The story of the project
They weren’t exactly sure where they were heading when they began – whether they’d end up finishing the draft at all, and they certainly never envisaged that six years later, the project would have developed into something that they were planning to film.
Somehow, though, after a lot of afternoons huddled in front of a computer and discussions about character while walking down the street, they finished the screenplay and were really excited about what they’d come up with. After a couple of read-throughs which prompted articulate feedback, they began a comprehensive re-write. In the re-write, they re-worked the entire film thinking carefully about the theme which was presenting itself. That theme was the desire that people often have to grow up – to already be at the next stage of life – to the detriment of fully appreciating the virtues of the stage they’re currently at.
Once the script felt polished, Evan and Harley had been working on and off for five years or so and were feeling that it was worth committing to the screen. They felt that they would be able to create something which would be engaging and worthwhile. Things started falling into place, they began a production process, enlisted the help of a few excellent people and held a series of auditions.
Suddenly, a location was booked for April 2016 and a fantastic cast assembled. Evan and Harley began rehearsing each week with the actors in order to cultivate a genuine bond between the ensemble, who will be playing characters who are, for the most part, best friends. The script is being tweaked even further with the help of the committed cast and the project looks to be an excellent, loveable and relatable independent Australian film.
How the funds will be used
We are blessed in that our film only has six characters, can be shot with a tiny crew and uses only one location. There are no explosions (except for a tiny one) or car chases or gun shots (okay, there’s a couple of them) – but no expensive special effects at all. In a way, as we began developing the film and imagining that we might shoot it once we’d finished writing, we planned for this to be a film that could be made relatively cheaply and quickly.
At the beginning of the production process, we did some research and estimated that we would require $30,000 to make the film. At the time that sounded like an immense amount of money and we just gave a big sigh and trusted that we’d find a way.
We’re shooting in a house in Staghorn Flat, Victoria and have hired this property for three and a half weeks in April, 2016 in order to shoot the film. We’ve also hired accommodation for the cast and crew nearby.
This production budget breaks down approximately to the following:
Equipment Hire: 10,000
Location Hire: 9,000
Art Direction: 2,000
We realised that, as we had a lot of time up our sleeves, we could save up a fair amount of the budget ourselves gradually – and directors Evan and Harley, along with producer Siân, committed to saving $20,000 between us. It’s where most of our savings have been going over the last year. If we are able to raise $10,000 through this crowdfunding campaign, it will make the film possible to shoot!
The film will be made using a deferred payment model where the cast and crew will be working without immediate payment, but if the film is able to make any money, it will be split evenly. Once the film is complete, it will be entered into festivals domestically and internationally, and we are eager to be able to reward the team financially for their efforts.
We are following in the footsteps of coming-of-age films which have presented the youthful phase of life in a light that all viewers could delight in and relate to. In the footsteps of films which have depicted interactions between people which felt exactly like real life – with the pauses, the awkward eye contact and the stumbles. In the footsteps of films which have been real and magic at the same time.
We are incredibly confident in our well-trained, talented and committed actors, as well as our ability to elicit their best possible performances, but with a tight schedule of only three weeks of shooting, our biggest challenge is going to be maintaining the high-level of utter naturalism throughout each scene we shoot. We are envisaging a film in which each moment is believable and feels connected to younger times in the lives of those watching. We know that it’s possible and we are thrilled about the outcome we know we can achieve, but it’s certainly going to be a challenge and require every ounce of constant effort from everyone, especially once we’re on set.
Daniel Cockburn (Jackson)
Daniel graduated from 16th Street Actor’s Studio in 2015 and has emerged as a highly sought-after actor. He aspires to spend the rest of his life creating, whether it be through writing, creating music, drawing or performing such characters as Jackson, in About an Age. He is also a member of Melbourne rock ‘n roll band Horace Bones.
Rachel Lee (Michelle)
Rachel Lee has completed a Bachelor of Music (voice) and a Bachelor of Performing Arts at Monash University, and is currently embracing all that her studies at 16th Street Actor’s Studio have to offer. She can be seen in the 2015 feature Sucker, upcoming feature Emo (the Musical), numerous shorts, TV shows such as The Wedge and Winners and Losers,and has performed in many musicals.
Edward Orton (Dave)
Edward starred amongst a high-profile cast in the world premiere of Jurassica at Red Stitch Theatre this year, after graduating from the National Theatre in 2014. During a myriad of other theatre appearances over the years, Edward has become an experienced stage actor, who is excited about bringing his talents to the screen. He is also an avid sports fan.
Keith Purcell (Brett)
Keith defines himself as a ‘Geelong kid from the Bellarines Peninsula’ and a ‘horror movie freak.’ He has also made an excellent beginning to his acting career during his last year of high school, starring in the upcoming Tomorrow When The War Began series and having secured a place at an international training school in the future.
Ashley Stocco (Sarah)
Ashley has been passionate about screen acting for a long time and has been taking classes at Film and Television Studio International since 2011. She has appeared onNeighbours and is excited about taking on her first feature film role as Sarah in About an Age. She is currently powering through a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne alongside her acting work.
Fredricka Arthur (Laura)
Fredricka has a wealth of performance experience, having been involved in a lot of theatre in education and regional arts practice. She was a performer in St Martins cross age ensemble in 2013-2014, as well as part of the Phunktional Arts Limited film Picking the Musical. When she’s not preparing to play Laura in About an Age, she is working on her novel.