Taking a dystopian view on film making…
Every year School of Drama students complete their final studies with a flurry of graduation projects spanning both theatre and film. This year was no different, with third year students shooting the short film The Outside, before heading onto three graduation shows Hearts Like Fists, Thom Pain and The Pastor and The Painter.
The film was developed in collaboration with Performance majors and written by Theatre Practice students Tahlia Mathieson, Aly O’Doherty & Victoria Little. Working under the guidance of staff from the International Screen Academy, filming took place over three consecutive days in a large sound stage located at Waterloo.
When asked about the inspiration for the script, Tahlia said “The basic premise of the film was to make an escape movie. We wanted to create something that showcased all our actors’ talents, and that had an element of mystery and real drama about it. Cassie’s story evolved out of that.”
Drawing on inspiration from The Hunger Games and The Island, the film is set in a dystopian world where the fight for survival amidst subverted political forces is constantly present. Cassie, a loner, finds herself trapped inside a stark ward-like facility surrounded by strangers. She attempts to escape only to be dragged back in by other prisoners who are too afraid to try. Routine beatings at the hands of merciless wardens are a constant threat and even though she is surrounded by others like her she doesn’t know who to trust.
Tasked with creating the barren and hostile world for the movie was Head of Art Department and recent graduate John Sullivan. Since graduating in 2015 John has secured work with the ABC, Channel 9 and a variety of independent productions so he’s no stranger to the film medium. When asked about the style of the movie, John said “The look had to have a dirty, grungy kinda feel. The audience isn’t quite sure if the characters are locked in an old abandoned hospital or if they’re actually in a prison, because everything has that run down, forgotten and deserted kind of look to it.”
The movie is in the final stage of post production, with the release date set for early 2017.