Posts Tagged ‘films’

“These are stories that plead to be films!” That’s Amazon Hall of Fame Top 100 reviewer Grady Harp’s assessment of the four epic novels in our FOUR HISTORICAL ADVENTURES box set.

Box set includes White Spirit, Into the Americas, World Odyssey and Fiji: A Novel.

Totalling 2935 pages, the novels include:

White Spirit (A novel based on a true story)

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)

World Odyssey (The World Duology, Book 1)

Fiji: A Novel (The World Duology, Book 2)

The above novels are all critically acclaimed and all available via Amazon as paperbacks and Kindle ebooks.

FOUR HISTORICAL ADVENTURES (White Spirit, Into the Americas, World Odyssey, Fiji: A Novel) has a 4.5 star review rating on Amazon. You can check out the reviews at:

Producer enquiries regarding any or all these potential period films are most welcome!

Meantime do check out James’ behind-the-scenes clip of his directing debut movie Anno 2020 adapted from his recent release novel of the same name…



Suva-based Film Fiji has confirmed in writing its commitment to support Morcan Motion Pictures in our efforts to adapt our historical adventure novel Fiji and develop it as a feature film. We welcome enquires from experienced producers interested in spearheading this production.

Fiji A Novel cover image

Set in 19th Century Fiji, the film will be based on our book Fiji: A Novel (The World Duology, #2), a spellbinding tale of adventure, cultural misunderstandings, religious conflict and sexual tension in one of the most exotic and isolated places on earth.

Since its publication as a trade paperback and Kindle ebook by New Zealand publisher Sterling Gate Books in 2011, Fiji has been a regular visitor to Amazon’s bestseller lists. With the strong themes of love running through what is essentially a fast-moving and sometimes violent adventure story, it appeals equally to males and females.

In June 2014, Fiji was selected by the prestigious international travel site as one of the ‘Top 10 Books to Read While Traveling’ –


Fiji: A Novel (The World Duology, #2) is available via Amazon as a trade paperback or Kindle ebook:


The storyline:

In the mid-1800’s, Fiji was a melting pot of cannibals, warring native tribes, sailors, traders, prostitutes, escaped convicts and all manner of foreign undesirables. It’s in this hostile environment that an innocent young Englishwoman and a worldly American adventurer find themselves. Despite their differences, there’s an undeniable chemistry between them. When their lives are suddenly endangered by marauding cannibals, they are forced to rely on each other for their very survival.


Book reviews:

Amazon reviewers have resonated with Fiji: A Novel. Here’s a sample of reviews:

★★★★★ Once I got into it, I was hooked.-The Kindle Book Review

★★★★★ “I finished this book a week ago, and the memory of Susannah and Nathan’s experiences in Fiji are still fresh in my mind. If you’re a fan of adventure, history, even romance, you’ll want to pick up a copy of Fiji: A Novel and brace yourself for the ride. It’s an intense story that will have you turning the pages long into the night.” –Susan M. Heim, author and editor of the bestselling ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series.

★★★★★ A new voice in historical romance.” -Beverly J.Rowe

★★★★★ “As a Fijian, I find the old traditions of our people fascinating and just as great as they are crude and gruesome. The novel touches on most of these now extinct practices, in mad detail and it’s AWESOME! … Racial prejudice, religion, culture and family were the underlying messages … The adventure, fast-paced and nail biting … The romance, sizzling, exciting, forbidden … I give it 5 stars because that’s the maximum amount of stars we’re allowed to give.” -Random Writings Book Reviews (Suva, Fiji).

★★★★★ A bit of everything – sex, violence, humor, historic detail & plenty of twists.–‘Great Historicals’


Fiji film adaptation:

We wrote the novel and hold the film rights, and we have put Fiji into development through our production company Morcan Motion Pictures. Our producing role will likely be Executive Producers or similar with more experienced producers spearheading the production.

We plan to write a first draft screenplay adaptation of Fiji. This will be done under the director’s guidance according to his or her vision for the film. Meanwhile, the novel remains the best representation of the story. Obviously, a honed screenplay will be required before approaching any of the major studios.



In Fiji all things are paid in blood.



Historical | Action-Adventure | Romance



US$25 million.


