Saturday, December 29, 2012

'Stalking' Short Film location scout

We've finished filming Rob Maylor's scenes and now we are waiting for the lead actress schedules and location availability to line up. Here's some shots of our fantastic location!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Redeemed and Stalking Progress

Well it's been a while since I blogged and for that I apologise but here's an update!

Redeemed continues progressing as a novel, chipping away at the pages bit by bit, and my short film 'Stalking' is slowly moving forward.

After casting Morgan Allan and Trudi Michelle as my lead actresses, their schedules don't line up with the location availability till February...

So in the mean time I did a photo shoot for the poster of the film with DOP Glen Bowden

Here's some of the shots!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

16 days to raise $2K

So Rob Maylor and I filmed a little promo video for the short film 'Stalking' in a bid to raise more awareness of the funding campaign!

Please spread the word and tell your friends, we're making a movie and need your help!

Check out the clip here!

and help make it happen here

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Location Scouting!

We are well on track for preproduction of our new short film 'Stalking' with SAS Advisor Rob Maylor, and have found some great locations

BUT we won't be able to film it without your support!
Please pledge here

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Action Thriller Short Film 'Stalking'

I've launched a campaign to make an SAS short film here
Currently casting and things are really starting to kick off!
Rob Maylor has come on board as military advisor and for an onscreen role!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Redeemed: The book/Rob Maylor Book Trailer

Well for the last couple of months I've been writing the Redeemed Novel and I can update you that I'm up to 22,000 words so far and on track. It's a completely different writing style of course, but I've had these characters and this story in my head for years now that I find it interesting to go inside their heads to write from their point of view!

I've also expanded the story to include scenes that happened off screen in the screenplay, so I'm essentially exploring new material and character thoughts in this area. I am being very careful however, that these new scenes don't slow down the flow of the story, or are uneccessary for the plot, they have to add something to the characters actions and motivation.

I'll keep you posted how it all goes.

On a side note, I've made a book trailer for Rob Maylor's book SAS Sniper

And adjusted it for the international title - Sniper Elite
Please feel free to share it around!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Interview: SAS Sniper Rob Maylor

In my search to gain authenticity and a high level of detail for Redeemed, I've made a lot of contacts within the Special Forces community. They are highly skilled and driven individuals, and former operatives are very successful in the business world.

I caught up with Rob Maylor, former SAS Sniper and author of 'Sniper Elite' (or SAS Sniper in Australia)

Rob, can you tell me a bit about your background?

I spent 5 years in the Royal Marines Commandos. I was based at 40 Commando in Taunton, Somerset, England’s south west. In 1994 I passed selection for 3 Commando Brigades reconnaissance troop where I completed some highly regarded course such as the Royal Marines sniper course and Jungle Long Range Reconnaissance in Brunei. On return to New Zealand I joined the police for a couple of years before joining the Australian Army. Initially I was based in Sydney with 3RAR, the Parachute Battalion and then in March 03 I passed selection for the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR).

My career spans 18 years and during this time my specialization was sniping and reconnaissance.

Can you explain the 'dark art' of sniping to us?

Sniping is 70% fieldcraft and 30% shooting, it becomes a “Dark Art” in the planning stage. This is where you plan in the greatest of detail on how you are going to kill someone without being compromised or caught! There are a lot of factors that you have to consider during this time which could be anything from weather, what type of weapon and projectile you will use, to what is the best time to engage your target.

Any historical snipers that strike a chord with you?

Yes, Carlos Hathcock, he was a U.S Marine Corps sniper during Vietnam who really put his stamp on the trade. He was a first class shot and won several U.S Marine Corps titles but operationally in Vietnam he took fieldcraft to a new level. Until then sniper training was very basic in how they taught camouflage and concealment and other fieldcraft disciplines. Carlos was an amazing predator with more patience than you can ever imagine. 

What is Covert Advisors?

I started Covert Advisors early 2011 to provide the media, TV and film industry with expert military technical advice to help keep literature and productions as authentic and accurate as possible.

What services do you offer?

I offer an advisory service to the industry and a range of military and tactical training that will enhance actor’s awareness and ability to represent the military character in it’s true form. We can cover script writing for characterization and accuracy, boot camps, weapons training and advice, counter terrorism and Special Forces, SWAT and equipment and clothing advice and procurement.

