reflections on ‘domestic’

12, April 2010

My short film, Domestic, is currently in the running for what will probably be its last film festival, the 3rd Babelgum Online Film Festival.

If you haven’t already, check it out and give it a Thumbs Up to vote. Winners great screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York (very cool!) and win cash prizes (even cooler!).

Seeing as this is Domestic’s last outing, I thought it might be fun to reflect on the shoot and share some memories of how the film came to be.

-*-*-

When I first proposed the idea to actors Lawrence and Patricia as a play for the Sydney Short & Sweet Theatre Festival I knew it was an ambitious project.

With scripts restricted to ten minutes, a tight turn around between each play and the real danger of being sliced and diced night after night, the demand on their skills as actors and fight combatants was enormous.

With Lawrence directing, their hard work paid off when we won the festival’s People’s Choice Award and fuelled by this success I recruited the director and DOP team of Katie and Marcus Hides to re-invent Domestic for film.

-*-*-

It was a fight all the way.

The first blow was finding a location.  Not surprisingly, there weren’t many contenders brave enough to allow a film crew to invade their home for round after round of dramatised domestic violence.

Luckily some mates came through for me but I don’t think they realised just what they got themselves in for. Neither did I.

Renovations were due to start in the house next door to our location the same day as our shoot.  I thought we were KO’d for sure but I mustered up my courage and before I knew it I was bribing our new neighbour to delay his long overdue renovations and even convinced him to “lend” us electricity in his absence!

From there we ducked and weaved our way through tearing up the owner’s lino with countless retakes of plate smashing …

snapping our saucepan Hero Prop, forcing Lawrence to hold it in place when we couldn’t fix or replace it …

and watching Lawrence get hit …

slammed …

and mashed in take after take!

There was plenty of fun times as well, like watching the guys stage this simple but effective trick shot (can you spot what’s missing in the middle shot?) …

watching them chreograph the baton and knife fight …

And seeing great shots like these come together in the edit.

-*-*-

As a writer/producer, my learning curve involved taking hit after hit and a lot of fancy footwork but I’m thankful for the experience and there are still lessons from this shoot that I carry with me today.

And I promise, no actors were harmed in the making of this film …

-*-*-

Remember, you’ve got until midnight, 18th April to vote for Domestic, so why not check it out again and give it your Thumbs Up so that it can go out on a high note with a final screening at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York!

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4 Responses to “reflections on ‘domestic’”

  1. Allen Says:

    Nice pic that Brett, well done – I cast my vote.

  2. Dene Mason Says:

    nice behind the scenes story Brett. Well done to all of you!

  3. Wozza Says:

    So, Brett emails his friends saying he is looking for a trendy inner suburb house for filming.
    I says (knowing I dont have one) “You can always use our house!” – generous when I know he wont say yes…

    2 days later = Brett: “Mate, I’d like to take you up on that offer”

    Doh! Seriously tho’, well done. I’ve voted.

  4. Mel Says:

    I’ve voted and voted again. It is very good and so funny watching Lawrie get snotted over and over. Love the potato masher in the moosh. I’ll lend you my house if your ever in Queensland. Brilliant job!!!


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