Fan Mail

From the mailboxes at

My name is Michael and I have just viewed your film “Five”. I must say i’ve seen many movies in my day and yours was by far the worst I have ever seen. You have robbed me of 90 minutes of my life that I would have happily spent watching paint dry instead of watching this crap. You have failed as a person and a writer may god have mercy on your soul.
Thanks Michael Ibbotson.


hello Michael
thank you for watching Five and for taking the time to email me your thoughts.
d f mamea

I look at Mr Ibbotson’s email and I smile. I’m not sure why.

Is it the novelty of his being the first email of its kind?

Is it that its grammar and spelling are a hop-skip-and-jump ahead of most of the emails I get from people I don’t know?

Is it that on his MySpace profile, his favoured films include ‘Shooting and killing movies, funny movies, and surfing movies’, and under books he lists ‘Motor Mag, Tracks Mag [and] Surfing Life Mag‘?

Or is it that he took the time to share his thoughts and put his name to it in these days of internet anonymity?

Whichever the reason, ‘Ibbo’ has given me cause to smile today, and I thank him for that, too.


I Am Riz

Okay, I’m back. Had a few deadlines to meet this week. Which I did, of course. Exciting, exhausting times. Here’s a quick round up with a decent post to come this weekend.

  • A second review for Five, this time from the Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand, which is now available for rental (the film, not the review) – and if your local doesn’t have it in stock, demand to see some Made in New Zealand.
  • The Writers Guild‘s newfangled online forum is awful quiet. Are we Kiwi screenwriters so reserved?* Or are there enough distractions with TV, DVDs, Playstation/Wii, online gaming, Bebo/Facebook/Myspace and, uh, blogs/blogging?
  • People who spell definately and your rather than definitely and youre in correspondence to me will join my growing list of newfound friends asking me to help free up some money.
  • I now have a Data Book listing. I almost feel like I’ve arrived. Except for the nonsensical link.
  • And finally, having prepared a well-I-didn’t-need-your-money-anyway post as a follow-up to my grant application, they approved it. Yes, of course I’m chuffed – especially once the panic attacks subsided – and am beginning to savour the impending adventure.



* I keep wanting to start a thread about the winding up of the Signature telemovie initiative: Isn’t it a bit short-sighted to finish up now? Won’t the wheel have to be rebuilt if when the broadcaster change its mind and returns to cheaper reality observational-documentary television-making? … But I’m too chicken.


Post-premiere Debrief

Last Friday night we watched a psychological horror unfold and then, somehow, fold back in on itself like some Moebius strip. And despite having seen the rough- and fine-cuts of the film, I found myself pulled into it. It moved. It flowed. It made sense.

Of course it makes sense, I hear you cry. You wrote it, silly! Well… yes, but the film that was on the big screen was a very different creature from what I’d originally envisaged. I’d found the process of watching the earlier cuts much, much harder than I’d expected, making mewling noises about it at the time. It was time to confront the finished film as an independent entity, rather than some excuse to whine, Well, if I’d done it…. I hadn’t ‘done’ it. I’d merely provided a blueprint.

By the time the credits rolled, I was experiencing not so much relief but… – bloody hellpride that I had been part of the Five production. I was buzzing. There were back-slaps and hugs. There were drinks and debriefs. It was cathartic.

Big thankeroonies to the cast and crew (they know who they are), in particular Mr Amit Tripuraneni for making it possible real.


FIVE Screenings Update

A gentle reminder that FIVE is screening at the Academy Cinemas later this week:

Friday 19 October at 10:30pm
Saturday 20 October at 11:00am 10:30am and 10:30pm

(Please note the change in time.)

Cast and crew shall be in attendance at the premiere on Friday night so if you’re in that part of town at that time, c’mon in, siddown, and enjoy.


Letting Go

I first started drafting this post way back in November 2006:

There’s a point in every writer’s career where they have to let go of their baby.

I got no further than that. I think my now is not the best time to think aloud alarm went off, and it collected virtual dust on the hard-drive.

Not that long ago, the insufferably unstoppable Amit (previously referred to as Mr T but I’ve since regained my manners) asked me to have a look over the locked cut of Five. That DVD sat on my desk. Then it went onto a shelf. Then back onto my desk.

Every day for a month I saw that disc and thought, I must watch that. I must.

But I couldn’t.

Of course, I did watch it. I made some notes and fired off an email that included:

you may have surmised from the extreme delay […] some reluctance on my part to sit down and watch it. i plead guilty. i can intellectualise that the transfer from paper to screen involves a loss of ownership and is How It Is. but the actual experience was quite a lot harder that i expected. but i’m okay now. (i think putting the dvd in the player, handcuffing myself to the couch and tossing the key across the room helped. it was… cathartic.) (having to wait several hours for someone to come home to release me wasn’t so cathartic but that’s the price of personal development.)

of course, if you thought the delay was because i [am a] lazy slackarse, then forget the previous paragraph.