Ray Lawrence feature on hold
By Brendan Swift
A key component of the funding behind Ray Lawrence’s next feature Being Dead has fallen over, with the project now on hold.
“As far as I’m aware, that’s true,” Lawrence told INSIDEFILM. He referred to co-producer Emile Sherman for further comment. A spokeswoman for Sherman said the project was now effectively on hold but declined to give further details.
Being Dead was to be Lawrence’s fourth feature film after Jindabyne (2006), Lantana (2001), and Bliss (1985). Lantana grossed more than $12 million at the local box office and still ranks as the thirteenth highest grossing local film of all time.
Several major films have been postponed or scrapped over the past year, including Fred Schepisi’s war film Last Man, due to difficulties raising finance amid a global economic downturn. Lawrence recently told an audience at the Dungog Film Festival in May about his frustrations raising film funding despite his considerable success.
Being Dead, based on a 2001 novel by Jim Crace adapted by Beatrix Christian, tells the story of a married couple who are savagely murdered and their bodies left to decay in the dunes. Their estranged daughter returns home to find them, uncovering a dark history.
It is being produced by Sherman’s See-Saw Films (with colleague Iain Canning as executive producer) and Patrick Cassavetti’s UK production company Greenpoint Films.
The project received preliminary Screen Australia approval for the Producer Offset last October. The national screen agency then funded the project in December (for an undisclosed amount) followed by the NSW FTO ($350,000).