Andrea Bosshard & Shane Loader

The Great Maiden's Blush

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          "What you're looking for every day is one little surprise.
            It's like seeding a cloud and hoping for rain." 
                                                 
                                               -
Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Silkwood) 

THE LATEST FEATURE from the makers of critically acclaimed TAKING THE WAEWAE EXPRESS and HOOK, LINE & SINKER starts shooting in September. With Alun Bollinger and Mark Lapwood on camera, Annie Collins editing, music by Plan 9 and a cast lead by Renee Lyons and Miriama McDowell, the film will be completed by April 2015. 

THE GREAT MAIDEN'S BLUSH is a story of forgiveness and the redemptive power of truth. It follows the growing friendship between two first-time single mothers after the birth of their babies. As they face the challenges of new motherhood, they must also face the secrets around the paternity of their infants. Babies and absent fathers, opera and drag-racing, gardening and Schubert are all swept into the drama as the two women encourage and provoke each other to find the courage to overcome their situations.

BUT FIRST WE NEED YOUR HELP WITH OUR CRUCIAL REHEARSAL PROCESS

Our films are known for great performances and believable, complex characters. To achieve this, we use improvisation to explore who and what has shaped our characters' lives. We are bringing over Australia-based film director and expert in character-based improvisation Robert Marchand to work with us and our core cast during our three week rehearsal starting in late August. Rob first introduced us to British director Mike Leigh's improvisation processes which became the catalyst for our previous features. While our new film has a completed script, it is this invaluable improvisation process that brings our characters to life.

          "All the real work is done in the rehearsal period" - Donald Pleasance        

We have raised enough money (over $100,000 and counting) so we can shoot the film. Please help us raise another $7,500 towards airfares, rehearsal space and a token wage for our cast during our three week workshop and rehearsal with Robert Marchand.

VIEW OUR TEASER AT: www.torchlightfilms.co.nz

_________________________________________________________________________________________


on HOOK, LINE & SINKER

"Funny, believable & down-to-earth - HOOK, LINE & SINKER is a gem."
(Jenny Pattrick, author, The Denniston Rose)

"Laughter, tears, and a celebration of life, family, community, yes, and old songs well sung. Bravo!"
(Andrew Horton, screenwriter & author, Writing the Character Centered Screenplay)

"It's the kind of filmmaking we could with much more of."
(Peter Calder, Weekend Herald)

"A beautifully pitched script... this is a likeable, admirable and hugely enjoyable film."
(Graeme Tuckett, Dominion Post)

"Well acted, economically written and smartly produced - well worth seeing."
(Simon Morris, At the Movies, Radio NZ)

"The themes are universal yet played out on a scale and in settings ordinary folk can relate to... highly engaging performances... exudes a generous and very real warmth."
(Helene Wong, NZ Listener)

on TAKING THE WAEWAE EXPRESS

"A smart script which eschews both cheap dramatics and easy payoffs... packs an authentic emotional punch."
(Peter Calder, Weekend Herald)

"Brave, funny, terrifically honest and unaffected, big-hearted and smart enough to transcend its non-existent budget."
(Graeme Tuckett, The Dominion Post)

"Proof of the often-voiced hope that technology will wrest filmmaking from the Hollywood formula mills and put the art back into the hands of inspired, independent filmmakers."
(Mervyn Dykes, Manawatu Standard )

"That rare independent film blending tears and laughter, the young and the aging, and crossing cultural boundaries joyfully."
(Andrew Horton, screenwriter & author, Writing the Character Centered Screenplay)

"A small digital gem that sparkles with big emotional impact."
(Helene Wong, NZ Listener)

UPDATES

  • Wellington Premiere of THE GREAT MAIDEN'S BLUSH (with live links this time!)

    18 MONTHS AGO

    Dear People,

    Apologies for sending this out twice - links were not live in first.

    Shane Loader and I are very pleased to tell you that the Wellington premiere of The Great Maiden's Blush will be held on MONDAY 2 MAY at 7.30pm at the Embassy Theatre. We would love to have you there to celebrate what has been a very long journey - eighteen years since the first draft of the screenplay was written - and supported by many many people, including yourselves.

    And here are some very nice responses to the film:

    "The stories of mothers separated from their children at birth may be familiar territory, but the anguish never loses its power to break the heart. In this beautifully crafted film, Bosshard and Loader have achieved the remarkable feat of finding unexpected redemption.Wonderful. I’m truly impressed."

    Dame Fiona Kidman - writer

    "A superb drama on an unusual and tricky subject. Moving, and full of sensitivity and subtlety. Magnificent!

