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Spotlight on Director Tony Simpson

Project in Development: Between the Cracks. Director Tony Simpson is looking forward to shooting his upcoming project, the television mini-series “Between the Cracks” in the spectacular township of Lyttelton near Christchurch. The series tells the story of Tui McKay who is assigned to a cold-case murder investigation, but she soon discovers evidence that links her dead husband, who was killed in the Christchurch earthquake, to the case.

Tony says that Lyttelton is a perfect choice for his project as the town is incredibly textured.

Also by virtue of the town being equipped with South Island’s largest port, a mesmerizing bay that opens out into the Pacific Ocean and a cornucopia of hills in its vicinity, Lyttelton sounds like the ultimate platform on which Tony’s project will come into fruition.

Moreover, a number of bars that emanate live music and restaurants that sell delicious sea food are ensconced in this idyllic port town that are likely to add more flavour to Tony’s exciting project. Tony says all the music in the film would be "homegrown" thanks to some extremely talented Lyttelton musicians.

Tony developed the story with long time collaborator Any Gunn and Toni Stephens and he is quick to acknowledge the support of the local crew who came on board to help create a fantastic teaser for the project. Jason Larraman, a Lyttelton DOP really captured the video of the town, Brae Toia designed the costume, Richard Hansen designed the sound, Zac Beckett-Knight was the grip/ gaffer, Mike Kelland and Scott Flyger cut the teaser together and Chris Sinclair did a wonderful job editing the sound.

Tony pulled in a couple of local actors, Robert Fanthom and Cormack Gallagher as well as a few neighbours. He convinced one of them to be thrown off the Governors Bay jetty as a dead body. Tony always saw Miriama McDowell in the role of Tui. He says she is a fantastic actor and she was doing a theatre workshop at a place close to Lyttelton called Rapaki, so she stayed on for a day to film the teaser.

Tony says that the earthquake that struck Christchurch in February, 2011 had a lot of repercussions. Tony’s project will be shedding some light on some of the unintended consequences of that event.

The project is in early development as Tony needs to garner support from NZ On Air for the project to proceed further. Tony says that to keep on pushing till a project comes to fruition is part and parcel of a producer's job. We wish Tony all the very best for his project.

Tony has been a film and television producer, director and writer for thirty years. He was one of the early directors on "Shortland Street", produced a children’s television drama series called "Mel's Amazing Movies" and created and produced the animated TV series "The Adventures of Cumie the Cloud". He also directed numerous TV commercials and corporates, a feature length documentary called "A Simple Choice" and recently directed and co-wrote two family feature films, "Kiwi Flyer" and "Kiwi Christmas" respectively.

We would highly recommend aspiring film-makers to consider Lyttelton for their ventures. The town has a number of amenities including natural ones such as the Bridle Path Walk besides a number of other trails. There are also a number of ferry rides at your disposal with one taking you to splendid Diamond Harbour and the other to the exotic Quail Island. We are eagerly waiting to hear about your Lyttelton sojourn.

“We have some amazing craftspeople down here who are as good as anywhere and the idea behind this project is to bring work to Christchurch. A story like "Between the Cracks" can only be made here as it taps into the aftermath of the earthquake. But even though it is a story rooted here the show should entertain all Kiwis – we all like a good cop show”.

For More Information Contact

Bree Loverich
Screen CanterburyNZ Manager
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