IMDbPro listing:



To be confirmed. (Will be an A-List director with an impressive track record and with experience in studio features).


The shoot:

Eight weeks for Principal Photography.



Shooting locations:

Viti Levu, Fiji

Levuka, Ovalau Island, Fiji


Cast to be confirmed:

These actors are likely candidates for the following roles:

Nathan Johnson – Leonardo DiCaprio, Liam Hemsworth, Matt Damon, Channing Tatum

Susannah Drake – Scarlett Johansson, Keira Knightley, Kate Beckinsale

Brian Drake – Sam Neill, Tom Wilkinson, Brian Cox, Russell Crowe

Joeli – Cliff Curtis (Once Were Warriors)

Most of the other roles will be played by indigenous Fijian actors.


Projected Box Office Returns:

With a reasonable US$25M budget, Fiji the film has strong worldwide commercial potential. This feature is very much designed for a mainstream release and is in no way an arthouse or niche film.

Comparing similar period films in terms of themes and/or budgets – including The Passion, Dances with Wolves, Braveheart, Apocalypto, Last of the Mohicans – projected Box Office returns for Fiji have been estimated at US$208M. (This figure is for worldwide theatrical sales only and does not include DVD/TV sales).


Executive summary:

The uniqueness of Fiji the feature film will give it every chance of success. There have been very few films set in Fiji – Tom Hanks’ Cast Away and Vince Vaughn’s Couples Retreat being two notable recent exceptions.

Major tax exemptions and rebates are offered to foreign filmmakers filming in Fiji. (See below).

It’s our intention to approach the Fijian Tourism Board to ask them to consider advertising in conjunction with the film’s release – just as the Australian Tourism Board got behind the Nicole Kidman/Hugh Jackman movie Australia.

Because the film’s title is also the name of a country, there is a commercial opportunity to work in with the Fijian Government and thereby increase awareness of the film as well as Fiji as a destination. Working in with the Fijian Tourism Board, there is the potential for various promotions. (e.g. Everybody who buys a ticket to the movie is entered into a draw to win a trip to Fiji). This could be advertised on movie posters as well as the front cover of Fiji: A Novel. Obviously, basing a film on a bestselling novel provides added value.




Fiji tax exemptions and rebates for filmmakers

There are four main streams of audiovisual tax incentives offered by the Fiji Government and administered by Film Fiji in collaboration with the Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority (FRCA). These are detailed in the Sixth Schedule of the Income Tax Act as amended (‘Sixth Schedule’) which is available for download.

Briefly, the film incentives are as follows:

The Film Making Incentive- Part II of the 6th Schedule of the Income Tax Act- is available to non-resident film companies only. The film company applies to Film Fiji for a reduced rate or total exemption of tax on the income of its employees who a non-residents and who are in Fiji for the purpose of conducting a film or television production.

The F1/F2 Incentive are two streams of the same incentive. Both streams allow you (as a producer) to raise half of your production budget from Fiji investors. The Fiji Government incentivizes Fiji investors to invest in half (i.e. 46.5%) of the production budget for your film by offering them a tax deduction of 150 percent (for F1 Incentive) or 125 percent (for F2 Incentive). To qualify for F1, at least 50 percent of the running time of the end product film must show Fiji as Fiji. For F2, there is no requirement to show Fiji as Fiji.

Film Tax Rebate is a cash subsidy offered to fully funded productions that come to Fiji to film. The rebate is 47% of the Qualifying Fiji Production Expenditure (QFPE). The rebate is paid by the Fiji Government after a production is complete.

There are some fundamental rebate requirements, including: The Production Company must have a minimum Qualifying Fiji Production Expenditure of F$250,000 in Fiji; The film must not be culturally derogative in its portrayal of Fiji; The Production Company must ensure that the total productions budget is deposited in a Fiji bank account before production commences in Fiji; The Production Company must engage the services of Fiji citizens in the movie production; The Rebate will only be payable upon release of the film. The conditions for the release of the film are that the film is released in at least three other Countries; and the film is released in a prominent and internationally recognized cinema.

Full details of the filmmakers’ rebates are available at Film Fiji’s website at:


Enquiries welcome:

We welcome expressions of interest from experienced producers interested in the Lead Producer role on this film and also from A-List directors interested in helming this production.


