1970s drama becomes film

By Anne-Marie Emerson

A Wellington-based filmmaker is in Wanganui this week to make a movie about a real-life incident that happened to her mother in the 1970s.

Director and actress Lauren Taylor - who co-wrote and starred in the movie Eagle Versus Shark - has brought a small film crew to Wanganui to shoot her NZ Film Commission-funded short film on Durie Hill.

Filming began on Saturday.

Taylor said the movie was a drama, but other than that she did not want to give too much away.

She said the incident would be remembered by Wanganui residents living in the city during the 1970s.

"You could say it's a drama about the mystery of fate," Taylor said.

She said the movie was an adaptation of a short story about the same incident written by her sister, Anna Taylor.

That story - The Beekeeper - appeared in her book, Relief, which won Best First Book at the 2010 NZ Post Book Awards.

The story in the book relates to an armed intruder thwarted by a bee.

Taylor said the movie was being made with the full support of her mother, who was in Wanganui to provide catering for the film crew.

Filming is taking place in and around Stark St, and is centred on 3 Stark St - the actual house where the event took place, with some scenes also being shot at the Royal Wanganui Opera House.

"The current owners of the house have been extremely accommodating in letting us use their house," Taylor said.

The movie is being shot in 35mm film - "a last gasp before everything goes digital".

This is the first time Taylor has directed a movie on her own and she said she was enjoying the experience.

Taylor no longer has family ties to Wanganui - all her family now live in Wellington - but she is delighted to be filming this personal story in Wanganui.

"It has the most amazing geography and amazing, beautiful light," she said.

Residents in parts of Durie Hill received flyers in their letter boxes informing them that the filming would be taking place.

"Although we anticipate little disruption to the surrounding residents, you may notice a few extra vehicles and trucks parked on your street during this time," the flyer said.

Amanda de Ruyter and Carey Wood, who live in Plunket St, had the film crew in their house for most of yesterday.

"[The film crew] approached us because our house has the right 1970s decor, both inside and outside, so they wanted to do some scene shots in our house," Ms de Ruyter said.

She said there wasn't too much disruption to the daily routine - although it was an early start for her family as filming began before 7am.

Ms de Ruyter said she was looking forward to seeing the movie when it was released.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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