Films currently in Development

A senior policeman makes a Faustian deal with a murderer and in so doing endangers two innocent women.

Swansong

Swansong is the story of detective Sergeant Roger "Goose" Qualls, an almost accidental policeman. At the age of 49 Goose has used his specialist knowledge as a financial anlyst to solve New Zealands worst serial killer case. As a result he has been elevated from a back room nobody on the Financial Crime desk to officer in charge of this most high profile case.
Our story begins on the morning of a clandestine operation to locate the remains of 18 year old Jennifer Lywellyn. Notiorious serial murderer Leonard Hearn has been released from Paremoremo prison at Goose's request to bring closure for the Lywellyn family. Together with Detective Sergeant John Carmichael and Detective Constable Simone Schwartz, Goose's task is to lead Hearn into the Takaka Forrest Park to locate the burial site and return Hearn to prison without the media knowing anything about it. True to his word, Hearn leads them to a shallow grave and eagerly observes the exhumation.

After accomplishing their gruesome mission the four settle for the night at the Driftwood Motel with the intention of returning to prison at first light. Hearn occupies one of the twin beds and is handcuffed and attached by a chain to the iron radiator. Goose, armed with a pistol, watches warily from across the room. Carmichael and Schwartz take turns sleeping in the adjoining unit and guarding the exterior door.

The first spoken words in the film are Hearn's, "Are you going to give it to me?" Goose responds by producing a bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon, the agreed reward for giving up the body of Jennifer Lywellyn. Then we learn Goose has been approached by a top New York literay agent to write his memoir, "Operation Swansong: 165 days to stop a killer". Sadly Hearn is the only person in the world Goose can share his dirty secret with. Hearn has appointed himself as ghost writer since he's so much better at writing prose than Goose.

Hearn is acutely aware of an underlying sexual tension between Goose, Simone Shwartz and Carmicheal and sets out to capitalise on the police officers rivalry. Carmichael is bitter about Goose's sudden elevation and furious that he is no longer in charge of the case. Hearn takes the opportunity to needle him by revealing the fact that Goose will soon be famous when his book comes out. Infuriated, Carmichael tells Shwartz about the book project extinguishing her infatuation with Goose.

Meanwhile Goose is taking advantage of having Hearn shackled and drunk and tries one last time to coerce from him information about the whereabouts of Laura Moon. The 18 year old student has been missing for a year but is not officially the subject of a murder inquiry. However, according to Goose's unofficial investigation she could well be victim number four. Hearn taunts Goose and, knowing he's a revovered alcoholic, tried to use the Wild Turkey as a weapon against him.

Having sucessfully turned the police officers against each other Hearn collapses into a drunken sleep. Goose lies awake listening miserably to the sounds of Carmichael and Schwartz noisily making love in the next door unit. But Hearn isn't quite finished, "Young guy like Carmichael, I bet he can keep it up all night."

By six o'clock in the morning everyone is bruised and battered. Hearn is hung over, Goose hasn't slept a wink, Simone regrets sleeping with Carmichael and Carmichael has remembered he's happily married. As Goose leans across to fasten Hearn's seatbelt for the return drive to prison Hearn drops a bombshell. "There is another girl, Laura Moon." Hearn offers to take Goose an hour and a half into the forrest to recover the fourth victim. A one time offer - now or never. Goose's dilemma is that if he contacts HQ they will insist on putting it off and he knows Hearn will only give up this extra victim on his own terms. Goose has a stand up shouting argument with the other police officers in the car park. Eventually he prevails and gets behind the wheel driving them to the road end once more.

They set off into the forest again and on their way pass a pair of young Swedish women who ask Schwartz for directions. Carmichael stands in front of Hearn so hey won't see the cuffs and chain while Schwartz speaks to the young women in French. Three hours later Shwartz and Carmichael are resolute that they must turn back and advise HQ what has happened. Again Goose pulls rank and forces them to continue. In an effort to further destabilise Goose Hearn reveals the fact that there is in fact no book contract. While the two men, tethered by the length of chain, urinate in the forest Hearn assumes the urbane voice of the fictional publisher Quentin Wilson - demonstrating how he fooled Goose with a phonecall from prison. (Literally and figuratively winning thier pissing contest.) Finally Hearn reveals yet another hidden grave. Goose was right after all.

They commence a second careful exhumation procedure. Goose turns his back, a moment's inattention that is noticed only by Carmichael. It's hard to tell for sure but it almost seems that Carmichael deliberately hesitates to draw his firearm... Not realising he has been observed Hearn sucker punches Goose in the kidney and in the space of three seconds bolts with his handcuff key and pistol. Goose drops onto all fours gasping for breath and by the time Carmichael fires his weapon Hearn is well gone. The police officers run headlong through the trees crashing recklessly downhill until they slide to a halt atop a dangerous bluff. Below them the river surges menacingly. If Hearn jumped off here he is almost certainly dead. Carmichael berates Goose for being so irresponsible that they have now lost the prisoner. He promises to see to it that a full enquiry will end Gooses wonderful police career. Meanwhile Goose is trying to remember something important. He remembers Hearn looking at the Swedish women and asks Simone what they asked her. Simone says they were looking for the magic waterfall. Suddenly Goose knows - This expedition is not his swansong - it is Hearn's. Hearn intends to kill again. Knowing he may well be responsible for the deaths of the two Swedish backpackers Goose leaps off the cliff into the river below.

