Tanya Wheeler


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THE MIDDLE WIFE is a short film currently at script stage, but I am passionate about wanting to make this short film for the festival circuit. I am lucky enough to have top Sound Designer Kahra Scott-James on board as Co-Producer and Sound Design. The short has layers that will be enhanced by visual FX and by sound design, and we can already visualise the scenes and look forward to making it. That's where you come in. We will be seeking funding from the usual funding bodies and investors, but kickstarting that process with some crowdfunding will make the project more appealing for funding bodies. We really need around $8000 but we've put a funding goal of $6880 because we know that if we don't reach our goal, we get nothing... so we're hoping we exceed our target and get closer to the $8000 we really need to get this underway. 

What is THE MIDDLE WIFE about?

It is a ghost story set in 1910, about a young wife who just wants her dead body to be buried, instead of left like trash under her husband's house. As a ghost, she tries various ways to try to reveal her husband's abuse, especially after he brings home another young wife. The story is very visual and the audio layers will add to the sense of ethereality and asynchronous existences.

We want to make this and it is a big ask to get others to jump on board and help us, but we have to start it off and start the process of making it while we hunt for additional grants and funding. Once we make this, we are committed to getting it into festivals around the world. Kahra's last short film, TRAP (2018) has already been selected for 34 film festivals, which tells you that she knows how to distribute!

Production costs money, even when friends and favours are involved. There is always catering, locations, transport, post production, Visual Effects, crew, cast, power, gear rental etc.

The themes of domestic violence and the powerlessness of women are as poignant today as they were in 1910. The short film emphasises the need to ask for help and for others to give help to those who are in danger. The young woman in THE MIDDLE WIFE feels helpless in the face of abuse, and feels she has no options,and the film holds up a mirror to society to say, why are we not doing better in that sphere. 

This film will be beautiful. It will be powerful. It will be a strong film.

Be a part of it and we'll put the names of our funders into the credits. Get your name on a short film. :) This type of crowdfunding means you are making a donation towards a passion project, but we will make sure funders get to see it when it is completed. Bear with us, filmmaking takes time.

Support women filmmakers and help make THE MIDDLE WIFE a reality. If you can contribute - THANK YOU.

If you can't contribute, then please share to your networks so that we can reach as many people as possible. Donors can come from surprising places and we appreciate any help we receive. 


  • Casting is complete!


    After marathon auditions and an amazing callback session yesterday afternoon, Kahra and I had debates of many hours trying to figure out which of the amazing actors we saw we would cast... it was too close to call on most of the parts! Yes, the actors were THAT good. Meg and Roger and Lizzy characters are all in good hands though, we have some talented people cast for the pre-viz dialogue session next Sunday that the crowdfunding will help us pay for as part of the development costs of THE MIDDLE WIFE short film project. The pre-viz storyboard will be part of our NZFC Fresh Shorts funding application due in August. Wish us luck on that one, the competition will be fierce as always. 

    Thanks to all our generous donors, we have hit our target... I have to say I had my doubts and worries these past few weeks after slow progress, but yay! Got there in the end. 

    It is a relief because on Boosted, if you don't hit target, you get nothing - so imagine my relief that we hit target. 


    Boosted also charges a 10% fee for the platform so we're still going, trying to get out total a little higher in the next 9 hours before it closes in order to cover the fee as well. Otherwise that 10% comes out of what we need and we are already tight on our development and pre production budget already. 

    Now that casting is complete, we can start getting our Costume Designer on board - Erika Schaab Farrant, and our Art Director, Raoul Darlington, is already searching out locations and props. This short film will look so authentic :) 


    Thank you to all of you who have donated already and please share so that we can maybe inch a little higher to pay our success fee. You have no idea how relieved we are to be able to stop begging for money from friends and family and get on with the business of creating :) Thank  you all!! 


    Tanya & Kahra 

    Casting is complete!
  • We hit the 10% funded milestone - thanks everyone!


    The audition materials have gone out to the talent agents and actors, and we've been lucky to have some actors jump on board to help in the auditions - saying lines for the auditionees to feed off. Also got some SAE film students helping out as Production Assistants and huge thanks to the School of Audio Engineering (SAE NZ) for their support in providing a venue for the auditions - there is a great waiting room and kitchen, bathrooms and rehearsal spaces and a large studio for the auditions. Still sussing out camera people for the audition taping, but we are getting there! My older son, Lex, is coming to help out as a Production Assistant too, giving up his weekend to help the project. 


    Last night Kahra and I had a meeting with a producer who can help us with some of the pre-visualisation materials that we need for the funding application to the NZ Film Commission, so we are getting lots of traction with this project and tons of goodwill from organisations, agencies and individuals. This is when the film community is at its best! Thanks too, to Women in Film and Television (WIFT NZ) for sharing the project in their e-newsletter last week, it was much appreciated! 


    Keep sharing our Boosted campaign so we can get to 100% funded. Remember if we don't reach the target we get nothing... so keep sharing to other potential donors. 


    A huge thanks to every contributor so far and to all who may contribute later, Thank you!! 

    We hit the 10% funded milestone - thanks everyone!
  • Casting in Progress


    We have had a marvellous response from the local talent agencies and are gearing up for our casting session on the 23rd of June. I can't wait to see who becomes our Meg, Roger and Lizzy characters! 

  • LA Script Consultant likes THE MIDDLE WIFE


    Here's what the LA Script Consultant said about THE MIDDLE WIFE Short Film Script: Overall Impression 9/10, Plot 9/10, Style 10/10, Catharsis 10/10.

    The Analyst also wrote - "The MIDDLE WIFE is a difficult script to cover in that this reader does not have many notes to give. The writing is simply stunning, the pacing is cold, calm, and sharply timed - the writer clearly knows what sequences need to breathe, what needs to linger, and what needs to be condensed - the flashbacks are tasteful and well executed, and the setting/era is so authentically displayed that were this a pilot it would make for an excellent THE ALIENIST sample. THE MIDDLE WIFE is beautifully written reminiscent of the classic Gothic masters (Poe, Shelly, Machen) as well as reminding of Austen's NORTHANGER ABBEY meets THE INNOCENTS. Overall, very well done with slim to no notes. Job well done."


    If you donated to THE MIDDLE WIFE, you are helping get this beautifully crafted short film made! Thanks everyone. Tanya 

    LA Script Consultant likes THE MIDDLE WIFE

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