Product Details


——————— Morcan Motion Pictures ——————— 

Our British thriller movie SILENT FEAR, to be shot in London in 2015, features this week in IF Magazine, the Down Under film industry chronicle. It highlights the recent attachment of Australian director Antony J. Bowman to helm the production.

Antony J. Bowman's primary photo

Director Antony J. Bowman

The article, by IF Magazine columnist Don Groves, follows (unabridged):


Aussie director attached to London-set thriller

[Fri 18/07/2014 4:32 PM]

By Don Groves

Antony J. Bowman is attached to direct Silent Fear, a London-set thriller which will star Kevin Sorbo.

It’s the first feature from New Zealand producers Ronel Schodt, managing director of Shotz Productions, and Brent Macpherson of Stretch Productions, through their Stretch Motion Pictures.

In an unusual twist, the female protagonist is fluent in sign language, and Macpherson is a Deaf director.

The plot revolves around Valerie Crowther (yet to be cast), a Scotland Yard detective whose mother was Deaf. Valerie is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at London’s Wandsworth University, a learning institution for the Deaf.

Sorbo will play Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Bennett, who is her ex-husband, meaning they have a difficult working relationship. Valerie’s arrival at Wandsworth University coincides with the death of a student from a deadly flu virus as the government closes the borders to prevent the entry of the virus which has caused tens of thousands of deaths elsewhere.

The screenplay is by Kiwi-born, Sydney-based writer/actor James Morcan and his father Lance Morcan. James Morcan suggested the producers hire Bowman, who directed Paperback Hero and now works in the US and UK.

His most recent feature was Almost Broadway, a drama about a group of struggling actors in New York who capitalise on their friend’s unexpected possession of an incriminating sex tape, which starred Cameron Daddo, Ella Bowman, Bernard Curry, Taryn Manning, Dov Davidoff and Currie Graham.

“Brent and I have been working together now for over a year producing promotional and commercials for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities,” said Schodt, who has two short films, Dog on Duty and Pigeons, screening at the New Zealand Festival.

“I believe that with the insight of having a Deaf director working with Ant Bowman in creating our claustrophobic world when the University for the Deaf is cut off from the rest of the world through the killer virus, we will have a unique film.

“I read up about Ant, had a couple of Skype calls and really made a connection. Brent went over to LA to meet him and also connected, hence his attachment.”

Script editor Tanya Wheeler is giving the screenplay a polish, and the producers hope to put the finance package together in the next six months.

“We would like to be filming end of 2015 in London. However there is always a possibility to shoot the film in New Zealand, now that we have our own attractive tax incentives,” she says.

“Once our script is finalised then we are 100% in search of Valerie, which will have to be an experienced lead actress to fill Valerie’s shoes, as well as learning sign language.”

Sorbo has worked steadily since his breakthrough in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. One of his recent films, low-budget, faith-based drama God’s Not Dead, has grossed more than $60 million in the US.


The SILENT FEAR screenplay was inspired by the murders of two deaf students at America’s prestigious Gallaudet University for the Deaf, in Washington. A report on the original crimes is detailed in our earlier blog at:

Gallaudet University (above). Gallaudet students sign in class (below).

And here’s our teaser trailer for SILENT FEAR:




De Niro (left) and Stallone put the gloves back on in ‘Grudge Match.’
Warner Bros’ GRUDGE MATCH, starring Stallone and De Niro as a pair of aging boxing rivals coaxed out of retirement, looks like a real hoot if the trailer’s anything to go by.
Also starring Kevin Hart, Kim Basinger and Alan Arkin, the Peter Segal helmed GRUDGE MATCH will hit theatres on December 25 – a timely Christmas present for all those ROCKY fans.
This comedy drama’s storyline revolves around retired boxers Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (De Niro) and Henry “Razor” Sharp (Stallone), lifelong bitter rivals who are coaxed out of retirement and into the ring for one final grudge match 30 years after their last title fight.
ROCKY vs RAGING BULL one industry commentator called it. Whatever…I predict it will be a hit.
The GRUDGE MATCH trailer is good for a laugh… 

Our British thriller feature film SILENT FEAR was inspired by the murders of two deaf students at America’s prestigious Gallaudet University for the Deaf, in Washington, some 13 years ago.