Can you tell us about your book (co authored with Robert Macklin)

SAS Sniper is an account of my life to date focusing on my military service in the Marines and SAS.
It took about 10 months all up; I started writing notes initially and then got stuck in to the story line as soon as we had secured a publisher.

You write for some magazines too?

Yes, I write 3 articles for ‘On Duty’ magazine which are ‘Sniper School’, ‘Weapons Review’ and ‘Field Survival’. I actually enjoy the survival articles the most which has prompted me to start running survival courses.

I also write for a U.S Military website called

What are some of your favourite past times?

I really enjoy my hunting when I can find time for it but watching the Super 15 rugby games and the internationals makes up for lost time in the bush! I am also a member of a pistol shooting club which is quite relaxing on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

What are some of your favourite military films?

It has to be Blackhawk Down. I am also a fan of Matt Damon and Leonardo Dicaprio so I’d also have to say films like Blood Diamond and the Bourne series are some of my favourites.

Australia has produced some brilliant films in the past like Gallipoli, The light Horsemen and Breaker Morant but the importance of precision seems to have been lost since then. It is unfortunate that we haven’t made a modern day military action film; the resources are there to make something that would rival Blackhawk Down!  (Simon - Totally agree and I've got plans to fix that! and so does Rob) 

Can you tell when actors haven't got proper weapons handling skills?

Of course, it’s not hard to pick up on this when people are trying to emulate what I have been doing for over 20 years. U.S and most British production companies will use specialist tech advisors to ensure proper characterisation and accuracy of whatever production they are working on. The Australian industry hasn’t totally cottoned on to the fact that tech advisors can actually make them look good and wow the audience by avoiding errors that in my mind cheapen a production. The trick is to source an advisor that can demonstrate they have the essential skill sets that you are after. Because this will be represented on screen.  

Any examples?

Sea Patrol.

What are some of the misconceptions of weapons, writers get wrong? (automatic pistol going click click, six shooter having unlimited bullets etc)

Having the actor or character work the action on a semi automatic pistol several times in the same scene. Once it is at action the pistol is ready to go, everytime that action is worked again it will extract an unused round! Unlimited bullets is a given. Ammunition that makes vehicles and other items explode… it doesn’t happen! Detectives entering a hostile building with a specialised tactical firearms unit directly behind them or waiting outside! The media calling anyone with a gun “A Sniper”!  

You can buy Rob's book Sniper Elite (SAS Sniper) at your local bookstore (published by Hachette)

And keep an eye for some projects Rob and I are putting together.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A different path

After a long period of pitching to Producers and Production Companies and Agents, and every response being "Looks Fantastic, Great Work! Awesome Concept!" and ending with "Good Luck with it", I've decided to turn the screenplay I've written (which has been polished after American coverage, and input from my SAS military advisor) into a book.

I'm writing and expanding on the script, and turning the story into something that everyone can access, and the ideas and characters will see the light of day.

Once complete, I will submit it to publishing houses, and their digital epublishing arms and get valuable feedback from there. If it's up to scratch, it will be picked up. Another option is to release it myself, but that's a fulltime job in itself as well.

Either way, I'm not giving up on the 'Redeemed' story, I'm releasing it on a different medium, on which to build an audience, and possibly pave the way for a film of it in the future. Perhaps the size and scale of it was too large for this point in my career.

A more restrained and centralised version of the film could be pursued to fit into the style of the Australian market, but I saw this idea as an internationally marketable film, with a larger scope.
Being realistic, I'll have to earn my stripes on other projects to get this one perhaps, though the feedback from my twitter followers and facebook fans has been full of praise and encouragement to fight on and make the film.
That's still an option, especially if the book is successful and people want to see the story onscreen.
Stay tuned as I fill you in on the journey of a film maker turned author to find a way to make the film.
Convoluted right? But consider this the first turning point as I head into the second act...
There are other skies to be conquered before fighting that filmic battle...

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Crossroad: Which way do I go?

I'm sitting here on an absolutely miserable day, rain pouring out of the harsh grey sky and listening to The Glitch Mob's song 'Bad Wings', an awesome emotive piece that fills my head with pictures and scenarios for the imaginary film clip. I could write, cast and film that clip in a heartbeat.

Because that's what I do, I dream up visuals and situations, piecing together stories and imagery just on the scent of a song, a whiff of inspiration. And it was the same for 'Redeemed'.  Except it was Eskimo Joe's song 'Foreign Land' that did it for me with this idea, just over and over on repeat.

