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I realise that we have not said anything for 20 days but it’s not easy to post when there is nothing new to add.

We did encounter a few sharks on a social networking site that made out that they are venture capitalists but are really middlemen that charge upwards of 8 thousand dollars and no promises and then hassle you to call them when you firmly tell them you were not born yesterday.

That being said, one of our supporters is coming back from Hong Kong this week and I am speaking to him tomorrow.

Another friend is helping with an executive producer contact.

Another friend is helping with lead ins to other funders.

And we have a potential early development investor looking at a proposal which we sent.

We received a comment today saying advertise advertise advertise. While enthusiastic you only advertise when a film is made or has a green light so we are far from that but are giving it 100% .

Stay tuned!

Best regards

Trevor H





I’ve done business in some interesting places recently but none more interesting than the Menzies Hotel.

For once I was meeting a real prospect.  A gentleman who has been involved in the Film Finance business for decades.  he is known by my mentor and was introduced to me by my agent and friend.

I have met a number of eccentrics recently who talked the talk but when it came to the crunch could not walk the walk.  Promises do not make movies folks and these guys can be as nice as pie and on the same page but until they commit you might as well be singing on as sidewalk.

Unlike these amusing individuals, this gentleman has spent nearly a decade putting together a way to bypass all of the government related bullshit associated with film making in Australia. Our “Industry” is not an industry.

To be an industry it must be commercial and there is little commercial focus here.

This chap and I are speaking the same language.  He has been very supportive and very helpful.  His system kicks ass.

And best of all he likes Spellsinger and can see it’s potential!   Finally I have met a kindred spirit.  These meeting have been the best yet.

I have rejigged our business plan and have started compiling a list of people who could be the key creatives.

I hope to have some very encouraging news by next week.

In the meantime we are embarking on a very ambitious venture. So ambitious it’s scary!

More soon!


Please Help

Hi Guys.

We have been snowed under since the Gold Coast Film Festival and Supernova. We have had some amazingly great experiences and in the last couple of weeks some meetings and events that are propelling us to another level.

Now we we are calling on you, our fans and supporters.

Now more than ever, we need your help.

We have found an opportunity to put some more money into our development kitty.  We really need all the help we can get and while it’s a small amount of cash, it will really help us to move forward.

So please.  If you could vote or tweet or facebook please do.  People can vote once per day.

Your contribution could just be the what gets Spellsinger over the line.

All assistance is gratefully appreciated.

Here is the link.








An interesting day

It’s been a long day and an interesting one.  It started at 5am.  It’s dark.  I went to bed at 11pm and did not sleep.  Why?  I was excited and anxious.

Excited at the prospect of meeting a man whose books I have been reading for more than 20 years.  The man who has trusted me to bring SPELLSINGER to the big screen.  Mr Alan Foster!!

Anxious because I have done everything I can to get the ball rolling and my business consultant is on the verge of securing the first investment that we need to get the ball rolling.  The first investment is always the hardest!  He was going to call me back at 11am.  His call would determine our meetings for tomorrow.

I made it to the right train.  Ran for the connecting train and arrived at the airport on time.  Alan’s flight took a while to get processed at 4 planes arrived at the same time.

I recognised me immediately and all of a sudden I had achieved a life goal. Alan’s writing is just amazing. I truly love his work.  An awesome day had begun!

We hopped into the serviced car and the deluge started.  The heavens opened and Pitt Street transformed into a river.  My poor partner was splashed wet, head to toe by a bus driven tidal wave in George Street.  You could ride a surf board down the street!

We spent several hours chatting.  I enjoyed listening to his stories.  He has many. They are all cool!  Alan is the nicest and most relaxed guy you could meet. The things he has seen and done you would never believe even if I told you.  He is truly the most interesting person I have met.

11am came and my phone never rang.  I dealt with the anxiety quickly and just focussed on this incredible moment.

We took a walk down to the Galaxy Bookshop, Sydney’s ultimate Sci Fi Destination and he presented himself at the counter.  He did the coolest thing by autographing a few books and having several pictures taken which are now on their Facebook page .  These guys are the true Aussie Battlers and they live eat and breathe Sci Fi and fantasy. They were stoked!!

We met back for dinner with my darling Bec .

