Jake is an oddity amongst Kiwi feature films. Made over the course of six years, the entirely self funded feature film punches well above its budget. With great reviews and media coverage, Jake has been shown to full houses in Auckland and premiered in Wellington last week.
Jake tells the story of Jacob (Jason Fitch), a listless young man whose world crumbles when he is “recast” by a shadow agency, and his life is taken over by the more dynamic “Jake” (Go Girls’ Leighton Cardno). Jake is written and directed by Doug Dillaman and produced by Alastair Tye Samson, both South Seas Graduates from 2004.
“It’s amazing to think of the journey we have made in the last ten years since we were at South Seas. It’s the crucible that brought us together and now we’re reaping the rewards of that journey.”
– Doug Dillaman, Writer and Director of Jake
Doug Dillaman grew up in Detroit, and lived in Houston and Portland before coming to New Zealand in 2004 to study at South Seas Film & TV School. That’s where he met Jake producer Alastair Tye Samson. In 2008, they founded Hybrid Motion Pictures, a collective of filmmakers as a mix of industry professionals and enthusiastic amateurs keen to expand their skills and work on their own projects outside of their day jobs. The team would meet every Sunday morning for a coffee, then a “play around” with a camera or two, usually ending the day with a quick edit of the day’s work.
Doug and I met ten years ago on the very first day of South Seas and instantly found we shared a love of punk-rock and Stanley Kubrick. South Seas wasn’t only a fantastic year of learning and experimenting (it was) but, perhaps more importantly, it was the birthplace of some rock solid friendships and working relationships that have now lasted more than a decade.
– Alastair Tye Samson, Producer of Jake
Within a few short months, Hybrid had a strong core group, full of enthusiasm and DIY spirit, ready to take on a much more ambitious project. Concurrently, Doug Dillaman was developing his sixth feature-length script: JAKE. On the strength of the script, Hybrid quickly assembled a professional cast. Through a modest budget, industry connections and endless goodwill, JAKE was shot over 23 days in and around central Auckland in 2009. The following four years were spent on post production and forming a marketing plan for the unconventional genre bender.
“The smartest bit of low-fi, high-IQ science fiction New Zealand has produced.”
– David Larsen, THE LISTENER
Doug is currently working on a novel about weapons testing set in New Caledonia and New Zealand during World War II, whereas Alastair is developing a slate of features and short films for Hybrid.