16 scenes! Cut, combined, altered, so the remaining scenes to shoot are the definitive meat of the […]

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Shane Rangi as Rongo, Michelle and Nova too!

We shot TEN scenes this weekend!   Ten! It was a whirlwind ride, with new cast members gracing us and showing us that the film is going to be a lot better than we expected. It’s a fairly diverse cast. Sure, it’s a got a middle class white male in the leading role but we have […]

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Rained Out but Powering On

Shoot Day 5 – WE GET RAINED OUT   It was our first day with Nova! Our first day with a character that isn’t Dan (me). We were all very excited. Me and Abby picked up Nova from Dean’s house and we met Simeon at the location.   It was a simple scene. One and […]

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Scheduling a Feature Film Part 2

As you may have seen on Scheduling a Feature Film, there are approximately 140 scenes in our movie. That’s a lot.   Now what? Now we print the scene breakdowns out, cut them up into little pieces, highlight the scenes with special cast members, and organise them into locations. I blu tacked them onto my bedroom wall […]

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First Day Shooting!

HOLY CRAP WE’RE SHOOTING ALREADY! It’s the fifth day of the year and why not start now? Me and Simeon met up yesterday for a big talk about scheduling and how we are going to manage the shoot. We thought we’d start with something small, something easy, and we decided we’d start on the shower […]

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HJW BTS Scheduling

Scheduling a Feature Film

Time to breakdown   So what happens when the script is in good enough shape to move forward? It’s at draft four and there are still many changes yet to make to improve it, but we’re at a comfortable stage where all the major building blocks are in place. The characters won’t change, the settings […]

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og_image Feature Film Test

Feature Film Test Shoot (VIDEO)

Get your friends and do a test shoot Alright, so much to learn! Me and Simeon nipped out after work around 3pm and got some shots of me (playing Dan, the lead character) running about through Wellington’s gorgeous Breaker Bay. Then Emma Draper (playing Sophia, the leading lady) joined us with our fantastic friend David […]

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Simeon Duncombe

Introducing Simeon Duncombe | DOP

Simeon Duncombe, a.k.a. Semmo   Making a feature film with zero dollars is a stupid idea. It’s a wonderful idea too, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it, but mostly it’s foolishly ambitious. An indispensable crew member is the DoP, the Director of Photography, in charge of the look of the film.   I’m super lucky […]

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BTS: Draft Three is complete!

After meeting with a couple of really fantastic and enthusiastic readers, writers, producers and directors, I’ve attacked my third draft with a fervour unmatched by any writer to date.   There are big changes, subtle changes, and really big character changes. The leading antagonist, who is a sympathetic sufferer of a mental illness, has had […]

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BTS: Draft 2 finished!!

Oh I’m feeling good. After the trip to Melbourne and falling short of my goal of nine pages a day, I have finished draft 2 of the feature film. Now I’ll send it out to a few friends and get some much needed feedback. I found myself lapsing into vague descriptions for the third act […]

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second draft feature film HJWBTS

BTS: Second draft begins

  The first post on my Behind the Scenes page is about starting the second draft. How exciting!     My first draft was 84 pages. After meeting with two very talented writers, Kelly Kilgour and Steve Barr, and receiving a load of helpful feedback, I’ve began the plotting process of my second draft.   […]

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