Written by Ryan Unicomb (Co-writer/Co-Director/Co-Producer):
So as you know we’re deep into post-‐production on Gifted, our short superhero drama film starring David Breen, Rachel Gobel & Cameron Robbie that wrapped production about 5 months ago. We’re around 85% through it all now; the film just has some small adjustments to be made and then it’s off to be colour graded. That’s the final step. It’s been a very long journey that was sometimes extremely testing.
I’ll be upfront from the start and tell you it has not been easy. Collaborating with a group of filmmakers that all have other jobs (to support themselves) has been Gifted’s greatest challenge. If you’re coming in to the Australian Film Industry you should expect to be set back by stuff like that. When you’re dealing with visual effects and completely original music like we were on Gifted; that can take a really long time and that wasn’t something we had really scheduled for. Lesson learnt. We know for next time.
We’ve worked through it all now though and the film is set for completion by the end of September. We’re extremely excited to show everyone what our little rag tag team has made. We did have some great helping (and experienced) hands in the way of Keir Beck, Steven Caldwell & Jasin Baird but for majority of the crew (myself included) this was our biggest undertaking as artists, so to see it (somewhat) finished is an incredibly proud moment for all of us who worked tirelessly for a year or so to get it up off the ground and made.
We’re planning to take the completed short to Cannes next year to kind of show people what we can do. There’s some interest in us from overseas already so I’m really pumped by the prospect of heading back to Cannes (I went in 2013) to exhibit more of our work.
Looking ahead now, we’ve had major developments on what we’re up now that Gifted is somewhat completed. Our next project (which we’re calling ‘CHASED’ for now) is another short film that we’re looking to film late 2014/ early 2015. The original plan for us was to finish Gifted and go straight on to our debut feature film, WAYPOINT; However while putting the finishing touches on Gifted I was inspired to tell one last short form story.
At a certain stage in post Production, Gifted kind of went out of our (Jordan Bailey and myself) hands so we had some free time to start brainstorming ideas for what to do next or new ideas to incorporate into a fresh draft of our feature script WAYPOINT. We landed on the idea of a road movie and it kind of evolved from there.
Chased is very different in tone to anything we’ve ever done previously. With Gifted we went for a heightened reality, a world full of impossibilities. Chased is on the opposite end of the spectrum. We want to tell a really grounded story that quite frankly could have happened.
The synopsis is as follows: “Set against the harsh dystopian outback of New Holland; a gaol country housing all of the world’s criminals as they work off their crimes against the Global United Government; ‘Chased’ follows the thrilling story of four second generation ‘cons’ and their desperate attempt to escape a life of unwarranted slavery and imprisonment.” It’s kind of a Mad Max/The Fugitive hybrid. I wanted the seemingly endlessness of Australia’s outback to really represent the characters hopelessness in their journey. We’re excited to get this one up and running.
We’ve approached a few actors we’re really interested in working with already, a few from overseas and so far we’ve already cast two major roles. Millie Tizzard – A well-‐known Aussie singer songwriter/Actress was someone we met during the audition process for Gifted. She’s extraordinarily talented and jumped at the chance to work with us so I am extremely excited to have that opportunity. We’re really happy to have her on board.
Charlotte Hoffman – Another musician/actress. Charlotte we worked with previously on a short film we made a while back called Pavlomance. Her timing and performance in that film was incredible and I’ve been looking for a way to work with her again for quite some time. She is a very focused actor and I’m really looking forward to challenging her to see how far she can go with this role.
After Gifted gained as much media spotlight as it did (an especially large amount for a short film that included Cinema Australia, Empire Magazine and Film Ink) I felt a bit more comfortable to approach some bigger names in the local biz to see what kind of deals I could make moving forward on other projects. Knowing that we’ll be filming most of Chasedon location in Come-By-Chance, New South Wales – we’ve been searching for ways that we could create some opportunities locally here in Queensland as well for other young filmmakers as we did with Gifted.
We’ve secured a deal that will give us stage access within Village Roadshow Studios here on the Gold Coast when the time comes to film portions of Chased so there will be some opportunities to expand our team there. We’re very fortunate and thankful to have that made available to us and can’t wait to build on that relationship with Roadshow moving forward.
I am very excited about where Australian films are headed. I think we’ve turned a corner of late and are really starting to show the world that we don’t just make drama or crime flicks. We’ve got a massive slate of upcoming genre films like the Spierig’s Predestination, Marc Furmie’s Terminus, Jesse O’Brien’s Arrowhead and of course Shayne Abess’ Infini that all look top notch.
Myself and my team are taking the big step and making our debut feature in 2016 so here’s hoping the focus change stays put and people meet Waypoint with open arms. Until then though, keep up to date with Chased and Gifted here at Cinema Australia and over on the Purryburry Productions Facebook page. (here).