Hey, isn’t that guy on the bench the Wallet Wizard? He is the Wallet Wizard. But’s he’s also a damn fine actor named Michael Whalley who Cinema Australia readers will remember from The Pretend One which we’ve been banging on about for the last year.
The film about the imaginary friend? That’s right. In Jump he plays a character named Nervous George who fails to land a date with Amy (Madeleine Jones), a pretty girl on an ordinary park bench on a sunny day. The well intentioned advice of his time-travelling dating coach, Zed, leads to many romantic dead ends, and many more attempts, until his exotic gadgets fail and George simply has to be himself. Then guess what? Love. Interestingly Jump is actually an episode in the anthology web series The Bench Series, the brainchild of EP’s Tim Fox and Justina Ward who produced and oversaw the whole series in a Herculean effort spanning three years and over 130 cast and crew.
Back up… Time travel? Are there dinosaurs? There are no dinosaurs, but director Josh Mawer describes this hilarious little short as being the love child of Doctor Who, Marty McFly, Sarah Connor and Edgar Wright.
Josh sounds like a real film buff. He is. He has six directing credits to his name including the multiple-award winning short film Legacy which won a swag of awards including Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor at North Wales International; an Australian Cinematography Society Bronze; and nominated for the National Irish Science Fiction Film Awards. His short Opal was selected to Canberra Short Film Festival, and the comedy-noir Blood Type won Best Directing at Sydney 48hr Film Festival. He directed episodes on the award winning New York web series Same Same (nearing a million views online after 3 months) and series produced Season 11 of Channel 9’s CybershackTV. He holds a Graduate Diploma in Narrative Directing from the Australian Film, Television & Radio School.
Wow. Sounds like someone we should be keeping an eye on. Agreed. Here’s what Josh told Cinema Australia about the making of his film: “Explaining enough of the time-travel/dimension-travel conceit while focusing on the emotional journey was an interesting balance, but delivering a rollicking good time experience was my prime focus, and our editor Lara Benwell was simply amazing. I was working overseas during post and we’d skype on her sunday morning/my saturday night and poke at the edit together. What we found was a story entirely more heartfelt and more funny than I imagined. The musical montage section mid way through was the least storyboarded, and mostly improvised on the day, and it’s all down to Lara’s skill and flair to turn it into a comedic sequence with a rythym and dramatic shape. It is so true that filmmaking is a team effort, and gosh was that true with this little gem.”
You can catch Jump at this year’s Flickerfest. Details here.