Watch the Sunset is an upcoming Australian film that’s garnering a lot of buzz online. To help with post production costs, directors Michael Gosden and Tristan Barr have launched a crowdfunding campaign. After you’ve done reading our interview with Michael bookmark this page to contribute to the campaign!
Amazing movie, Michael – whose idea was it, yours or Tristan’s?
Tristan brought the seed of the idea to the table at the beginning of 2015. From there, he and I threw ourselves deep into researching anything and everything surrounding the bikie/drug take over in Australia over the past couple of years. From that point on, it became a back and forth collaboration between the two of us.
Could you relate to the story? Is it personal?
One of the unfortunate realities of ‘Watch the Sunset’ is that every scenario you see in the film comes directly from stories that we read, listened to or have been told personally. What I didn’t realize when first starting on the script was how so many people, from every demographic, had a story that they were willing to share with us. That hit me personally, to know that we were telling a story that is so many people’s reality.
The town where it was shot, is that someone’s hometown?
It is. Our brilliant D.O.P, Damien Lipp, was born and raised in Kerang. His family all still live in Kerang as well and they were a huge factor in getting this film accomplished. Our leading little lady, Annabelle Williamson, lives not too far from Kerang in a town called Quambatook. She also attends St Joseph’s Primary School, which is the school in our film.
Is there a big drug problem in that area – is that why you decide to set it there?
We found that there’s a big drug problem in a surprisingly large section of regional Victoria and that stretches into most Australia as well. Not long before we turned up for our first meeting with the locals, we found out that they had just held a town meeting to discuss the rapid Ice epidemic that was sweeping through the area.
How did you achieve shooting it in one shot?
We used a Movi Gimbal to stabilize our shot throughout the 82 minutes. The Gimbal houses the camera in the centre and essentially smoothes out the motion of the cameraman. That was a huge factor in being able to keep the prolonged shot without killing our Audience with a bumpy ride. For the storyline itself, we were able to utilise the fact the all of our actors have theatre training. We encouraged them to think the town as they would a stage. Just this stage happened to be an entire town with 8 different locations.
Do you think the film is typically Australian or universal?
The film’s core story is definitely a universal one. We follow a man who wants to change his ways and start a new life with his estranged family, but his past catches up with him. This isn’t something uniquely Australian. The epidemic that we are facing at the moment has been in America and Europe for more than a decade. The drug is the same, it just has different names. The people that peddle and move the drug into communities are the same, they just operate with a slightly different violence and ferocity. I guess the overwhelming and undeniable Australian theme is the harsh scenery, which is so beautifully raw and unique and the characters that landscape produces.
What’s the motivation behind the crowdfunding exercise? What are you hoping to achieve?
The crowdfunding campaign is essential for us to finish the post-production of the film properly and will help us enormously in getting a solid launch at what we hope to be the top tier festivals around the world.
Thanks a ton to Michael for taking the time to talk to us over here at DFAT. Make sure you check out the Watch the Sunset website for more information.