Your new movie Ghost
Bride - in a few words, what is it about?
is a supernatural romance which explores how different cultural
beliefs exist around marriage in both the West and East. In Asia you
can be married after death for eternity, which is very different from the
West, where you have to alive to be married.
In a way, Ghost Bride
is a film about the clash of two cultures - so how much research did you
put into researching this aspect of your movie, and into Chinese ghost
stories and culture in general?
am more familiar with Japanese ghost stories than I am with traditional
Chinese ones. I found a paranormal website out of Singapore which had a
detailed transcript and photos of an actual Ghost Bride ceremony with
cardboard human effigies. I was fascinated by this little known tradition
going back thousands of years in China. You
can google Ghost Bride and you will find there is a lot of crime around
this ancient practice, particularly the buying selling and reusing of
female dead bodies. I
also researched Chinese Opera with its ghost stories on YouTube as
well as the Chinese instrument the Urhu, which is an amazingly emotive
(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Ghost
was influenced by films such as Retribution
directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Empire of Passion directed by
wanted to subvert the traditional supernatural ghost story by suggesting
that the ghost is erupting into consciousness as a cultural belief
artefact, a projection by the brain of inherited memory or belief.
Do talk about your directorial approach to your story in hand!
Bride is a deeply immersive film where the imagery and sound create
like emotional atmospheres. The photography of Marc Mateo and the musical
sound design of Jed Town are important elements that contributed to the
overall directorial approach.
film was shot at 4K on a Red Camera, which has proved a huge commercial
advantage as 4k TV screens roll out around the world. Thanks to Craig
Parkes, producer of Ghost
Bride for having the vision on that.
What can you tell us about your key cast, and why exactly these
Bride had nine main actors, seven of whom were Chinese and two who were
white New Zealanders. The Chinese actors, all NZ residents, were originally
from Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Malaysia and also several second
generation Chinese New Zealanders. The NZ cast was headed up by Ian Mune,
who is one of NZ’s most senior actors and directors. Also Geeling Ching
who plays the Chinese Matchmaker has a long list of credits including
being David Bowie's China Girl in the music video of the same name.
young leads, Yoson An, Fiona Feng and Rebekah Palmer were all under 20 at
the time of casting and for all three, Ghost
Bride was their first feature
An has gone on to feature in a HBO Asia series called Grace, and a small
roll in the upcoming Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2.
A few words about the actual shoot, and the on-set atmosphere?
short main shoot of 14 days meant very long days and nights, with much of
the film set at night or dusk. Ghost
Bride was shot around where I live,
which is on the scenic Whangaporaoa Peninsular, a sleepy seaside area
above Auckland City. With filming very late nights we secured a number of
seaside homes to accommodate cast and crew and we had some very enjoyable
dawn after work parties.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
What can you tell us about critical and audience reception of your
film so far?
most of my previous films, reaction to Ghost
Bride has been mixed. It is
more a mood piece rather than full of visceral violence, like some of my
previous films (Wound).
wanted to make a film that could be shown on cable TV/VOD, which is where
most income for indie films comes from today. Ghost
Bride was designed to
attract a new audience and to look towards Asia as the new growth area in
cinema attendance. The fact that Ghost
Bride has been sold to China
commercially for VOD release is a milestone for NZ cinema.
The $64-question of course, when and where will the film be released
onto the general public?
Bride was released on DVD in Germany earlier in 2014 and the USA DVD
release was in November -
film has sold throughout Asia for VOD, including China, Korea, Taiwan,
Any future projects you'd like to share?
am working on two new feature film projects, both involve other writers.
News - an investigative cable news host discovers his own father is the
smoking gun in mankind’s greatest untold story??
- a sexual melodrama which explores the world of an impersonator.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Thanks for the interview!