The highly anticipated debut short film from award-winning music
video director Jesse Taylor Smith.
Siblings from a colonial New Zealand household discover one snowy
night that they are orphans. They are haunted by the ghost of their
abusive Father and grieve his death in devastatingly different
ways. The film sends powerful social message about family violence:
Intolerance hurts everyone and haunts everyone. Behold The Ghost
will be an eerie and mystical work of expressionist cinema, a small
voice in a big movement and the team behind the film are motivated
to ensure it leaves a lingering impression.
Writer/Director Jesse Taylor Smith will be supported by iconic
cinematographer Alun Bollinger MNZM, films shot by Bollinger
include Heavenly Creatures, Vigil and Goodbye Pork Pie. The films
score will be written and performed by celebrated composer Grayson
Gilmour, winner of 'Best Score' at the 2012 NZ Film Awards and
'Best Original Music' at the APRA Silver Scrolls. Organising the
ambitious production will be the NZFC appointed Producer and
Production Manager David Goldthorpe, a long time theatre and event
producer and sought after locations scout and manager for features
The production has already garnered financial support from the
New Zealand Film Commission based on the quality and vision of the
script. Jesse began working on the screenplay after his nomination
and placing at the Berlin Music Video Awards. After a marathon two
years of development the script has garnered critical praise and
the endorsement of major players in the industry.
"Quite rarely, a film project leaps out for the sheer brilliance
of its vision. Jesse Taylor Smith's 'Behold the Ghost' is such a
project. It brings together so much - an unnerving story, a vital
subject, and a unique but informed visual imagination. This will be
at once a very Kiwi film and a universal tragedy. The extraordinary
team that has assembled here assures something powerful is
Kennedy, Award-winning, novelist, poet and screenwriter
We have secured most of the film's budget through the New
Zealand Film Commission's Fresh Shorts scheme. We have also
attracted some amazingly generous support from Avalon Studios and
Red Rocket Rentals. All of the attached key creatives including
Alun and Grayson have agreed to work on the production pro bono
because they believe in the film's message and vision. The support
from the Film Commission means we will be able to make the film but
we need to make the most of it to realise the full potential of
this amazing opportunity. This is where the Boosted campaign comes
We would like to invite you to participate in helping us make
this unique and exciting film. We are almost over the line but are
running a 21-day donation-based campaign to raise $8,000 to
complete the budget. Boosted is an all-or-nothing platform, if we
don't reach the target in 21 days we don't receive a single cent.
Please help us reach this final goal before principle photography
starts in August. All donations mammoth or minimal are hugely
That's a Wrap!
6 MONTHS AGO
28 cast and crew, 40 hours of filming, 6 kilos of coffee, 2 cubic metres of snow, 3 hours of footage... and we're done!
Thanks to our talented and committed cast and crew for all of your hard work and a huge thanks to everyone who donated to the Boosted Campaign to get us there. Now we head into post production, we'll be in touch again with an update when we're through the editing process.
Here's a few shots to give you a taste of the shoot.
David and Jesse
WE MADE IT - THANK YOU ALL !
6 MONTHS AGO
Thanks to all of you for your support and donations. We've been so humbled by the support for this film and for us as film makers.
Today Jesse and AlBol finished working through the shot list, Debbie and Jen are cracking through the giant tree build, Gaby and Sally have locked in most of the costumes and tomorrow we start building the house!
We couldn't have done it without you all.
Now let's go make a movie!
Cast and Crew Update
6 MONTHS AGO
We're super happy to announce our confirmed cast! Ian Blackburn
as Henry, Gabriel Parkin as Benjamin, Sophie Fulton as Minnie with
Jason Whyte as Father. Huge thanks to our fantastic casting
directors Liz Mullane and Rachel Bullock for helping us to
We're incredibly lucky to have assembled a committed crew
Steven Saunders as Supervising Art Director
Debbie Fish as Art Director with assistance from Jen Eccles
Matthew Wilson and Lauren Squire as Sound Designers
Elisa Keeler as Ghost Costume Designer
Gaby Stevenson as Costume Designer with assistance from Sally
Allan Henry as Movement Coach
Andreas Mahn on Camera with assistance from Sevrin Noakes
Callum Thomas as Data Wrangler and Making of Videographer
Rebecca McMillan as Stills Photographer
Andy Fergusson as Gaffer with assistance from Brendan Tipene and
Thomas Pye as Unit Manager
and Jessie Grosser has jumped in to help our overloaded
All of these wonderful people are donating their time in order
to realise this special script.
Now we just need to reach our target in order to feed and equip
them! Tell your friends, call your aunties, two days to go!
David and Jesse
ONE WEEK TO GO!
7 MONTHS AGO
Thanks so much for all your support so far!
We've only got one week to go so please share this page and
video with your networks and help get us over the line.
Here's Jesse to give you a sneak peak into how it's all coming
David and Jesse.
JESSE TAYLOR SMITH - WRITER DIRECTOR
7 MONTHS AGO
Best known for his music videos, Jesse Taylor Smith has worked as a director on both sides of the Tasman. Since completing a media studies degree at Victoria University in 2010, he has worked with Grayson Gilmour, Ladyhawke and Kimbra. His videos often deliberately evoke a low-fi feel, while displaying his love for the imaginative and surreal. Jesse's debut short 'A Small Film About a Stranger' won the 19-24 age category at the ID360 awards in Wellington. Since then, he has received international attention having work officially selected by the BBC Music Video Festival and winning at the 2015 Berlin Music Video Awards. Jesse currently holds a position at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.