Father-and-son team Lance and James Morcan have been pretty busy of late. Originally hailing from the Bay of Plenty, they’ve just had two of their co-written novels published and two of their feature films released offshore.
But here’s a spanner in the works for you: dad Lance lives in Papamoa, while James is based in Sydney. They do all their novel and script writing from a distance.
“Any artistic collaboration is hard enough at the best of times,” Lance says.
“But once you factor in our locations, plus being father and son, and all the drama that comes with that, we have certainly been up against it.”
Their novels, Fiji and The Ninth Orphan, have been published in paperback and Kindle ebook editions and will be available in New Zealand next month, while the fruits of their filmmaking labours, The Pawn and Desired, have been making their way around various film festivals overseas.
But it doesn’t look like they’ll be getting a break any time soon – they’re currently on the hunt for funding so they can give the green light to their biopic based on the life of boxer Precious McKenzie, titled The Precious One.
“The Precious One is a real passion project for us,” James says.
“We have invested almost a decade of our lives into it, from initial development meetings with Precious, to writing and perfecting the screenplay over many years, to eventually finding the right director, cast and crew.”
They’ve been on the brink of securing funding for the film’s production on a few occasions, only to have the deal fall apart at the 11th hour.
“One deal fell through because of the global financial crisis, and another was due to a high level Kiwi investor abruptly deciding he would only finance the film provided Lance and I were not part of the production,” James says.
“Obviously this film can never be made without us, but it is a tricky thing to educate investors who have had no prior experience with the film industry.”
The Precious One doesn’t qualify for funding from the New Zealand Film Commission, but James says they’re approaching other potential investors and are confident they will make it to South Africa to film.
“Financing it is obviously a big challenge,” James says.
“But everything in the film industry always is. You have to be committed to each project for the long haul.”