The phone rang.  Now I have no anxiety.  I am feeling exceedingly positive!  We had another win today.  A direct agency introduction to a man who could hold the key to our success!!!

Alan Bec and I went off to dinner in the drizzling night and had a lovely time.

I got home just before 10pm. Tired exhausted but here I am blogging!!!

Today was getting to know you day. This week is going to be one I will never forget!


Genre and demographics

The Genre of The Spellsinger series is a Golden Fleece Style film. It’s a fantasy quest myth with Rock and Roll. This genre is the single most successful and popular format in box office history.
It’s a fantasy road trip. A journey taken by diverse characters united against a common enemy. Examples include: Avatar, Paul, The Wizard of Oz, Jason and the Argonauts, Star Wars Episode 4, Back to the Future and Lord of the Rings,.
The main character is pushed into a situation by chance/fate and circumstances. There is no going back. The character goes in search of something and finds something else.
In Spellsinger, Clothahump has brought Jon Tom to a far off world. There is no going back. Jon Tom desperately wants to find a way home even after he discovers that he has a magical gift.
He joins Clothahump’s quest against the plated folk and along the way he develops strong feelings for the beautiful thief Talea.
The film has action, magic, rock music and gritty out there characters.
The mood is dark (We are talking about a threatened world and a race against time to repel an invasion) but the tone mostly is light and liberally laced with humour.  Mudge the foul mouthed otter with the cockney accent contrasts with Jon Tom brilliantly.  They play off each other.  But they really bond as friends.
 Spellsinger is not a film for really young children or even young teens. Am I a prude for saying that?  People ask me is it worth risking a demographic, 14-17? it’s a vital demographic but my moral fibre  questions it’s suitability.
And yet I remember seeing films like the Terminator at 14, Dirty Harry at 11 and the Shining  and Game of Death (Same Bill LOVED Drive ins!!!) when I was 10. We watched Cheech and Chong at 14 and Terence Hill and Bud Spencer.  I saw Porky’s Revenge at 13 and as an Aussie before I was 16 it was the height of Ozploitation Video and we saw Stone, The Man from Hong Kong, Turkey shoot, Mad Max, Mad Max 2 (Road Warrior).  Clint Eastwood’s Tightrope was presented as a double feature for GHOSTBUSTERS that my parents dropped us off at.  I guess that things have changed and the world has changed but by how much?  Twilight the film loved by Tweenies covered demonic pregnancy and nobody batted an eyelid.

I have seen posts from friends who have seen young kids at The Hunger Games and questioned their parents judgement.  Would there be a backlash and would it seriously effect the franchise.

While we do not want to attract the R Rating, how young an audience is appropriate?
There is a little weed in Spellsinger (Nothing on the scale of PAUL or  Cheech and Chong)  and yet Hunger Games has teenage genocide.
PG or not PG that is the Question…
We could easily tone the movie down to a PG rating through implying the psychedelic elements.  (Like the Australian Media use story more than image for the news.)
For  example when Saddam was hanged, in Australia we just needed to be told.  In the UK the entire event was broadcast live. We are a sophisticated audience and using implication rather than use is a reasonable approach.
We also have a much improved rating system which has MA and MA15+ in between PG and R.  This makes decision making a lot easier for our Classifications people and for parents to make a more informed decision.
15-17: These are the people we want to attract .  We know that they make up the biggest attendance.  We can nail it with hype and social media just like they have done recently with The Hunger Games and Project X.  I know that 14 and 15 fit in this demographic but I am not sure about suitability for a 14 year old.  I heard similar feedback about these kids seeing the Hunger Games.
18-24: This audience will love the genre and the action elements.
25-39 People like myself who have read the books since they were teenagers. There will be older patrons who were aged between Eighteen to Twenty-Five in 1985 who bought and read the books and passed their enthusiasm on to their children.
Niche Demographics
1. Hispanic Audience. As there is a strong and attractive female Hispanic Character in the first 2 films, it is reasonable to suggest that the picture could attract an interest from the emerging Hispanic demographic.
2. Fantasy film geeks that love quests and Comicon and probably still play Dungeons and Dragons. The people who saw PAUL.
3. Alan’s existing fans.
What do you think?  Have we got it right?  Is our approach sound?
Look forward to your comments.