    Bernard Bories, director Festival des Antipodes, St. Tropez

    “What a beautiful film! I was moved and absorbed as the stories of the two young mothers (both wonderfully acted) emerge. Loved the cinematography and the music. This just shows what can be achieved by talented film makers on a shoestring budget. Bravo.”

    Jenny Pattrick, author The Denniston Rose

    Tickets to the premiere can be purchased on-line http://www.greatmaidensblush.com/#!premiere/kmcnn

    The film opens in 42 cinemas around the country from 5 May. Please do help us spread the word. And you can view the trailer here http://www.greatmaidensblush.com/ as well as see where it is screening.

    Again, thank-you so much for all your support and being willing to take that leap of faith.

    Andrea and Shane

     

     

     

    Wellington Premiere of  THE GREAT MAIDEN'S BLUSH (with live links this time!)
  • Wellington Premiere of THE GREAT MAIDEN'S BLUSH

    18 MONTHS AGO

    Dear People,

    Shane Loader and I are very pleased to tell you that the Wellington premiere of The Great Maiden's Blush will be held on MONDAY 2 MAY at 7.30pm at the Embassy Theatre. We would love to have you there to celebrate what has been a very long journey - eighteen years since the first draft of the screenplay was written - and supported by many many people, including yourselves. 

    And here are some very nice responses to the film:

    "The stories of mothers separated from their children at birth may be familiar territory, but the anguish never loses its power to break the heart. In this beautifully crafted film, Bosshard and Loader have achieved the remarkable feat of finding unexpected redemption.Wonderful. I’m truly impressed." 

    Dame Fiona Kidman - writer


    "A superb drama on an unusual and tricky subject. Moving, and full of sensitivity and subtlety. Magnificent!

    Bernard Bories, director Festival des Antipodes, St. Tropez


    “What a beautiful film! I was moved and absorbed as the stories of the two young mothers (both wonderfully acted) emerge. Loved the cinematography and the music. This just shows what can be achieved by talented film makers on a shoestring budget. Bravo.”

    Jenny Pattrick, author The Denniston Rose

    Tickets to the premiere can be purchased on-line [http://www.greatmaidensblush.com/#!premiere/kmcnn]

    The film opens in 42 cinemas around the country from 5 May. Please do help us spread the word. And you can view the trailer here [http://www.greatmaidensblush.com/] as well as see where it is screening.


    Again, thank-you so much for all your support and being willing to take that leap of faith.


    Andrea and Shane

     

     

     

    Wellington Premiere of THE GREAT MAIDEN'S BLUSH
  • the end is in sight...

    31 MONTHS AGO

    As you may know, The Great Maiden’s Blush consists of three intertwining stories as we move between past and present. We completed a terrific two week shoot in late November following the Aila (Renee Lyons) strand of the story. It was a shoot characterised by tranquillity, aided by us working in the most beautiful house and garden in Karori which owner Louise very trustingly and generously allowed us to film in.

    This is the story thread about gardening, old roses and a failed pianist falling in love again with her piano teacher from her youth. We had Madeline McNamara, Carl Drake and George Fenn as our small ensemble for this block. As well, we had classical musicians Douglas Mews and Catherine McKay as doubles for our actors for the piano playing sequences. These sequences were such a pleasure to film. This block of filming was our last with Alun Bollinger, as he headed off to Christchurch for an operation on his Achilles tendon. We loved working with Alun and learnt an immense amount from him.

    While the conditions of filming this second block were much easier, we were also much better prepared for working with a larger crew than we were the first time round, as well as getting to understand prime lenses and how to use them – all of which are new experiences for us.
    A week ago we completed our eighth week of filming. The latest four week block consisted of the contemporary story where our two main characters (Miriama McDowell and Renee Lyons) share a room for three days in a post-natal ward. We were delighted to have cinematographer Waka Attewell at the helm. It was a real pleasure to work with him. He brings a graphic quality to the imagery and was able to beautifully interpret the look that Shane and I were after.

    We continued to have a stream of delightful and multi-faceted performances from actors playing small roles over the four weeks. Our smiling and generous crew who worked phenomenally hard, were still smiling at the end. One of the things about micro-budget filmmaking, is that you know people are with you on the journey because they want to be – there is certainly no financial incentive – and what I can quite freely say, is that without exception, they all committed to the project in a way that goes beyond simply doing a good job.

    We have another three nights of filming in March when we do drag racing/boy racer scenes and stunts. These are a challenge, not due to the boy racers as most might think, but in dealing with council rules and regulations around road closure.

