Esther Lees, Abby Damen in bar for tv show Wonderland

Directing Girls in Underwear

Wonderland Teaser

 

 

As I mentioned, I’ve been directing ladies in underwear. The last couple of days have included me watching a monitor, scrutinising performance, having to ignore said underwear.

 

While I’m balls deep in post production for my feature film (currently called Chronesthesia but that very may well change soon), I’ve taken a sidestep to concentrate on another project. It’s called Wonderland and it’s written and produced by Casey Whelan and Steve Barr. Casey and Steve have found major success in their recent feature film Born to Dance which has made over $1 million locally since its release a couple of weeks ago.

 

Casey Whelan, writer, producer, set builder, prop buyer, wardrobe co-ordinator, catering... I could go on

Casey Whelan, writer, producer, set builder, prop buyer, wardrobe co-ordinator, catering… I could go on

 

I don’t want to say too much about the actual show Wonderland as it’s still top secret, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. The premise is about a young girl who decides to try on high class escorting as a means of making money, does incredibly well through it, and the various trials and tribulations that come with it.

 

In the leading role is Abby Damen, from Dick Off and Blind Date fame.

 

We did a three day shoot (one day on location and two days in a studio with built sets) with a very enthusiastic and generous cast and crew. Lots of laughs were had and while the tone of the teaser is very comedic, there is also some very sexy content involved. The ladies wore beautiful lingerie and wore it well. We had an actress spanking an actor for six minutes straight, and I am now the lucky holder of about half an hour’s worth of close up male orgasm faces. It’s horrific.

 

Wonderland, Brandon Te Moananui

Brandon Te Moananui, our director of photography, cameoing as ‘cumming man’.

 

It’s time to edit. I’m actually only writing this post because I’ve finished logging all the footage and I want to screen it for Casey before starting the official cut. She’s on her way from the studio now. I’d love to post some more pictures, but they have to go through clearance first.

 

I wish I could run through the whole crew and the reasons they’re amazing, as they worked hard and fast without complaint. I tip my hat to you all.

 

Updates to come.

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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 a half pages of dialogue, walking and talking. Dan and Summer become friends and strike a mutually beneficial deal. Sweet. Easy.

 

As predicted, Nova was incredible. At twelve years old, she’s got a stack of experience and accolades to her name and needed barely any rehearsal time. We practiced the lines in the car for fun and she made me laugh.

 

We experimented with blocking and found the nicest frame to show off Wellington. We shot the wide. We lined up for the first 2 shot… splatters. Cold against your skin, dropping intermittently and darkening your hair.

 

Nova, HJW

HJW and Nova, the good sport

 

We took to the shade of a large tree for respite. We waited for the rain to pass but it worsened. Keeping my head high and putting on my best understanding voice, I made the decision to move the shoot onward. We’d count our day as a rehearsal day and surrender without any usable footage in the can.

 

Hiding my disappointment was difficult, and as soon as we dropped off Nova, I lost my shit. Poor Abby had to hear some vehement curses as we drove through the windy, wet Wellington city to Evans Bay where Caleb, our good friend, had lent us the weekend to use his apartment.

 

HJW, feature film, Dan, make-up

Dan looking worse for wear

 

Despite the rocky start, we filmed until 1am then got up at 6am for a dawn scene. In total, we knocked off twelve scenes, bringing out total to 36 out of 140. That’s a decent amount in the can. Also, Abby got to play with her make-up skills and make me look nice and messed up for a couple of scenes later in the film. Awesome!

 

The rain really made me think. I realise that the majority of my film is set outside and I’m at the mercy of Wellington weather, weather that is less than reliable at the best of times. I’m gonna have to come up with alternatives.

 

#HJWBTS

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