Young writer-director John Le and his producer Brian Lai aren't lacking in ambition: Their first feature, horror movie The Scrying, will be shot in 3D.
The rookie filmmakers have raised the budget from Hong Kong investors, they're in talks with a Hong Kong-based actor to play the protagonist, a ghost hunter, and next month will hold auditions in Sydney for the three other major characters. The aim is to shoot in Sydney in April/May.
The duo formed production company Film Venture Capital in 2009 with the goal of creating genre films for the North American and global film markets. Lai's background was in finance and Lee has made shorts and music videos.
The Scrying will utilise found footage but Lai promises a fresh, original approach which he declines to reveal now lest others copy his concept. The narrative follows the ghost hunter, who shows his exploits on his own YouTube channel, as he's called to investigate after two young women and a guy try to raise spirits with diabolical results. One girl is a college student and part-time nurse, her teenage sister is a popular cheerleader and the boy is a nerd who's into ghost hunting and witchery.
Lai won't name the Hong Kong actor, whom he describes as an up-and-comer who is represented by CAA, until the contract is signed.
The filmmakers held auditions in Hong Kong last August/September and during that visit met with superstar actor Chow Yun Fat and with veteran television producer/broadcaster Robert Chua Wah-Peng, who gave them a tour of his studio (pictured). Both offered their encouragement. Lai said he met the investors through networking
The film will be shot by US director of cinematography Chris Ripley, who has worked mostly on shorts and music videos, using two RED cameras. In December, they flew to San Diego to check out the 3D Film Factory's 3D-BS Pro Rig which they'll use.
Lai hasn't yet approached sales agents or distributors but says he'll be ready to pitch potential buyers at the American Film Market in Los Angeles in November. He's also raising funds for Film Venture Capital's second project, Godslayer, a supernatural martial arts film which Le will write and direct.
The screenplay focuses on a young protagonist who must prove his worth against various adversaries using martial arts. Lai said the film will strive to emulate the look and style of Japanese manga movies.