A day in the life of a Producer part 2

You might recall the agency (no names) that I was dealing with last. A month ago this agency wanted a reference from someone they had worked with before.  This has been supplied and yet nada.  Not a thing from them. So after several unanswered e-mails I rang.  This time the assistant sounded different. “I have passed your information on”  DUH.  I knew that from the last call.  I asked for a realistic expectation as to when I might receive a reply.  “I have done all I can” was the response. “I have done all I can?”  I’m sorry assistant but this not a matter for you to decide. Why this individual could not put me on hold and ask the agent about my reference and its suitability is beyond my comprehension. Instead this individual has decided that my query can stagnate.   I don’t understand it. This is the most bizarre approach to business I have seen and I have met an albino Ostrich Salesman who sold African Ostriches to New Zealanders.  I am not passing judgement but it’s just out of the ordinary for me.

After this strange encounter and outcome I decided to follow Antony Robbins formula and change my approach.  Lets see if that works. it might be unconventional but it might just work.

Watch this space!


Facebook is down!

Hi Guys,

Our Facebook page will be down until the 19th of April.  We apologise for any inconvenience.

To keep up with the latest, follow us on twitter: @spellsingerfilm


Brand Awareness – The Lone Ranger


Here is the new look Lone Ranger and Tonto.  I grew up with Clayton Moore and Jay  Silverheels black and white repeats in Australia and had the Lone Ranger action figure and Silver in the early 1970’s.  Although unlike Simon Pegg I did not find Tonto sexually attractive with his clothes off…

I own DVD episodes and my mother in law bought me a complete action figure just like the one I had when I was a kid. Mine is probably at the bottom of a sandpit in South Australia somewhere. ..

I cannot relate to a Lone Ranger that does not wear sky blue.  Tim Burton kept the mask (which looks like a left over from Batman)  and the white hat but made his outfit black. I just don’t get it.   I feel angry.  He has messed with a brand that I love.  He has messed with my memory of that brand.

Bad guys wear black and why does he look so intensely depressed?

Tonto looks like The Crow meets Edward Scissor Hands on a horse.   Tonto is not meant to be scary. Simon Pegg won’t fantasise about this Tonto. Marilyn Manson might…

Branding is important from the get go.  Lone Ranger is more than a brand.  It’s an icon.  A tradition.

Imagine years from now when they do a Star Wars remake ( They will…) Chewbacca has Green Fur and Darth Vader is dressed in all white or pink or glowing yellow.  Would the fans be just a little bit disillusioned?  Their grandparents and great grand parents will have introduced them to the brand just like they were introduced to icons like Mickey Mouse and The Lone Ranger when they were kids.

Brand awareness is permanent.  Once you make something that’s popular for the world to see and the world accepts it there is no going back.  You can’t change the brand.  Imagine purple Smurfs,  Teenage Mutant Ninja Wombats, an audible Donald Duck, Micky Mouse with a low pitch voice,  A green Spiderman, Homer Simpson thin and smart. A right handed Ned Flanders.  It would not work.

What the producers of this remake are not paying attention to is the power of the brand and it’s nostalgic pull.  Lone Ranger makes me think of my child hood, of security, of happy times.  Mess with the branding and you mess with the association.  When I heard it was being remade I was excited. I wanted to go to see the movie in a flash because  it reminded me of that magical Christmas in 1976 when Lone Ranger entered my life under the Christmas Tree.

That’s a big part of the attraction, like Star Wars episode 4 in 3d when they get to it.  I’ll be there, just like I was there for the anniversary in 1996 and the original as a kid all those years ago.

Last night we watched Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris just hoping that our restaurant  might  appear.  To our surprise it did.  We saw The Shakespeare Bookshop and there right next to it was a glimpse.  The film went to a lot of places that we had been to over several visits and brought back strong and pleasant nostalgic memories.   Midnight in Paris is just like Notting Hill to us because Notting Hill reminds us of 2 years of living in London and all the sights that appear, we have been to or walked past frequently.

Nostalgia is powerful.

So Hollywood remember that when you turn our dramas into comedies and our heroes into dark depressing caricatures, you are messing with the brand and when you mess with the brand, you mess with the fans.







A day in the life of a producer…


Today I experienced my first taste of dealing with US agents from a producers viewpoint.  To say it’s not easy is an understatement.