    In the meantime, veteran editor Annie Collins is at the bench putting the film together. I will be with her every day over these weeks; Shane will come in as the phenomenally important ‘fresh eyes’ at the end of each editing week (switching roles from Hook, Line & Sinker)

    It is incredible to now have the end of The Great Maiden’s Blush in sight. The generosity people have shown towards the film on all levels, (donors, cast, crew, props, locations, babies) has been truly wonderful. Thank you one and all. Without you, without this goodwill, our film could not have got off the ground.

    Andrea Bosshard and Shane Loader

    To follow what is going on behind the scenes, we do regular postings to our facebook page Torchlight Films New Zealand.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Torchlight-Films-New-Zealand/256540555987?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

  • THE GREAT MAIDEN'S BLUSH

    35 MONTHS AGO

    Dear People,

    Three weeks ago we completed the first block of filming for The Great Maiden’s Blush. Our first day was in the Wellington Opera House filming girl-racer Bunny's first experience of opera (played by Miriama McDowell). KC Kelly - who played Jono in Hook, Line and Sinker - has returned to play Aleksandar, an Eastern European opera singer.

    Miriama, KC and Barnie Duncan (Andrej – Aleksandar’s son) worked beautifully as a small ensemble in scenes which were emotionally demanding. We are immensely proud of their performances.

    Apart from the opera, this strand of the story was a very demanding one to film. It consisted almost exclusively of night shoots, outside, in an industrial part of Wellington. But despite the cold and the tiredness, our terrific crew enjoyed themselves so much, that they are all asking to be part of the next shoot which starts in mid-November. This one will be much less strenuous, taking place in the most beautiful house and garden in Karori.

    Alun Bollinger, one of New Zealand’s most well-known and experienced Directors of Photography – he shot The Piano, Goodbye Pork Pie and countless others – has been a total delight to have on set, and the entire team has been learning an immense amount from him.

    For Shane and I personally, this project has been extremely challenging on all levels. It is bigger and more ambitious than anything we have done before. But what has been so gratifying, is to see scenes that have existed on paper for almost fifteen years now come to life as our actors embody the characters.

    Many, many thanks to you all for your generosity towards us and The Great Maiden’s Blush. It is greatly appreciated.

    Andrea Bosshard and Shane Loader

    To follow what is going on behind the scenes, take a look at our Facebook page Torchlight Films New Zealand

    THE GREAT MAIDEN'S BLUSH
  • THE GREAT MAIDEN'S BLUSH

    35 MONTHS AGO

    Dear People,

    Three weeks ago we completed the first block of filming for The Great Maiden’s Blush. Our first day was in the Wellington Opera House filming girl-racer Bunny's first experience of opera (played by Miriama McDowell). KC Kelly - who played Jono in Hook, Line and Sinker - has returned to play Aleksandar, an Eastern European opera singer.

    Miriama, KC and Barnie Duncan (Andrej – Aleksandar’s son) worked beautifully as a small ensemble in scenes which were emotionally demanding. We are immensely proud of their performances.

    Apart from the opera, this strand of the story was a very demanding one to film. It consisted almost exclusively of night shoots, outside, in an industrial part of Wellington. But despite the cold and the tiredness, our terrific crew enjoyed themselves so much, that they are all asking to be part of the next shoot which starts in mid-November. This one will be much less strenuous, taking place in the most beautiful house and garden in Karori.

    Alun Bollinger, one of New Zealand’s most well-known and experienced Directors of Photography – he shot The Piano, Goodbye Pork Pie and countless others – has been a total delight to have on set, and the entire team has been learning an immense amount from him.

    For Shane and I personally, this project has been extremely challenging on all levels. It is bigger and more ambitious than anything we have done before. But what has been so gratifying, is to see scenes that have existed on paper for almost fifteen years now come to life as our actors embody the characters.

    Many, many thanks to you all for your generosity towards us and The Great Maiden’s Blush. It is greatly appreciated.

    Andrea Bosshard and Shane Loader

    To follow what is going on behind the scenes, take a look at our Facebook page Torchlight Films New Zealand

    THE GREAT MAIDEN'S BLUSH
  • Onwards...

    36 MONTHS AGO

    Dear People,

    Apologies for my tardiness in updating you since the end of our Boosted campaign. I am very grateful for your support. Many many thanks to you all for your contributions. They make all the difference when making a film on a budget such as ours ($100,000).

