News release from Sian Clement
Key casting is now complete on a thrilling self-financed feature The Cure which is due to begin filming for five weeks in and around Wellington from November 2nd.
Antonia Prebble (Outrageous Fortune, Power Rangers, The Tribe) will star in the lead role of Beth, a young and determined biochemist whose life becomes perilous when she discovers the pharmaceutical company she works for developed a cure for cancer many years earlier, failing to release it because it would harm their chemotherapy drug sales.
Australian actor Daniel Lissing is her partner Ryan, a conflicted biochemist who must choose between love and fame. Lissing recently completed the Australian crime thriller John Doe and the short film Entwined, an Australian take on the Bollywood musical. Lissing’s television roles include the Australian productions Out Of The Blue as Tiger and as Heath in the highly successful Packed To The Rafters series. Most recently he had a guest role on Cops: LAC and is currently playing Conrad de Groot in Crownies as Conrad de Groot.
Seasoned New Zealand actors Stephen Lovatt and John Bach complete the key cast. Lovatt recently stars as Tullius in the mini-series Spartacus: Gods of the Arena and the feature film This is Not a Love Story and appeared in series such as Cleopatra 2525; Xena: Warrior Princess and Legend of the Seeker, as well as local productions such as Go Girls and The Strip. Bach won Best Actor for his role in The Last Tattoo and Best Supporting Actor in Old Scores. He has also appeared in Spartacus: Blood and Sand; Legend of the Seeker, and the lead role in the series Duggan and recently, the local drama This is not my Life.
“The film looks at what three different people would do had they been given the prize that is the cure for cancer,” explains multi-talented writer/ director David Gould. “Being given something so unique brings out both the good and bad in people. It’s an interesting dynamic that I wanted to explore and setting it within the action/ thriller genre allowed me to do so in a contemporary context. The film has a lot of heart but also takes you on an action roller coaster ride.”
Gould’s career has spanned a wide variety of companies and continents, technology and art. A native of Australia, he has been working at Weta Digital on The Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Adventures of TinTin, in between returning to Australia to make the short films Awaken and Inseparable Coil. The former has screened at numerous international festivals, winning at the Australian festivals ‘In the Bin’ and Sydney’s Animation Festival. It also showcased last month as part of the Unscripted Art Exhibition in Wellington.
Prior to this Gould played a key role in the development of an eclectic mix of technology, including an award-winning laser rendering system; software for controlling the Kuper motion-control rig and the Monkey stop-motion puppet. He also developed Illustrate, a technical illustration renderer used by organisations such as NASA, British Aerospace; Walt Disney Imagineering and Sony Pictures.
In Paris, Gould supervised production of 3D stereoscopic scientific films, including the award-winning Inside the Cell and The DNA Story. In London he developed a patented facial animation system; in New York worked on many high-profile commercials and in LA at various software companies. He is also the author of two acclaimed books on Maya programming and recently won the Maya Masters award.
Although shooting in New Zealand, The Cure is aimed at the international market with Wellington doubling for San Diego and the actors as Americans. He believes this country “has a thriving film industry that has, as shown by the recent Hobbit issues, the support of not only the local people but also the government. It is a country that respects the industry and wants to nurture it and help it grow. The amazing support from very experienced actors and crew is testament to that commitment.”
Indeed Gould has secured the talents of Alex Clark (Contract Killers and Aftershock) as producer; David Paul, who recently shot the children’s feature Kiwi Flyer; Rage and the award-winning Until Proven Innocent is DOP; Gim Bon debuts as Production Designer having worked as set dresser on the TV series The Cult and Peter Jackson’s Lovely Bones; Liz Mullane (The Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Chronicles of Narnia) is Casting Director and Marc Ashton (Boy, Home by Christmas and Lovely Bones) first assistant director.
Dr George Slim, (PhD in Chemistry) also joins the team to ensure the film accurately portrays real pharmaceutical processes and procedures. “Many films forgo scientific authenticity in favour of what looks cool or interesting. For this film we’re seeking to ensure the processes and visuals match that of a realistic pharmaceutical lab,” explains Gould.
“I’m mostly looking forward to helping build a convincing set and showing actors how to look like they are really doing interesting chemistry in it,” says Slim. “You wouldn’t get away with using a saucepan upside down in a cooking show so why is the equivalent in a lab ok on film?”
As with his short Inseparable Coil, The Cure has been entirely self-funded.