Gallaudet University

It was a case that gripped America from the time of the first murder, in September 2000, until an arrest was made following the second murder some five months later. Washington Metropolitan Police didn’t know if it was an ‘inside job’ and for a time nearly everyone connected to Gallaudet was under suspicion.

Signing in class at Gallaudet

A copy of a 2001 CNN report on the murder investigation follows:

Suspect arrested in Gallaudet murders

February 13, 2001

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A suspect has been arrested in connection with the murders of two students at Gallaudet University, police said Tuesday.

Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey said 20-year old Joseph Mesa, a freshman at the university for the deaf, was charged with two counts of felony murder for the deaths of Benjamin Varner, 19, whose body was found February 3, and Eric Plunkett, also 19, who was killed in September.

Ramsey said the motive for the murders was robbery.

“We have sufficient evidence to charge him with two counts of felony murder,” Ramsey said.

Mesa will be arraigned Wednesday in District of Columbia Superior Court.

Varner, of San Antonio, Texas, died of multiple stab wounds to his face and body. Plunkett, of Burnsville, Minnesota, was beaten to death. He suffered from cerebral palsy.

Dr. I. King Jordan, president of Gallaudet, said there is a sense of relief that the suspected killer has been caught.

“At the same time, there’s a real sense of sadness that the individual who is said to be responsible for this is from our community,” Jordan said.

Both students were killed in Cogswell Hall, which will remain closed for the remainder of the semester, university officials said. Mesa lived in the dorm next to Cogswell Hall.

Another killing occurred at Gallaudet in 1981, when a male student stabbed his boyfriend to death after a heated argument. The murderer was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Gallaudet, was founded partly by President Abraham Lincoln nearly 140 years ago.

When first heard about the murders, it inspired us to write the SILENT FEAR screenplay. We found the idea of a serial killer at large in a university for the Deaf chilling and we immediately recognized it was high concept and tailor-made for gripping cinematic viewing.

While SILENT FEAR could be set just about anywhere in the civilized world, we’ve chosen to set it in London. In the London borough of South Kensington to be exact. We believe the thriller genre suits London and this story has a very British feel to it. That said, we are confident it will appeal to audiences worldwide – both normal hearing and Deaf audiences.

Here’s the SILENT FEAR premise in brief:

Scotland Yard detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at London’s Wandsworth University for the Deaf. Her investigation coincides with a student contracting a deadly flu virus, which results in the university being sealed off from the outside world. When more deaf students are murdered, it’s clearly the work of a serial killer. The stakes rise when Valerie becomes the killer’s next target and the deadly virus claims more lives.

Here’s our teaser trailer for SILENT FEAR:

New Zealand producers Brent Macpherson, of Stretch Productions, and Ronel Schodt, of Shotz Productions, aim to shoot SILENT FEAR on location in London as a likely 3D production in 2014. They welcome expressions of interest from experienced British producers interested in collaborating on this highly commercial feature film project as well as from A-List directors interested in helming it.




Here’s our teaser trailer for SILENT FEAR:

When you can’t hear……death comes silently.

Scotland Yard detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at London’s Wandsworth University for the Deaf. Her investigation coincides with a student contracting a deadly flu virus, which results in the university being sealed off from the outside world. When more deaf students are murdered, it’s clearly the work of a serial killer. The stakes rise when Valerie becomes the killer’s next target and the deadly virus claims more lives.

The video teaser above is a re-enactment of the first brutal murder.

Inspired by the murders of two deaf students at America’s Gallaudet University for the Deaf in the early 2000’s, SILENT FEAR is a chilling, claustrophobic thriller set in London. The screenplay is by Lance & James Morcan, of Morcan Motion Pictures.

New Zealand producers Brent Macpherson, of Stretch Productions, and Ronel Schodt, of Shotz Productions, are aiming to shoot SILENT FEAR on location in London as a likely 3D production in 2014.

The producers welcome expressions of interest from experienced British producers interested in collaborating on this highly commercial feature film project as well as A-List directors.


For our ‘Shameless Marketing’ post of the month, we’d like to invite all Tweeters (Twits?) to follow us on Twitter.

Our Twitter ID is: @SterlingGate (named after our publishing co., Sterling Gate Books).