And what a dream this idea was, an Australian action film not seen since the likes of Mad Max, a world of colourful characters and powerful imagery.

Draft after draft I carved it from the ether and committed it to paper, casting it in my head, building threads of connection and watching the world of talent, and mentally testing the idea of the actor in the roles I had written, seeing if they fit. Let me paint you the picture of my film with all the elements laid bare.

The lead role of Sam Read I saw a number of great jigsaw pieces that could fit the role of a cool, calm and collected elite soldier, the heart and soul of a warrior brotherhood, with that Aussie black humour to cut through the bullshit cliche. Eric Bana or Hugh Jackman were ideal, tough, strong, compassionate, real.

With Eric Bana, thanks to the power of twitter, and the generosity of Max Markson, celebrity publicist, I had the opportunity to present Redeemed to him. The man is a powerhouse of an actor and one of Australia's best, and just to see him as Sam undergoing his painful journey would have made my dream launch instantly, he would have been the catalyst to be taken seriously.

And that's the thing, I take this seriously, whilst I may be dreaming, I'm not playing at being a film maker.

After two months of talking with his people (his PA, not his agent), Eric declined due to his schedule. He is to play Elvis in the new biographical film 'Elvis and Nixon' about Elvis and his meeting with Nixon to become an agent in the war on drugs. It sounds like an amazing and powerful role for him to flex his creative muscle, and there's no way I could compete with that ha!

Hugh Jackman's Australian agent said the infamous words of 'get in touch when you have finance and distribution', the bane of every film maker with an idea. I'll give Warehouse16 a call as soon as that happens...

The lead female role of Emma and the relationship from which the entire premise of the film hangs is a very important role, they needed to show strength of character, vulnerability at the right time, and had to be stunning to be the obsession of one of the worlds most dangerous gangsters.

A character that had style, grace, an arresting gaze, an independent spirit, but carrying a pain of a shocking past. Who could believably carry that off? Megan Gale that's who.

I don't think this world has seen what she can really do, the hints of it seen in 'I love you too' haven't been given the scope for her to show what she is capable of, Megan should be in a lead role in a feature film speaking in her own accent. Basically she should be in this one. (IMO) 

I've had dealings with her agent before at Shanahan Management, for a previous project with another actor, and the 'finance and distribution' thing was brought up as well, but Anne Churchill Brown says it very nicely, so you can't help but walk away thinking 'dammit I will get finance and distribution' if not just to deal with ACB personally ha!

Now they say a story is only as strong as the villain, and I truly believe this, as there are so many films and stories that are let down by their bad guy, that they're only viscious or bad for bad sake. This villain, this Las Vegas Drug Lord, with a fascination for beauty and preserving beauty, capturing it on film and in life, then revelling in the otherside of it, the fascination with death, his visceral need to capture both life and death on camera, and the twisted eastern remedy of bathing in blood to heal his burns, a twisted sociopath, he is a villain to hate, but a villain to watch. He truly loves his girls, but they are all with him for very different reasons. I saw Marton Csokas as the villain.

Marton is one of the most underated actors I've ever seen, his characters are dark and cold yet alive, he breathes into them a restrained yet joyous savagery that is breathtaking and fearsome, and yet he can play warmth and generosity at the drop of a hat. I would have both within the character of King, and I'd want him to show it, to revel in the darkness of the character. I saw in an interview where Marton said he'd like to play a character who bathes in blood...Well here it is, an excessive, dark, collector character with a penchant for blood and beauty.

His offsiders, the queens are important symbols of his insanity, but also his 'ranking' and 'care' of them in a perverted sense.

The role of 'Diamonds' the Undercover Cop sacrificed by corruption and caught in the lair of 'King' is tough, trapped, suffering yet determined to play the role she was given. I see Kelly Overton in the role, as she has an emotional depth that hasn't been given scope either. The film Tekken was awful, but she was amazing, and the only reason why I finished watching the film. She's even an independent film writer/producer (of 'The Collective'), so she understands the process more than most.

The underworld hitman 'The Redeemer' I see played by Frankie Oatway, the man has a presence that just conveys menace yet charm when he wants it.

I even wanted to approach Sam Neill to play the outback town crazy who knows too much, a role where he could cut loose, and let that famous sense of humour of his play out, but he's represented by Shanahan also.

But my dream doesn't just stop there with amazing talent onscreen, it also involves what they're wearing, especially the Queen's, what they appear in is beautiful, powerful and sometimes high fashion. These statement pieces, this quintessential part of who and what they are, the world they're in is so important, to the point I had a go at designing one of the many looks the Queens end up in.