The day was a roller coaster as it was; and it was almost like a Hollywood screenplay with highs and lows.

It started when I received an e-mail from a powerful financier who decided that their company slate was full but at least gave me the option to re approach when we have a screenplay.  That’s fine by me.  Early development funding for SPELLSINGER was always going to be the challenge and traditionally the small money is the hardest to come by.

Besides this company was only one possible piece of my puzzle but I have lots of other options.

We know that we have to get ahead and the only way to do that is to start packaging the project even to make it attractive for the early investors.

Now I have heard so much about “Packaging” and read so much about it. The idea is to get a director involved and piece it together from there.  We want the director involved from the get go. I have read about Pay or Play and scoured the internet looking at all sorts of stories and ideas and ways to go about development.  I have a library of books that all have very different ideas.  This is not rocket science.

All roads led to the directors agency.

If the director liked it we might get the agency to package it.

I asked a few rather prominent producers if they would go to an agency before money or distribution was attached. “Sure” they said. This was a relief. A little bit of homework is always a good way to prepare beforehand.


Time to make the call.

I was immediately directed to a very friendly assistant.

Everything seemed to be going well until I learned something.

Unfortunately the agency had a policy that loomed up like an iceberg.

Unless I had a track record with dealing with them, they would not deal with me.  I had to know someone who had that record and they had to refer me personally.


But I completely understand why they have such a policy rather than look at the merit of the story.

After all they have a right to protect their clients. It’s not just a chicken and an egg scenario.  it’s about protecting clients from an army of time wasters.  Time is so important in this game it’s like gold.  It’s valuable.

I was just caught off guard.  I knew about unsolicited scripts.

It’s the same principle.  So I played it cool and ended the call on a very positive note.

I was glad that we were not alone.  If I had no leads or contacts I would be in a worse position.

I would be in no position.

But I have a good lead who is not just entertainment royalty in Australia but a consultant on the film.

I e-mailed my consultant and the response was immediate. If the consultant dealt me a hand in poker it would be 5 aces. BAM!!

So I called back and the assistant was even more receptive but asked if my consultant could call personally.

I told the assistant that my consultant (Who is doing everything with the flu) could not call today but I had a rather lengthy e-mail from them.

The assistant asked if forward the e-mail.

When I sent the e-mail I felt great. It’s like making it to another level of a video game!!!

Looking forward to that follow up call on Monday!!!

I learnt a few valuable things.  It’s an exhilarating experience. Highs and lows. But determination and changing your approach must be a part of the plan when facing what are seemingly insurmountable obstacles!

Here is a song I listen to a lot


Mid February already!!!

It’s mid February already.  It’s dark in the morning and summer is almost gone.

The blog went a bit quiet.  But not from laziness. We are just snowed under. But we are and remain committed. I am that committed that I withdrew from a diploma course in animation that I was just accepted for so that I can focus on the project and at the job at hand.

Since the start of February (in fact since September) We have done nothing but work work and work and it’s paying off. Our goal this year is not massive.  It’s definitely do-able and I have established a few in roads.

Over the last two weeks we had a few rejections  from a few US Producers and a well known Aussie Producer but it’s not an issue and when you are in this game, rejection is a big part of your day.  Believe me it’s not negative and if you can’t deal with a couple of thousand no’s then this business is not for you.

Besides, when it comes down to it, we are only interested in working with people who can see the potential in our project.  If they don’t then it’s just a waste of time for everyone.

This week we moved it up a notch and have several groups of potential investors looking at material. The weeks ahead are very important.

Two weeks ago I asked Chris Wahl the amazingly talented illustrator to help us rebrand the image of Spellsinger. We researched influential guitarists from Slash to Jimmy Page, Hendrix, Keith Richards, Ritchie Sambora, and Van Halen.

We also looked at the Duar and the whole image of the series.  Chris originally stuck faithfully to the book but the problem was that it never resonated with people.  Thankfully Alan is not one of those authors that  is precious.  He has been very good to work with!

The new picture looks amazing.

We were so pleased that we nearly shared it with you tonight.

But we’re not.  The first time that people will see the new picture will be at The Gold Coast Film Festival and Supernova. We will print off a couple of hundred and the first Gold Coaster that enters our Competition (see previous blog entries) will get a big signed poster!

So stay tuned. It’s getting interesting.