The ‘number eight wire’ mentality is very strong in Kiwi culture. In this project by passionate first-time feature writer Samuel Thomas, who is also the film’s lead actor, there is a strong sense of potential, within a shoestring budget, and a great cast and committed crew of volunteers.
The film follows Dan Webster, a young man who lives a lavish life with a promising music career ahead of him. The flipside is that Dan’s family are involved in the criminal underworld and his father has other plans for his future. In a distressed state over these plans, Dan leaves and begins a journey of self-discovery where he encounters love, friendship and how the “the other half live”.
With a running time of 139 minutes ‘Someone to carry me’ has all the markers of a good flick. It features a strong cast with a genuine storyline (Hard to Find in New Zealand in recent years). The film had an exceptional supporting cast. I found the “gap fillers” or the characters that could easily have had scenes removed in post-production, to actually be the most memorable in the film. They added authenticity to Dan’s journey. Josiah Harrold (Michael) and India Ryan (Sam) both added moments of comic gold. Michael’s character; an oddly presented fellow always in the right place wanting to have fun – whether it jamming guitar or playing rackets with no shirt next to a crowded northland primary school. Sam’s character, on the other hand, provides wit, a young child prodigy always adding her ten cents. Even at the end of film, after a certain character nearly dies risking their life, she still has the bluntness to belittle their heroic effort.
Owing to being filmed on a shoestring budget, Someone to Carry Me is not without some technical faults. In some scenes the film unintentionally appears over and under exposed. However, this is a minor gripe, and with post-production correction or editing for TV broadcast, this could be simply fixed. Other than this, the film pulls together well with a relevant score which also features composition by the film’s writer and lead actor along with his brother who also make cameos throughout the film confirming the labour of love involved in this project.
Someone to Carry Me very much epitomizes New Zealand filmmakers and their passion to complete feature length films on minimal budgets. Someone to Carry Me has a strong supporting cast making it an enjoyable film that allows viewers to connect with the story. With some post correction I could see this film broadcast as a Television Feature and thoroughly enjoyed by a variety of audiences.