Hearn lazily drags himself out of the river and makes a langourous escape. Moments later Goose drags himself from the water at roughly the same point. He works his way along the riverbank searching for wet rocks or flattened grass and finds both and sets off into the forrest in pursuit.

Carmichael and Shwartz double time back to the road end, Carmichael bitching every step of the way how he's going to tell the bosses what Goose did. About the whisky and the memoir and how Goose didn't follow orders. Finally Schwartz has had a gutsfull of his belly aching and announces her intention to backtrack to the waterfall and see if she can find the Swedes and lead them out of the forrest. Carmichael pulls rank saying it's too dangerous and if Hearn is alive he has a loaded pistol. He orders her to follow him but she tells him he's gutless and at least Goose is running toward the danger and not away from it. She storms off leaving Carmichael alone.

Hearn finds the women and takes great pleasure in playing cat and mouse with them, chasing them around for sport. Barbel escapes but he corners the younger woman Inger. At the moment he thinks it's time to end the game, Barbel appears and stabs him in the back with a Swiss Army knife. The terrified girls escape while Hearn struggles to get the blade out of his back.

Meanwhile both Goose and Schwartz are determinedly and separately racing toward the magic waterfall looking for the girls. Carmichael rages to himself on the way back to the road end trying to convince himself that he alone is doing the right thing.

Hearn has removed the knife from his back and in a self righteous fury has cornered the Swedish women again. As he chases them frantically through the trees he is unaware of Goose who leaps on his back and brings him crashing to the ground. The two men fight and struggle as they tumble through the undergrowth. Goose is losing ground fast when Schwartz appears and calls on Hearn to surrender. Hearn simply bolts and Schwartz chokes and doesn't shoot him.

Hearn initiates a running gunfight causing Goose and Schwartz and the Swedish women to scatter downhill. Goose is completely emasculated while Schwartz does all the shooting and he is empty handed and useless. While bullets fly they discover it is an innapropriate but perfect time to sort out thier unresolved relationship issues. Schwartz inadvertently double racks her weapon spitting a live round which Goose scoops up. Goose gives her his spare magazine because hearn has his gun anyway.

In a lull in the shooting Goose senses Hearn has fled. He makes the grave decision to give chase while Schwartz evacuates the women. Goose races uphill following an utterly certain sixth sense. He discovers spots of blood on foliage and occasionally can see Hearn very distantly ahead and above him in the forest. Goose struggles hard to keep the pace up. Unlike Hearn he is unfit and not used to this sort of brutal punishment. They emerge onto the grassy tops of the Takaka hill and we see Hearn is suffering from blood loss. Goose summons his inner hero and doggedly chases his man down.

On top of the hill Goose reels him in like a marathon runner. It's a head game and Goose is starting to shine. However Hearn spins on his heel and takes Goose by surprise, unleashing a shocking display of expert violence he beats Goose senseless. Goose is left doubled over gasping and sobbing pathetically as Hearn double times away into the distance.

Hearn carries on running, bleeding profusely from the stab wound but he's as invincible as a cockroach. He can't believe it when he glances back to see Goose shambling along after him like Don Quiote. Hearn makes a stand, levelling the pistol at Goose. The policeman advances doggedly, flynching as Hearn fires first one then three shots at him. Goose keeps comming, hesitant but ultimately undeterred. Hearn empties the gun and throws it at Goose. Securing his unloaded weapon on his hip seems to energize Goose. He produces his cuffs and tells Hearn the game is up.

Hearn laughs and rushes to attack Goose. This time the fight is more even, blood loss has taken the edge off Hearn's superhuman strength and Goose has found his inner brute. However after a savage fist fight Goose is punched half unconscious and again goes down for the count. Hearn stands over him unfolding the Swiss Army knife and announces his intention to finish it. "Normally I only kill bitches but for you I'll make an exception." Hearn closes in with the blade.

Goose fumbles the forgotten 9mm round from his pocket and top loads it in the breech of the pistol. Hearn sees him and rushes forward in horror. Goose fires the shot at a range of five feet. Hearn steps back a step, perplexed. He raises a hand - wait a minute. Desperate to have the last word, he tries to speak but blood pours down his chin. He turns and steps away falling to his knees and then face plants where he breathes raggedly and painfully. Goose is smashed up so badly he can hardly get to his feet. He winces across to turn Hearn over face up. An unspoken communication passes between Goose and the dying man Hearn.

