This month marks the end of a long journey for Tom Hern.
The 25-year-old is getting set for the premiere of I’m Not Harry Jenson at the New Zealand Film Festival on July 22.
He produced the movie which was written and directed by longtime friend James Napier-Robertson.
Tom also stars in it alongside Gareth Reeves, Renato Bartolomei, Ian Mune and Ilona Rodgers.
The Piha resident will be a familiar face to fans of the TV soap Shortland Street – one of a number of New
Zealand shows he has acted in.
He was thrilled to try something different with James.
"After years of doing television together we decided to start working on a script – something we’d be proud of," he says.
"So we decided we’d do it 100 percent independently, outside of the normal funding routes such as the New Zealand Film Commission.
"I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I started this process – it was sink or swim."
Tom spent the best part of two years flying between New Zealand and Los Angeles, where James lived, finalising the script before approaching investors.
They started filming once they’d raised enough money to proceed with a scaled-back plan of what they’d first envisaged.
"We ended up with a dream New Zealand cast with a micro-budget," he says.
"But they believed in the script and us as young film makers. And once Marshall Napier and Ian Mune came on board the rest of the cast fell into place."
Tom says it was great working with industry veterans.
"And I think they enjoyed working with two young guys doing something outside of the mainstream."
The movie was filmed in the Waitakere Ranges over 18 days.
"There was such a good collective energy – not just between the cast and crew but the community.
"I’m absolutely stoked with the end product
"Luck was certainly on our side along with the gods," he says. "It looks like it had a $2 million budget but it only cost us $200,000."
Tom has no plans to rest on his laurels.
"I’ve got three scripts in development.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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