Clement and Waititi turn talents to a bloodsucking vampire film

Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi have formed a film production company and are producing a low-budget comedy about a group of vampires living in Wellington.

The long-time friends, who worked together on cult hit Eagle V Shark, have just wrapped shooting and are now in the editing process.

"It's very funny, but it's really a film for New Zealanders. Kiwis will get the humour. It is probably more relevant to New Zealanders," Waititi told The Diary.

He said the feature film, using the working title Shadows, was based on a short film the pair directed six years ago called What We Do in the Shadows.


"No one really saw that. Only our families. I think it may have screened at a film festival too."

It's the first time the comedians have directed a feature film together - and both star in it, too. They filmed the comedy in their hometown, Wellington.

"We shot quite a lot of footage ... the editing will take a long time," Waititi said. "The film probably won't be ready for a year."

Clement and Waititi set up Shadow Pictures in July. Both have equal shareholding.

A Flight of the Conchords movie is in the pipeline, too, for Clement. He and FOTC partner Bret McKenzie called time on their hit TV series after its second season in 2009. They toured Australia and New Zealand this year on a homecoming tour.

Fashion's first lady arrives

She jetted into the country yesterday, and tonight the first lady of fashion, Miuccia Prada, will launch Luna Rossa's AC72 America's Cup boat at the Italian syndicate's Viaduct headquarters.

Her husband, Patrizio Bertelli, heads the Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 and her youngest son, Giulio, is a rigger on the shore team. Eldest son Lorenzo is an amateur rally driver and took part in the WRC Rally New Zealand in June.

"Miuccia loves New Zealand and really enjoyed her time here for the America's Cup campaign in 2000," a Luna Rossa spokesman told The Diary.

The granddaughter of company founder Mario Prada, Miuccia rules the fashion world. Forbes estimates the designer's worth at US$6.8 billion ($8.5 billion).

She runs the fashion empire with her husband, who is chief executive, and estimated to be worth US$3.7 billion in his own right. The couple are expected to leave the country on Monday.

Bertelli said last year that Prada would be committing €40 million ($63 million) to sponsor the challenge.

This year he told Italian newspaper La Stampa it was important to show Italy was a competitor in international sailing. "I feel that, at this time, we must demonstrate to the world with facts, not words, that Italy is serious and able to rise to challenges, even the most demanding ones, and to keep its commitments."

Surprise for Holmes

Close friends and supporters gathered last night at SkyCity for a very special surprise party for Paul Holmes. All guests, including The Diary, were sworn to secrecy and asked not to reveal anything and ruin the big surprise.

The private party was held to say thank you to Holmes and the huge contribution he's made to various charities over the years. It was a living wake, of sorts. The veteran broadcaster underwent serious heart surgery this year.

Bagust puts viewers first

Petra Bagust wanted to tell her viewers first about her exit from Breakfast. She'd already quietly talked to the NZ Woman's Weekly about it, and she appeared in the magazine last weekend. "That was something Petra wanted to do," said a TVNZ insider.

So who will replace Bagust? It's heating up to be a battle between the blonde and the brunette. Breakfast business reporter Nadine Chalmers-Ross is "gunning for the role" and is quite popular with bosses, but Saturday Breakfast anchor, Toni Street, who is on maternity leave, is more popular with viewers.

Henry in fundraiser

Ex-pat Paul Henry will make a speech at the Invercargill Workingmen's Club tomorrow night as a fundraiser for the Waianiwa Scout group. Event managers had initially hoped for former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry, but he wasn't available - luckily the other Henry was.

Organiser Tracy Forsyth told The Diary everyone is very excited about the TV broadcaster's appearance and what he may divulge during question time. "There's no filming allowed during the question session and Paul said no subject is taboo."

Here's hoping a plucky Southlander will get him chatting about a return to TVNZ. Rumours this week from inside the state broadcaster suggest Henry will front the new Close Up next year on his own - without Pippa Wetzell, who's been billed as a possible co-host.

TVNZ declined to comment on the show and Henry has been staying schtum on the subject.