After the recent success of the pitch trailer for Long Shadows, including the successful crowd-funding campaign exceeding it’s target of 20k, and three US film festival awards, producers Linda Millar, Ashley Pardey, Jessica Magro and Darrell Plumridge are excited to commence pre-production of the feature film with shooting scheduled to commence soon.
Directed by Darwin Brooks (The Suicide Theory, The Great Gatsby, Australia), and written and produced by lead actress Linda Millar (Rise), it also stars veteran actor Joss McWilliam (Skippy, Water Rats, The Suicide Theory), and up and coming young Australian actors Maeve McKenna and Nicholas Hamilton. Nicholas has recently starred in the feature film Strangerland, alongside Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving and Joseph Fiennes, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He has also returned from filming Captain Fantastic the United States with Viggo Mortensen.
Lennard Smith sat down with some of the cast and crew during the recent shoot of the trailer for Long Shadows and finds out about how they became involved with the project and their experiences on set.
Darwin Brooks Director
I had heard talk of Long Shadows, and as I knew one of the producers, Ashley Pardey, from working with him on a previous feature film, Charlie’s Farm. I asked him if he needed a 1st AD, which is my area of expertise. He told me they were already covered in that area so I thought that was it, but Ashley came back to me and told me he had discussed my offer with writer and producer Linda Millar, and they went onto offer me the position of director. I obviously accepted.
Working with such professional producers, actors and crew is always a joy. Long Shadows supplied talent both in front and behind the camera.
The script is dynamic and tells the audience a story of innocence and guilt. Deception which leads to tragedy. A 5-star thriller, which will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Linda Millar Writer, Producer, Lead Actress – ‘Regan Sinclair’
Long Shadows is centred around the Sinclair family, whose lives turn to hell when one of them become victim to a very serious assault. Without giving the plot away, it examines how events which happened generations before still have an impact today, how we as humans blame ourselves when things go wrong even when it’s not our fault, it is about guilt, betrayal, hope, forgiveness of others but more importantly forgiveness of ourselves. But ultimately, it’s about love.
Apart from having a fantastic story in my head, one of the reasons I wrote Long Shadows was out of a sense of frustration for actresses over 35 or 40. Age doesn’t seem to matter for male actors, but female actors tend to stop being cast once they reach a certain age. Male actors on screen tend to start having younger wives as they get older, so I wrote Long Shadows which has ladies of every age range, a bit like life. Of course we have younger cast, but the majority of the main cast are over 35 or 40. I also incorporated a Scottish element into the story, as my accent is difficult to hide. Again, like real life in Australia, there are many different nationalities and accents. We’re not all blonde haired and blue eyed. I tried to keep it real, so there are various accents and nationalities in Long Shadows.
I have a fantastic team behind me, and I completely trust my producers and director to do the best job possible. When I am acting I don’t have to think about anything else, I know I can leave all the producing side of things in their hands.
Working with Joss McWilliam is fantastic. I’ve known him for a few years, and I think of him as my teacher and mentor. It is so easy to work opposite Joss because he gives you so much to work with. You soon begin to realise that you’re not ‘acting’, you’re ‘being’, as he makes the scene so natural and life like.
Nicholas Hamilton Nathan Sinclair
On set I really enjoyed Playing soccer, having fun with the other guys. It was great fun, but exhausting. I also enjoyed working with my cousin Billy, he was my opponent in the fight scene. He’s new at acting so it was awesome to work with him, and see how he does.
I like my character. He’s shy and down to earth, the exact opposite of me, so it’s good to be diverse.
Joss McWilliam is cool! He acted like my father does. And he’s annoying just like my real dad. He’s cool.
Acting is such a natural part of me, I can’t imagine not being an actor. It’s like asking a parent about their kids, I can’t imagine my life without it, and I intend it to be my future.
Vincent Gorce Detective Inspector Sozzani
I am playing the role of the Inspector who’s in charge of the case. He’s a pretty straight down the line kind of cop. I enjoy being on set -I like having fun on set. Ultimately we’re here to tell a story, but it’s fun too. I am looking forward to watching the process of how the Long Shadow trailer does. I hope it will reach out to people and allow us to shoot the feature film. I have no doubt that with the team we have that we’ll do a good job, and hopefully finances follow. That is the main issue in Australia and South-East Queensland in particular, so let’s hope we attract the right people.
Jessica Magro Producer
I am one of the producers on Long Shadows. One of the greatest things about being involved in the trailer is seeing everything come together very smoothly, which shows a great deal of organisation in pre-production. During the shoot we’ve had no major dramas, and we’ve wrapped early most days, which is crazy, but has become a common theme on this shoot. Hopefully that follows through to the feature film! Cast and crew are excellent. It is very rare to see such a large group of people come together and mesh so well without any issues, which is exactly what has happened on Long Shadows, no conflict, no issues, it has all run very smoothly and we have talent to match which is obviously what we want, so it is all blending very well.
Erin Connor Detective Constable Kelly
I am Detective Constable Kelly. I’ve always wanted to be a police officer in something, so I’m excited for this.
There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I would do this trailer and feature that will follow because of the wonderful Linda Millar. I met Linda on a previous feature, and she is wonderful. She is very passionate and I’m so glad Australia’s got her.
I’ve worked with Joss McWilliam also over the years. It’s always a thrill to be in anything with Joss, his hilarities on set, and his wonderful acting. I wouldn’t miss doing Long Shadows for anything!
Darwin is renowned for his energy, and his ability to have a rapport with everyone, that keeps everybody upbeat and on the ball. He will bring good things to Long Shadows.
Ashley Pardey Producer
I met Linda on the set of Rise during the shoot in late 2013. We spoke briefly about the project via Facebook and I was asked how I’d feel about producing it. We met up for coffee after christmas. She explained the story line briefly and told me about the talent she’d like and some of her ideas which she wanted to incorporate. After reading the script, I was excited to officially put my name down on the project – from there we started pre-production on the teaser trailer.
I’ve been involved in so many film projects over a couple of years, some of which I’ve produced.This one has essentially been a bigger project. It had more crew then I’m used to having and we had over 50 extra’s involved in the production which was a big undertaking.
Post on the final trailer was important too as our target audience was wider then most projects i’ve produced, so we had to make sure we got it right. I think we did.
In the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to have worked on some cool and exciting projects here in the South-East.
Going by the amount of talent both in front and behind the camera’s, I would say that Queensland has the ability to do anything film-related that it wants. I believe we just need more flexibility from the State and Federal governments for funding projects to help make Queensland a viable friendly film state.