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Pitching: Stephen Campbell (writer, director, showrunner)

The Cove
Haunted by visions of her recently deceased father, 16-year-old Amy Myers is forced to move to a dilapidated seaside resort known as The Cove, after her mother accepts a position as the community doctor.

Infested with glassy-eyed old folk, The Cove is the last place on the planet Amy wants to spend her summer, let alone her teenage years. However, she begins to suspect there’s more to the place after its elderly residents begin to drop dead from a mystery illness, only to rise again, cast aside their zimmer frames and start preying on the living.

“There’s no mystery here,” announces Mannix, a local kid with an encyclopaedic knowledge of The Cove’s dark history. “They’re goddamn vampires.”

After her mother falls ill, Amy begins to fear there’s truth in Mannix’s wild claims. As her mother’s condition rapidly deteriorates, Amy sets out to unearth the ancient evil responsible and destroy it, before her mum and the rest of the town join the ranks of the ‘undead’.

The Cove is a dark spin on the nostalgic family summer vacation, set in a rundown, sinister beach resort town. It is a blend of strong character-driven drama, humour and spine-chilling suspense. It pays homage to the classic horror movies of the 1980s: The Lost Boys, Fright Night and Nightmare on Elm Street.

Supporting materials:
Pilot Script

Project information:
Genre: Supernatural thriller
Format: 6x60’ television drama series
Writer, director, showrunner: Stephen J Campbell
Planned shooting start: There are no specific shoot dates as yet, but we would look at setting aside a further six to 10 months for script development with the intention of shooting during the New Zealand summer (October-April).
Shooting location: New Zealand
Language: English
Total budget: Approximately US$10m-12m
Budget per episode: US$1.6m-2m (estimate based on NZ production costs and using unknown actors)
Financing already in place: To date The Cove has received NZ$24,000 script development funding from New Zealand on Air, New Zealand’s public media funding agency.

What you are looking for from the US and/or international business:
International coproduction partners, production funding and distribution. Moving forward, the plan would be to secure support from a New Zealand network/platform that will make the show eligible for production funding from NZ on Air as well as the New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG).

Company profile:
Stephen Campbell is a New Zealand television producer, writer and director with over 30 years experience in the industry. In 2003, he set up Amaru Road as a brand, under which to create original and engaging stories for a wide range of audiences and their screens. Over the past 15 years, Stephen has created three separate award-winning drama series that have proven hugely popular with young-adult audiences.

His latest drama, The Cul de Sac, is a sci-fi thriller set in a post-apocalyptic world where teens are forced to survive without adults or any form of tech. The Cul de Sac has been well received critically and quickly became a cult hit with Kiwi audiences of all ages. It has sold internationally to buyers including the BBC and at the 2019 Asian Creative Academy Awards it was awarded Best Children’s Programme.

Stephen is currently working on a slate of exciting new projects under the Amaru Road umbrella and is always open to talking with potential production partners.

Amaru Road
Email: [email protected]