Judgment Tavern

Judgment Tavern is a short film that was funded by the New Zealand Film Commision's Premiere Short Film Fund. It was written and directed by Dean Hewison, produced by Ruth Korver and Useful Media and is now online.

Judgment Tavern

Judgment Tavern tells the story of Lucia, a young girl carrying her father's living head as they search for his fleeing body. On a cold dark night, they take shelter in a small village tavern - where a mysterious stranger with unfinished business is waiting. 

We took on Judgment Tavern because the story captured our imaginations and because of our long working relationship with Dean Hewison. We knew it was going to be a challenge though, to make a period piece in Wellington! Thanks to a team of fantastic and talented people we pulled it off and Judgment Tavern is now screening at festivals. Keep up to date with where and when you can see the film on our Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/judgmenttavern

TAGLINE
‘There is no shelter here…”

SHORT SYNOPSIS
Judgment Tavern tells the story of Lucia, a young girl carrying her father's living head as they search for his fleeing body. On a cold dark night, they take shelter in a small village tavern - where a mysterious stranger with unfinished business is waiting.

LONG SYNOPSIS
Judgment Tavern is a dark coming-of-age film, about a father and daughter on a dangerous adventure in a world where magic is feared and hunted. Lucia is an innocent child who is forced to take care of her father after his head mysteriously and magically keeps living after he is executed. In their search for his body they are led to the Judgment Tavern where, faced with a grave threat, Lucia is confronted with her past and must take hold of her future. It is a moment which will change Lucia and her life forever.

Credits

STARRING - Nova Waretini-Hewison, Richard Falkner, John Bach



WRITER/DIRECTOR - Dean Hewison

PRODUCER - Ruth Korver

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS - Steve Barr, Dan Story and Paul Swadel

PRODUCTION COMPANY - Useful Media Ltd

IN ASSOCIATION WITH - The New Zealand Film Commission

PRODUCTION MANAGER - Vanessa Patea

LINE PRODUCER - Dan Lynch

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY - Chris Matthews

PRODUCTION DESIGNER - Tim Holman

WARDROBE DESIGNER - Bonne Becconsall

MAKEUP DESIGNER - Allie Rutherford

EDITOR - Jeff Hurrell

VFX - DuskFX

COMPOSER - Tane Upjohn-Beatson

SOUND DESIGN - Richard Falkner

POST PRODUCTION SERVICES - Park Road Post

LOCATIONS - Shot at Avalon Studios and Khandallah Park  


Project News

The Story of Judgment Tavern

by Ruth - 16 Oct 2016

It’s late 2013 and I’m having a beer with Dean Hewison, who I’ve worked with on several ambitious, low-budget projects. He tells me about an idea he has for a film. It’s a sort of dark ‘Princess Bride’ where the opening shot is a young girl standing outside a medieval tavern, carrying her father’s living, severed head.  

Three years later, with funding from the New Zealand Film Commission and an immense amount of work from a team of very talented people we have a short film called Judgment Tavern.

So far we have premiered at the Sydney International Film Festival, screened in the New Zealand International Film Festival in the best shorts competition and played in Russia and Prague.  

And now we’re sharing it online for everyone to see it.

Judgment Tavern tells the story of Lucia, a young girl carrying her father's living head as they search for his fleeing body. On a cold dark night, they take shelter in a small village tavern - where a mysterious stranger with unfinished business is waiting.

Set in a medieval world of magic, with a talking head, it needed spectacular art department, clever VFX and actors who could take us on a difficult journey. With a very tight budget for such a complex setting, the production challenges were pretty enormous. Luckily we managed to pull together a talented team who were crazy and committed enough to pull it off.

Walking through the tavern on the first day of shooting was a truly jaw-dropping moment for Dean, seeing the world of his script come to life in all of it’s intricate detail.

This project was a real challenge due to the scale of it - short films often have one or two tricky elements, but this one seemed to combine all of them. With a fully built studio set, special effects, child actors and a desire to deliver at the best possible quality it required everyone involved to work at the to of their game, and we are grateful that they did.

Filmmaking is a collaborative process and its been a real pleasure to work with such a talented bunch of people who have given energy, time and creativity to this project. This film would not be what it is without them.

 

The Music of Judgment Tavern

by Vanessa - 3 Nov 2015

Judgment Tavern is a NZFC-funded Premiere Short, telling the story of a young girl carrying her father's living head as they search for his body. The score was composed by Tane Upjohn-Beatson, and this video is about how Tane worked to provide the emotional punch that the film depends on.

Judgment Tavern - The VFX

by Vanessa - 3 Nov 2015

Creating a Medieval World

Judgment Tavern was VFX supervised by John Strang and his team from Dusk. There was some complex camera moves and blending of shots that kept them on their toes when it came to compositing. Overall there were around 50 vfx shots as well as the intro title graphic that they designed and animated. Watch this video to see how they did it.

How do you make a headless body and a bodyless head?

This is the main premise of our short film project - Judgment Tavern. We are lucky that film making is a collaborative process and we have genuises on board like Luke Hawker making the head cast and John Strang and his team from Dusk on VFX.

The head cast of our main actor Richard Falkner by Luke Hawker.