Bain mini-series step closer

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Scouting locations . . . Abacus Multimedia producer Paul Dobson (left), of Sydney, is filmed by freelance cinematographer Luke Bremner, of Dunedin, outside the old Dunedin Prison in July last year. PHOTO: ODT FILES

The script for a mini-series about the Bain family murders is complete and the search for actors and a Dunedin house to burn to the ground has begun.

Abacus Multimedia co-owner and producer Paul Dobson, of Sydney, said a script for the mini-series had been given to TVNZ for consideration.

“We’re open to any channel broadcasting it. We just want it made in 2018. One of our options is to co-ordinate production ourselves in partnership with others.”

Abacus Multimedia planned to film indoor scenes requiring sets, such as scenes inside the Bain family home and the old Dunedin Prison, at Avalon Studios in Lower Hutt.

All exterior shots would be filmed in Dunedin, including when the Bain family home was set on fire after the murders.

The search was on for a house in Dunedin which looked similar to the Bain family home, “to burn down or appear to burn down”, Mr Dobson said.

Several actors had approached Abacus Multimedia to play roles including Melbourne-based New Zealander Cyril Meyer, who had a “remarkable resemblance” to David Bain, Mr Dobson said.

No-one had been cast for the mini-series yet, he said.

The script, including its supporting notes and documents, ran to more than 2000 pages.

Every part of the script was “easily defensible from a legal viewpoint” and the killer could not be identified, he said.

Four script editors – two in Australia, one in the United Kingdom and one in New Zealand – had been consulted on the script.

About 80% of the scenes were based on fact and the rest was based on “likely events”, which could no longer be determined, he said.

In the script, David Bain’s fondness for hand-knitted jerseys was “emphasised for entertainment purposes”, he said.

Music also featured heavily in the script, including David Bain being a member of the Royal Dunedin Male Choir and rehearsing for a musical play at the time of the murders.

“We received conflicting opinions about David Bain’s musical talents, so for entertainment purposes, we decided he was a good singer and there are two scenes where he sings.”

A title for the three-part television mini-series was pending, the two contenders being Murder on Every Street and 65 Every Street.

 

BACKGROUND

Robin and Margaret Bain and three of their four children – Arawa, Laniet and Stephen – were shot and killed in their Every St, Dunedin, home in 1994.

The only suspects were David Bain, the oldest son and only survivor, and his father.

David, then aged 22, was charged with five counts of murder.

In May 1995, he was convicted on each of the five counts and sentenced to life in prison.

Bain’s legal team successfully appealed to the Privy Council and he was released on bail in 2007.

The retrial in 2009 ended with his acquittal on all charges.