Jazz Dos Santos

Easterseals Disability Film Challenge

Choose a theme

Copy (Ctrl C) the code below

My name is Jazz dos Santos, and  I am working together with my good friend  Ashton Hicks, to create a short film for the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge.

The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge is a film competition that is based in California, USA. The competition is similar to the 48 Hour Film competition we have here in New Zealand, where you have to write, shoot, and edit a short film over one weekend. The difference with this film competition, is that it must include someone with a disability. The aim of the competition is to give people with disabilities a chance to work in front or behind the camera. 

Ashton and I are lucky enough to have Jono Heaps on board as our lead actor for the film. Jono is blind, and also a self employed musician. He is well known in the Auckland area for busking on busy Queen St, as well as doing gigs and functions. He is a talented singer, keyboardist, and harmonica player.

The rules for the competition state that everyone involved in making the film must be unpaid volunteers. However, we want to ensure we cover all costs for the cast and crew, to thank them for volunteering their time. We want to raise about $500 to cover the costs for the shoot weekend. Expenses include:

- Catering for the cast and crew
- Petrol and parking reimbursements for cast and crew
- Equiptment and gear hire
- Competition entry fee

Any extra money we may raise will go towards the hire of props and costumes. 

From this, we want to be able to showcase that people with disabilities are more than able to have roles in the film industry, whether it be as actors, directors or writers. We also want to give Jono some exposure for his business as an entertainer.

We are one of the only New Zealand entries in this competition. So if we do well, it will put us on the map!

Thank you!




    Hello to all our BOOSTED donors!

    We have had a crazy weekend just gone! BUT WE MADE IT! We were able to write, shoot, and edit a short film within 55 hours for the Easterseals Disability Challenge. I thought I would give our donors an exclusive rundown of how it all went, because without you, it would not have been possible!

    Here was our crew:
    Detective Adams - Te Huamanuka Luiten-Apirana
    Detective Hank Steel - Jono Heaps
    Katy Bishop - Jess Neary
    Jared Campbell - Jared Freeland
    Lion Dragon Boat Club

    Director - Ashton Hicks
    Producer/Production Manager - Jazz dos Santos
    Producer - Paige Morrissey-Pomana
    Writer - Paige Morrissey-Pomana & Ashton Hicks
    DOP - Emily Janus
    Editor - Ashton Hicks
    Sound - Nick Young & Paige Morrissey-Pomana
    Runner - Jared Freeland

    Because the competition is based in California, the start and finish times were a little different for us here in New Zealand. The competition began 6am NZ time on Saturday, and finished at 1pm NZ time on Monday. Paige and I set an alarm for exactly 6am, to find out what the required genre, props, and locations were. The genre for this year was “Buddy Comedy”. After we found it out, we decided to go back to sleep for a few hours, and hope that we would dream up some good ideas for the script.

    We spent all day Saturday inside writing the story. Our star Jono came over to help Paige and I throw ideas around for dialogue. We decided to go with a detective story. We wrote Jono as a notorious blind detective, who could solve crimes with all his other senses.

    Sunday was the shoot day. Call time was 8am at Paige and I’s apartment. We had time to have the actors rehearse while the rest of us planned camera shots, and dressed the locations. The first location was just our apartment. We made our bedroom look like a detective’s office, decorating our cork board with newspaper clippings and string.

    We then relocated to Westhaven Marina, where we were able to film with Jono’s Dragon Boating team. They were so awesome to work with. I think they enjoyed being yelled at by their actor coach Jess, haha. We did have a few issues with sound during the shoot, because our microphone cable started crackling. So we were limited to recording sound from the camera mic, and directly from the recording device. We managed to make do with what we had. But considering we only had one day to shoot everything, it all went surprisingly smoothly!
    After we finished filming at the wharf, we set up a nice lunch of Pita Pit and other snacks for everyone to enjoy (thanks to your donations!).

    The editing was the most difficult part. Because of our sound issues and time pressures, it was hard to pull it all together. I found myself typing subtitles up to the very last few minutes of the competition! My heart was pumping because I didn’t think we were going to make it. We manage to get it in SECONDS before the deadline closed. Although there were so many mistakes we did not have time to fix, we were just glad we got it in before the deadline.

    Paige and I spent the next few days fixing up what we wished we could have during the competition, and made a version we can be more proud of! Since Paige is a budding audio engineer, she did a great job fixing our sound issues as best she could.

    So without further ado, here is our film Love Overboard! The first link is the version we sent to the competition, and the second link is the one we took the time to fix.


    Thanks again to everyone who donated so generously.

    Jazz, Paige, Ashton, Jono, Manuka, Jess, Emily, Nick, and Jared.



    Thank you to everyone for donating so generously to our cause! We raised well over our goal, which is going to helps us so much for the shoot this weekend.

    We hope that we can pull together something cool and unique in the short amount of time. We want to make you all proud to have been part of the journey.

    We will take lots of pictures and do a write up story about the whole experience to share with you all after the shoot.


    Again from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!

    From Jazz, Paige, Ashton, Jono & The rest of the crew