Tinsel Town Dreams for Dubai
Tinsel Town Dreams for Dubai
Dubai-based producer issues casting call for parts in new movie
based on expat life in the city
Dubai-based movie producer Craig Johnson has issued a casting call for parts in his first regional film Expats – a movie based on expatriate life in Dubai. The movie, Dubai’s first home-grown full-length English-language production is scheduled to start filming in mid-September and expected to hit the screens by the end of the year.
The auditions, to be held on 29th and 30th August from 9am till 3pm at The Radisson SAS Media City, includes three major parts - a European male, an Indian male and an Indian female – all aged 27-35 along with a variety of minor-roles for various nationalities including Emiratis.
Johnson who also wrote the script of the movie said “It used to be the American dream but now it’s the Arabian dream that modern day emigrants seem to be chasing. The Arabian empire is definitely on the rise with Dubai at the heart of it and Expats is the story of some of those people who leave their native countries and everything they know to come and try to take advantage of the opportunities that a growing empire brings.”
Johnson who has been living in the city since mid-2003 tried to explore the myth behind the Dubai-dream and the multiple realities that expats in the city face through the intertwined story of three immigrant families who land in Dubai from different parts of the world seeking wealth and a brighter future.
Johnson who previously wrote Repping , a feature length screenplay which was purchased by Hollywood-based Supreme Media Group in late 2007, experienced dissatisfaction at the tampering of his script by the studio to fit a Hollywood mould. “By giving away control of my creation, it felt like the script was losing sight of the original story line I envisioned. From that point on I decided to produce all my future screenplays and remain in total control of the translation of my material from page to celluloid. Expats is solely my creation and has been copyrighted in Dubai. I am very proud that I am making a movie that I think a lot of people across the many cultures living here will identify with.”
For Expats, Johnson decided to go completely local and his production company McMahon Johnson Films is drafting skilled technical talent from UAE for the movie. Interested actors can register to have their shot at fame by sending in their portfolio, including vital stats, nationality, picture and age, to firstname.lastname@example.org wherein they will be given a date and time slot for the audition.
McMahon-Johnson is also inviting investors to become involved in the project by making available ten shares for purchase at two hundred and fifty thousand dirhams each to foot the movies AED 2.5 million production budget. “Dubai has so much potential in nurturing a film industry – the variety and the range of talent in this city is promising and the potential profits staggering. For the canny businessman it could be an investment with returns that can rival and exceed real estate.”
Prior to living in Dubai, Craig wrote comedy material and screenplays and his comedy writing saw him become a nationally televised stand-up comic in his native New Zealand. His previous script Repping was is scheduled for production in 2009.