Here’s samples of our latest Tweets posted today:

Sterling Gate Books‏@SterlingGate

Historical adventure Fiji: A Novel has lust & violence befitting of the era. …#FijiTimes #Fiji #Amazon #kindle #Suva

Sterling Gate Books‏@SterlingGate

Coming-of-age spy thriller novel The Orphan Factory is one of the highest rated books on Goodreads …#weblit

Sterling Gate Books‏@SterlingGate

The Best Trilogies/Book Series ever as voted by Goodreads members …#GoodReads #books #Listopia

Sterling Gate Books‏@SterlingGate

The Best Conspiracy Novels ever written as voted by Goodreads members …#Goodreads #conspiracytheories #books

Sterling Gate Books‏@SterlingGate

Best violent action novels…Books that have a whole lot of bloody good action! …#novels #books #goodreads

Sterling Gate Books‏@SterlingGate

Best Action-Adventure Books as voted by Goodreads members books …


Feel free to join us on Twitter -Lance & James @SterlingGate



NZ actor in Bollywood films

Two quirky romantic comedies explore Hinduism, Christianity and multiculturalism.       Wednesday, 6 March, 2013 – 15:59
James Morcan.

James Morcan

Hot off two soon-to-be released Indian-Australian feature films, New Zealand actor James Morcan is looking forward to a well-deserved break.

Not only did Morcan play starring roles in Love You Krishna and My Cornerstone, he also wrote the screenplays which incorporated English and Hindi.

Both films were produced and directed by Indian-Aussie filmmaker Stanley Joseph, of World Pictures Australia, and were inspired by many of Joseph’s own experiences as an Indian migrant in Australia.

They are quirky romantic comedies exploring Hinduism, Christianity and multiculturalism.

In Peter Jackson style, the films were shot simultaneously – a decision which Morcan says nearly broke the production team. “Shooting two movies at once is an extremely rare undertaking and everybody in our incredibly talented crew was stretched to the limit. To be honest, we almost bit off more than we could chew,” says Morcan.

“I probably only averaged three or four hours sleep a night over the last few months,” Morcan (34) says from his residence in Sydney, Australia. “There was literally no time to think. But in a strange way that’s kind of freeing for an actor as you don’t get too cerebral about the process.”

Morcan was actively involved in every single scene of the shoot, working in front of and behind the camera, and wearing multiple hats. “That sort of on-set involvement was tough but necessary to complete the mammoth task. And I learnt so much about the nuts and bolts of filmmaking. In fact, it was like going to film school.”

As for his roles in the films, Morcan is remaining tight-lipped. “Let’s just say I play an enigmatic role in both stories. Other than that I cannot say too much about my characters as they involve big twists in each film. If I mentioned who I actually play in either movie, it would ruin the surprise for the audience.”

Morcan’s previous films have screened at cinemas in Italy, Australia and France. His career highlights include roles in the Australian independent feature film The Pawn and acting alongside Russell Crowe in Ben Hur: The Stadium Spectacular, at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium. He was also executive producer of the recently released New Zealand feature film Desired, which premiered at Cannes Marche du Film in France.

Aside from his film work, Morcan is also a novelist and co-writes with his Bay of Plenty-based father Lance Morcan. The pair have written four published books including the controversial thriller series The Orphan Trilogy and the historical adventure Fiji: A Novel. Their production company, Morcan Motion Pictures, is also developing feature film adaptations of the novels.

Love You Krishna and My Cornerstone were shot in Mumbai, India and NSW, Australia and are currently in post-production. They are expected to be released internationally later this year.

-For full article go to:


I just finished filming OZ-Bollywood feature films MY CORNERSTONE and LOVE YOU KRISHNA, which I wrote the screenplays for and acted lead roles in. We filmed both features simultaneously. It was a massive job and sleep has been at a premium of late! We just finished the Indian leg of the shoot in Mumbai after filming for two months before that here in Sydney. -James

James on the set of LOVE YOU KRISHNA.


Here are the IMDb links for both films:



More news about these two films to follow!




I am currently filming two new feature films which I wrote the screenplays for and am acting lead roles in. Both are OZ-Bollywood productions filming in Australia and India. Filming started in late November and is scheduled to wrap late January.

Here are the IMDb links:

Happy New Year,

James Morcan