    While the challenges of making a micro-budget film are immense, we do know that our terrific cast and crew are with us because they want to be as there are certainly no financial incentives. And what we do have as independent filmmakers is the freedom to work away from institutional templates and imperatives. Or as Simon Morris (Radio NZ) said, articulating the same idea in reference to HOOK, LINE & SINKER, “… that rare thing, a NZ film… developed from the inside out and not derailed by well-meaning outside interference.” This is the space we are working in with THE GREAT MAIDEN’S BLUSH.

    We have just completed three weeks of rehearsal with our core cast, the first week with character-based impro expert Robert Marchand. We spent a lot of time talking to Rob about filmmaking, and he was adamant in his belief that innovation in filmmaking cannot come about through institutionalisation; that it emerges out of the freedom that comes with independence. He was categorical in believing that this is the only worthwhile space in which to work. It is encouraging for us to hear such voices as we continue on our own institutionally non-sanctioned ways of making and distributing our films.

    Our rehearsals were intensive, focusing almost exclusively on developing character. It enabled us all to gain invaluable and new insight into the story as a whole. More than anything, this process of focusing on character makes me realise, that when actors are able to intensively develop their characters through this improvisational (ie. experiential) process, when drama or conflict is thrown at them, they know instinctively how to respond truthfully to these circumstances. It was magical seeing this happen, and particularly so to see action and dialogue that has existed on the page for so many years, now imbedded in real people.

    Our first day of our first 10 day block of shooting starts on 20 September (election day!). We will be in the Wellington Opera House as KC Kelly lip syncs to Una Furtiva Lagrima, in his role as Aleksandar, an Eastern European opera singer. He has been coached by musician and opera singer Michel Alkhouri for the past 3 months to do this convincingly. We are also looking for extras for this scene, so if you’d like to put on your opera clothes and help us  here, please contact Anna, our production manager at film.greenanna@gmail.com.

    And once again, many thanks to you all for your support. It means a lot to us.

    Andrea

    Onwards...
  • a collective process...

    37 MONTHS AGO

    Dear People,

    Filmmaking on any budget is a challenging experience. Filmmaking on a micro-budget is even more so. THE GREAT MAIDEN'S BLUSH has been developed over 15 years. To live with a project for so long, and now see it gather its own momemtum without having to push anymore, is both an overwhelming and humbling experience.

    All our actors arrive in two weeks to begin rehearsal with Robert Marchand, Shane and me. Alun Bollinger and Mark Lapwood arrive in 10 days to start storyboarding the tricky scenes with us, do camera tests, check our locations as we settle on an aesthetic for the film. Producer Jeremy Macey with Anna-Marie Green and Isobel Mebus are preparing the ground to ensure that all runs as smoothly as possible, while James Dickson, Chris Connolly and Seraphina Tausilia work on art department and costume, ranging from boy-racer cars to gardens to opera.

    Filmmaking is a collective process. Shane and I couldn’t do it alone. So to those of you who are in the office every day, to the actors who say an unequivocal yes, to the crew who say count me in, to those of you who have contributed financially, critiqued the script, wheeled and dealed on our behalf - thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for choosing to travel this road with us. The goodwill from you all is immense.

    Andrea

    (Photo: Shane shooting 16mm for his short film THE TERRORIST - NZ's second only film to be selected for Clermont-Ferrand, the Cannes of short film festivals in 1994.)

    a collective process...
  • On the road again...

    38 MONTHS AGO

    Dear People,

    Some of you we know personally, some we don't, but to all, we extend our thanks for your generosity and support. Making a film is by its very nature, a collaborative process on all levels and we are delighted to have you on the road with us.

    As is the case with making films independently, and as both Shane Loader and I have done over the years, we have learnt to cut our coat according to the cloth. It does call on one’s ability to approach challenges imaginatively, to think outside the square and to have a cast and crew eager for the journey. 

    In NZ, we live in a filmmaking culture which turns almost exclusively to American cinema and models for inspiration and process. Shane and I see ourselves as apprentices in the tradition of European cinema and we know our films have an audience hungry for contemporary, character-driven stories that explore the human condition, our strengths and our frailties.

    If you haven't seen it already, you might enjoy our teaser which evokes, albeit in a simple way, the sensibility of our film.  
    http://www.torchlightfilms.co.nz/the-great-maiden-s-blush/

    Andrea Bosshard

    (Photo: THE GREAT MAIDEN'S BLUSH core cast - Renee Lyons (Nick: an Accidental Hero), Miriama McDowell (The Dark Horse, Hope & Wire), KC Kelly (Hook, Line & Sinker), Nick Dunbar, George Fenn, Madeline McNamara, Allan Henry)

    On the road again...