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Making a Movie: A Recap

Updated: Jan 20, 2019

Dear World,

How have you been?! I am ashamed of myself for not putting a blog up for the last 4 months. How negligent of me! I have just been having the busiest year! And guess what? It has been awesome!!! The biggest news is I have produced my first feature film. Pre-Production is the reason for my absence all April and May. It consisted of rounding up the most wonderful bunch of crew I could find to bring my movie to life. The month of June consisted of searching for the proper cast to bring the characters on paper onto the screen. And then July was spent shooting the film!

SPOILER: This whole blog will be largely devoted to talking about my latest adventure. Making the kids comedy feature film that is ‘ZOMBiE BRO’.📷Firstly I would like to say the biggest and hugest thank you to my friend and mentor, Claudia Pickering, for teaching me everything and supporting me 100% to get this film up and running. She is incredible, as well as dealing with all the contracts and documents attached to making a film, she taught me to just live in the moment and really truly appreciate when things were happening. For example, during casting, she told me to not stress, not to rush through it all and to really sit in the feeling that we were actually casting a film. During the shoot, she was constantly checking in on how I was and feeling. She really just kept me in the moment and reassured me at every point. So thank you Claudia, I am so glad I met you and that I bought you lunch at the start of the year and that you decided to come on board as my Producer. I cannot wait to go on the rest of the journey with you.

Then I have to say a huge bonanza-sized thank you to my Assistant Director. I was working in a mattress store and she walked in and recognised my face from a project I had auditioned for. She gave me her contact details in case I ever needed an AD and I leapt at the chance. Mahveen Shahraki. M you are heaven sent. Thank you for organising the whole feat of making a feature film happen in the time we have made it happen. The whole production would be in shambles if I did not have you. Thank you for taking away all my stress and carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders but making it look so easy. Thanks for smiles, endless hugs, 'Game of Thrones' recaps and always having a strawberries’n’cream Chupa-Chups ready for thinking times. You are the core of ZOMBiE BRO and I am so excited to have a life-long friend in you.

And then finally to the last giant piece of the puzzle, thank you so so much to my Cinematographer Drew Bontoft. Even though he forgot who I was even though we had worked together on two separate films (whatever I am not holding a grudge), he is now such a pivotal part of my 2016. Thank you for agreeing to do something ridiculously impossible and then achieving exactly that. I have had a ball getting to know you while creating this kids film. You are so easy to work with, you somehow understand what I am thinking and attempting to get across, you're incredible at explaining things to this first time director who still doesn’t really understand anything about cameras. Thank you for making me laugh at every point during this whole movie thing and mostly thanks for making my kick-ass film look so damn good.

And to the rest of the cast, crew and everyone who has helped along the way. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I couldn’t have unlocked this dream without you!

So let’s start with casting.... Casting started late May and consisted of me trawling through agents books, Showcast and StarNow. I felt a little creepy "following" kids on StarNow but they approved my WWCC so it’s all fine. We were looking for diverse boys aged 10-12 for the lead role of Jacob. We then had auditions for all the children roles at Actors Centre Australia in Leichardt on the 3rd July.

We saw a heap of talented youths. It was so surreal being on the other side of the table, assessing these actors. I always knew how subjective it all is but it really is… Are they short enough? Have they got an accent? Is their voice too whiney? Have we got a potential cast to make a believable family? So much is outside of whether you did a good audition or not. And after our first audition round there was something missing. I didn’t fall in love with any one of them for the lead role. So my Producer and I got thinking and a month before we started shooting we decided to see if any girls would be good as the leading role. We swapped Jacob for Francine and we are so happy we made the change. Because we came across this little lady.

Lauren Grego (aka Lolly), you are a star. You gave my movie so much heart that wasn’t there before. I can’t wait to show the world how gorgeous you are and how much you have brought to ZOMBiE BRO. Her self test blew us away. We also found Cooper Flynn, the coolest zombie Teddie in town. Karina Bracken, the stern and loveable Ma in our cast. And Anthony Taufa, the funniest and welcoming dude on set. He plays the role of Pa in the movie.

We also have Natassija-Belle James as Calissa, Francine’s hero-like best friend. And Keoni Davis and Ned Morgan as the terrifying but quite endearing best friend bully pair, Brooklyn & Butch.

A huge thank you to all the agents at Random Management (my own), Brent Street Agency and Matrics Management for all the support and help in casting. Not only did they find us leads but they also lent us extras for the school scenes!!! In particular, thanks to my agent Sonya Marturano, for supporting me way before and throughout the process of bringing ZOMBiE BRO to life. :)

And then we were in Production. What a stressful but wildly joyful two weeks of shooting. I have never worked with a crew and cast that have had as little arguments as we did. I had the best first time directing experience I could ever have asked for. In fact, it went so well that I’m a little nervous at what the next time will be like. If you haven’t already… Please please please 'like' our Facebook page, 'tweet' us on Twitter, 'follow' us on Instagram and follow this wild crazy journey I have bought myself a ticket for. I have not regretted one moment and would do it all again in a heartbeat with you incredible individuals.

If you know anyone who could help us market the film (they make work at TotalGirl or a different media outlet) please get in touch. Now to editing! Here we come!

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