David Whittet Films Blog
Independent New Zealand Film Production

A critical rewrite for Amiri's Child

Fight1
Shooting the original youth gang scene in Gisborne in October 2011.

Success in Film Making, as in so many artistic endeavours, relies on being prepared to go back to the drawing board when a scene is not working and chiseling away at a production until it is as good as you can possibly get it.

In my last post on the January 2013 shoot, I indicated that there were still problems with a critical scene in Amiri's Child. Whilst continuing post production, I have been trying to determine why the scene isn't working after two reshoots.

As is so often the case, I am convinced that the answer lies with the concept of the scene. The young Arapeta saves Miriama from an attack by a youth gang and wins her heart, a crucial plot point. Where the problem lies is the motivation for the fight. The original story was a score to settle with Miriama's foster mother, Kōkā. For the scene to work, the youth gang’s hostility must be specifically directed at Miriama, a vendetta because she thinks she’s better than the gang. Miriama thinks she's a cut above everyone else, having been to finishing school in Switzerland.

As well as being a better fit with the rest of the story, the change will give much more meaning to Arapeta and Miriama’s subsequent relationship. Miriama is humbled by the experience and is forced to face reality. In doing so, she comes to understand Arapeta’s strengths.

So it's back to the script for another rewrite of the screenplay. I have been working on pre-viz  for a restructured sequence. Now I have to arrange yet another shoot to complete Amiri's Child!