Wellington busker launches campaign to turn his fantasy novel into feature film

Busker Daniel White can often be seen on Wellington's Lambton Quay.
KEVIN STENT/FAIRFAX NZ

Busker Daniel White can often be seen on Wellington's Lambton Quay.

The story started off in his mind as a 12-year-old, then it became a book, and now Daniel White is campaigning to make Halfstone a feature film.

The Wellington busker's first fantasy book, Halfstone: A Tale of the Narathlands, was released last year, and now he is working towards his ultimate goal: a "high fantasy" film version with swords, capes and dragons among New Zealand's beautiful landscapes.

He has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to create an unofficial trailer, or proof of concept, which he hopes will then attract notice from international film studios.

The Kickstarter campaign will raise money for an unofficial trailer, and act as a petition from people who believe more ...
SUPPLIED

The Kickstarter campaign will raise money for an unofficial trailer, and act as a petition from people who believe more high fantasy films should be made.

But as well as fundraising, the campaign will act as a petition from people who believe more high fantasy films should be made.

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He hopes to rally fantasy fans to demonstrate the demand to studios. "It's the idea that there are actually thousands of people around the world that want one of these types of fantasy films," White says.

Halfstone, influenced by The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, but inspired by his childhood in the South Island, was ...
PHOTO: KEVIN STENT/FAIRFAX NZ

Halfstone, influenced by The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, but inspired by his childhood in the South Island, was released last year.

Halfstone is a classic good v evil tale, with a "gigantic twist".

Growing up without TV in the valleys of the South Island, he was inspired by his "Middle-earth"-like surroundings and believes our landscapes deserve to used as more than just a backdrop.

"I have this dream of making a film in New Zealand that celebrates the land as its own character," he says.

Daniel White, who has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help turn his fantasy novel Halfstone: A Tale of the ...
STÉPHANE CHARMOILLAUX

Daniel White, who has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help turn his fantasy novel Halfstone: A Tale of the Narathlands into a feature film.

"If you're creating a fantasy world then it's really important to put viewers into that world and make them feel it."

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He is aware of the giant undertaking and the "long slog" he is signing up for, he says.

"Maybe I'm just stubborn, but I think it can be done. And the reason I think Kickstarter is the way to go is we need people who love this genre to speak up.

"It's not going to lead directly to a highly, well-financed fantasy film. That's almost impossible ... So what we're going to do, is we're going to use the numbers that we've got, if it's successful, as the petition part."

With the money raised a crew will create an unofficial trailer and from there it will be a "continuous push".

He says the campaign personifies what fantasy tales are all about: starting off small and becoming something greater.

"Every time you push a little further forward and every time you talk to someone and get someones feedback ... it seems just a little more possible.

"It's worth it for that simple, small possibility I think."

For more information and to contribute to the campaign visit Kickstarter.

 - Stuff

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