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Husband and wife team co-direct The Changeover Stuart and Miranda Harcourt
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read Margaret Mahy’s supernatural teen thriller, The Changeover, for the radio the year after it was first published in 1984and fell in love with the story. Margaret is the godmother of the young adult or YA genre and authors such as Stephenie Meyer of the Twilight series are grateful for her pioneering efforts.” Co-director Miranda Harcourt shares with excitement in her voice. “Stuart read the book as well and we both knew that one day we wanted to adapt the novel for the big screen. Six years ago, we secured the rights and we have now nearly completed our goal. The film preview screenings have shown we achieved our desire of creating goosebumps, tension and a quest for the audience to think about supernatural possibilities.” Harcourt added. “This novel has inspired so many young
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adult writers. Margaret was a leader in the teen genre, especially with this award winning book, The Changeover. It broke barriers and was a first to showcase a female teen lead with Polynesian ancestry, as Margaret puts it. This character Laura Chant is a trailblazer. A protagonist who moves the story along and we have had an overwhelmingly positive response from the screenings, which are being embraced by audience and cinema goers across the country.” “This is the first time Miranda and I have directed together after all these years of working together, but we felt compelled to share this project. We wanted to make a film with the backdrop of where I grew up. Besides, we work very well together and can read each other. The cast and crew felt confident there would be no disagreements
or dissension on the set. There wasn’t and we didn’t have any major concerns off the set, either. We shared our vision and know each other so well that we can always communicate and make it work. We know our strengths and expertise. We complement each other. It made for a full experience.” Stuart added. Stuart McKenzie, who grew up in Bishopdale where Margaret set her story, adapted the screenplay from the multi award winning novel by the loved and admired Canterbury author. “Christchurch is a main character in the film, with its unique vibe and provides a valuable backdrop for seismic shifts in the characters evolution. Coming home to film in the city that I love was classic.”
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