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Hybrid Motion Pictures presents debut feature film "Jake"

Media Release

For immediate release

Hybrid Motion Pictures presents


Written and directed by Doug Dillaman

A group of young filmmakers, whose debut feature JAKE is set to screen in Auckland, highlight how hard it is for independents to bring their work to fruition: “But after six years graft, we’ve done it!”

“Four stars! Imaginative and endlessly witty” – Sarah Watt, SUNDAY STAR-TIMES

“The smartest bit of lo-fi, hi-IQ science fiction NZ has produced since ever.” – David Larsen, THE LISTENER

The creative team behind Auckland-based filmmakers Hybrid Motion Pictures’ black-comedy thriller JAKE, debuting in June, say it’s a miracle their movie is finally reaching the big screen.

The 2013 48Hours Peter Jackson Wild Card winners shot the film over 23 days. But, start to finish, the making took the group of frequently-broke friends upwards of six years. Founded in 2008, the small team of passionate filmmakers dedicated long hours after-work and on weekends to the project.

With an unconventional script written by director Doug Dillaman, the team decided that rather than spend years waiting for development money, they should take the plunge and self-fund so that they could realise their lifetime dream of making a feature film. Producer Alastair Tye-Samson says what resulted was years of self-doubt, exhaustion and poverty.

“It’s cost us less than $100,000 to make, which is a pittance in film terms, but it’s been our life savings. It’s been a hell of a stretch – my mum even had to come on board to feed the cast and crew during shooting.

“It’s a miracle we’ve got this far. It’s highlighted how incredibly hard it is these days for small, independent filmmakers to get anything off the ground.”

Producer and Casting Director Anoushka Klaus says it wasn’t always easy: “Through our networking we got hold of some amazing actors, but we couldn’t afford to pay them. We sort of spun a line that we would pay them if and when the film made a profit, so we really need Auckland to get behind us!”

“After all the years and hard work, the Auckland release on June 27 makes everything worthwhile.” Tye-Samson says. JAKE has already been lauded by advance critics for its clever and unusual script, its production values and its performances.

Dillaman says the film business looks for safe products that tick a checklist. "Horror, sci-fi, rom-coms, historical dramas - films with traditional audiences.

"We've made an unconventional film that plays with the viewers’ expectations. It may not be as easy to file in the video store, but hopefully, it's all the more satisfying for it.

"When I go to a film, I want to laugh, I want to think and I want to be surprised. And I reckon we've made a film that does all those things."

JAKE will have limited sessions from June 27 at Academy Cinemas, 44 Lorne St, Auckland CBD.

Film and cast details overleaf


The story of Jacob, a man whose life is stolen when he is inexplicably recast by a shadowy agency. When the actor who takes his place rekindles a long lost love, Jacob will do whatever it takes to fight for the role of his life.


Jacob is a dreamer whose life has slowly faded into a nightmare. He’s overworked, underappreciated, henpecked by his parents and paralysed by memories of a lost love. He could take control of his life and turn things around… but he hasn’t.

One day, Jacob is recast by a mysterious agency known as The Forge. Now, a fresh, more dynamic actor will be playing the part of “Jake” leaving Jacob to start a new life from scratch.

With help from an electro-shock anklet, Jacob begins his new life while “Jake” takes over his role with aplomb, charming everyone in Jacob’s life as they accept this improved Jacob without question.

But when Jake decides to reunite with Jacob’s lost love Violet, Jacob realises there’s no life he’d rather have than his own. With Jake unwilling to give up his dream part, the fight between Jake and Jacob for the role of a lifetime won’t end without blood being spilled…

Jason Fitch as Jacob

Jason graduated Unitec School of Performing Arts in 2000 and has since been involved in numerous film, television and theatre productions. Among his credits are THE LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING, SHORTLAND STREET, LIVING THE DREAM, OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE and STREET LEGAL.

“I fell in love with JAKE the first time I read it. It's not often you read a script and you actually have an instant connection to the story, but that’s what I found with JAKE. The underlying moral in the story that ‘You always want what you can't have, and when you get it, you find that it wasn’t what you thought it would be’, that struck a chord.” –Jason Fitch, “Jacob”

Leighton Cardno as Jake

Leightongraduated Unitec School of Performing Arts in 1999 and immediatelylanded the title role in the Auckland Theatre Company's production of THE CRIPPLE OF INNISHMAAN and, later, SERIAL KILLERS. Soon, Leighton was cast in core roles in two very different TV shows -the Emmy-nominated BEING EVE and SHORTLAND STREET, where he worked for several years playing two different roles at the same time. He was later cast in Canada’s DA VINCI’S INQUEST. After several years in North America he returned home to work on UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS, SEA PATROL, POWER RANGERS and gained a cult following as the quirky journalist Leo in GO GIRLS.

“Originally I was drawn to JAKE because of the unusual concept -the idea that you could see your life being played out by a complete stranger right in front of your eyes seemed bold, challenging, and ultimately engaging. The story is unique and is certainly not something that I’ve come across during my travels as a young actor. I knew from the moment that I read the script that I wanted to be involved with the project because it’s a really cool story that resonates on many levels and makes you think beyond the normal confines of life.” –Leighton Cardno, “Jake”

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