Keep up to date with this project. Visit the Swansong Movie Website

Double Jeopardy

The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America carries the Double Jeopardy clause. The law says that no man, having been acquitted of a crime, shall be tried a second time for the same crime.

When retired Vermont Sheriff, Frank Winter, learns that his daughter's killer is being released on parole after only twenty years, he loses patience with the system and decides to take justice into his own hands.

Frank's career came to an abrupt end on the day in 1994 when Barry Krupke was convicted of killing one girl but acquitted for the murder of his daughter Evie. Frank swore that if they ever released Krupke from jail, he would kill him himself. Unfortunately, Frank uttered those words to the media outside the Boston Federal Courthouse, in his police uniform and brandishing his service revolver.

These days Frank is a night janitor in a downtown bank, living alone with nothing but bitter memories and a drinking problem. Using his old Sheriff's badge for what it's worth, Frank sets about re-investigating his daughter's murder to determine if he can kill a man in cold blood.

And Frank isn't the only one with an eye on Krupke's reintegration into the community.

Will Frank survive long enough to have his revenge? or at least his redemption?

The Squad

New Zealand's most useless police squad scams a second chance by taking up Morris dancing.

When Sgt. Baz Gray is caught live on the AMI/Lancaster Park Stadium Jumbotron cheering a try with the streaker he should be booking, it's just one more confirmation that he's the leader of Christchurch's most useless police unit. They're the ones given the most pointless tasks in the safe knowledge they'll perform them inadequately enough. If a week goes by without one of them receiving a "fat letter" or some other warning there'd be a celebration. But that never happens. It's so bad that Baz may just be responsible for training the first ever constable to be kicked off the New Zealand police force when his probation period is over. Perhaps it is all down to Baz. Is he setting the hopeless tone?: defeated by life, depressed by the failed marriage that has separated him from his beloved daughter, Clementine, and carrying the burden of his role in one of New Zealand's worst sporting disasters - an 11-point soccer loss - Baz needs to find a new life - but he's not even looking.

But when the Jumbotron incident becomes a You-Tube sensation the bollocking Baz receives from his superior just reinforces the disrespect in which his crew is held. After some more disastrous incidents Baz remembers that his best mate, Robsie had been entertaining the crew with stories of the odd sports their colleagues were taking up to get into the annual International Emergency games being held in England ahead of the Olympics. Baz decides that's what they need to do. As usual though, he's late to the party and it turns out there's only one option left for them: Morris Dancing. When he puts it to his team they are united in their derision. But when Baz beguiles them with a European trip they start to come around - especially as they expect that if they are true to useless form they'll be out on the first day.

But fate has different plans. When a quiet night-shift doing Morris practice in the station house is interrupted by a callout to a fracas in the Square the team has no time to remove their gear as they race to the scene. As the astonished hoodlums are overwhelmed by the bell-slinging lawmen every prancing moment is captured by a TV crew out on late night duty and placed in prime position on morning TV. Getting to work Baz fears the worst when the phone rings from National HQ. But instead, it's Superintendent Leadbetter an old time Morris enthusiast who offers to coach the team.

The team heads for England also taking Baz's daughter Clementine who has been paid for by the others when the custody agreement Baz has long wanted kicks in threatening his travel.

There they will face the ultimate test of their demons - to be ridiculous by doing badly or to be ridiculous by doing well at something they think is laughable. They'll face ultimate questions of life and death. They'll learn to live down the past and face the future newly confident men with ribbons in their hats and bells on their feet.

A Quiet Night

Moonlighting as a Security Guard, all Moriarty wanted was a quiet night. A quiet night to indulge in self pity over a life not very well lived. At forty he's divorced, a Chef without a restaurant and a father who never sees his beloved daughter. Without warning two hours before night-shift, his ex wife dumps Lucy, his nine year old on him. Moriarty bends the rules, hiding Lucy to sleep in the sick bay while he completes the shift. So long as she stays put, nothing can go wrong.

He couldn't have known that this is the night Vera, the security supervisor plans to rob her own bank. It's a simple plan - aren't they always? Vera's brothers will burst in on the stroke of midnight waving a fake gun. Just as the rehearsed it, they'll overpower the guards and snatch the cash. The whole thing will be caught on CCTV and no-one will suspect the guards of collusion. It's all down to split second timing so when Victor and Vernon miss their cue Vera pushes the button. Unfortunately she opens the rear alley service door to two real criminals with a real gun. Wazza and Dave have just stuffed up a dairy robbery around the corner. They can't believe their good fortune when they find the back door to ATM Bank mysteriously open.

Moriarty is not the sort of man to complain about poor service in a shop. Not the sort of man to stick up for himself in any situation. He's a man who has always gotten through life avoiding conflict. With seven hours remaining in the nightshift Moriarty has to escape his captors, find Lucy and get her out of the building.

A quiet night, indeed.