When I first joined twitter, I came across one of the most incredible fashion designer's feed, Alex Perry, synonomous for women's style and grace and began following. I even went so far as telling him that one day I hoped to work with him on a film. It was with Redeemed that I hoped to do so. He replied that you never know it might happen.
As time went on, I began to follow Peter Morrissey, and the JAton Couture boys Jacob Luppino and Anthony Pittorino too. To engage and talk with such talented individuals that are at the pinnacle of Australian Couture and Fashion was indescribable. I dared to dream of a mass collaboration on the film, each designer in charge of a stage of the film for the Queens, showcasing the female form in stunning colour palletes, intrinsically linked in with the colour pallete of the film scene! Hell, I even saw Australia's own Lisa Maree and her crochet swimwear in one scene, just to show what we can do on all levels!
Funny thing is, I haven't dared ask them. Their work is their brand, and I couldn't come to them until I had more to offer, and all I can offer is what I do. Take visuals, and make them on a grand scale, give them another platform where their work, on the actors that appreciate the idea, can be on display any time someone sees the film. Would it be enough? Is heart enough? They are businesses, and if I had the money I'd want them!

And to bind it all together, a rocking Australian soundtrack, to punch through to the next level, music that embodies each part, the rural countryside, the bright city and the dark nightclub lair. Eskimo Joe, Jet, ACDC, Cold Chisel, Ian Moss, The Externals, Pete Murray, Spiderbait contrasted with Pendulum, Seany B, TV Rock, The PotBeleez, The Hilltop Hoods, Bliss n Esso...

This is Redeemed at its height, at its best, with everything as I dreamed. This is how I picture it, with the support of the department of defense, with Ridley Scottesque Blackhawks opening the film, with the best possible cast, with the best possible costume design, with the best possible Aussie soundtrack, and the best possible action film that I could show international audiences, and showcase what Aussies can do. And most of all, something our troops could watch without saying WTF!

So why lay it out like this. Why spill all this out for all to see what I can imagine.

Because I am at a crossroad.

Redeemed has three roads before it that I can take, and looking back on the road I've travelled to get here, well it's been successful so far. My imagination has carried me thus far, and my determination to see it realised has seen results. But...for how long? How long before the dream is doused with cold reality?

Road 1. I continue straight ahead, pushing to realise the International level film I see in my head and my heart and chase the independent private finance I'll need to get it made, because lets face it, the government funding bodies just laugh at me, or greet me with silence. To chase my dream cast. (by being passionate rather than depsperate! ha!) That's the nature of dreams, all it takes is one yes, to snowball. Too many no's and it melts away.

Road 2. I take the lefthand road, scaling the core story right back, removing the excessive villain, the girls, the guns and make it more character based, against a more conventional threat, a national level film. (maybe write Redeemed as it currently is as an ebook)

Road 3. I take the righthand road and scale it back, keep some excess but make the villain more localised, (bikies?) a wash of both. This option doesn't sit as well with me stylistically.

I don't want to be one of those film makers on twitter, begging for money. I made the trailer off my own back, to showcase the idea, as it's the idea that has to be commercially viable as well as entertaining. It has to stand on its own merits.

So there it is. This is where my drive has led me. This is what Redeemed is faced with, and each road is a commitment. So I'll throw it out to you, the audience that has read this far. What sits right with you? What story do you want to see made?

I do have to make mention of one particular twitter supporter of my dream, Brenda Gale, or @breeg who has wholeheartedly supported Road 1, and me, more to the point, and this dream of mine. Unwavering in chasing her own dream, (of an Alex Perry size 8 gown!) she has even more energy to always be promoting mine as well, so thank you Brenda, it is appreciated.

Ex Pertinacia, Victoria.

From Determination, Victory.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Trailer Poll

We're running a trailer poll at our facebook page and I'd love to get your feedback.
Please check out

Monday, January 2, 2012

The new year ahead

Well that was 2011 done and dusted, and Redeemed has had some serious highs and lows. The trailer has got a great response, and it was designed to get the attention of certain high profile actors we were targeting, and it succeeded in that fact.

Whilst there is nothing more we can report on that front at the moment, we are moving forward in rewriting the script now that we've had notes come back from our SAS military advisor.

Jason Falla, from Redback One has provided the essential ingredient for the script, looking over it with his expert eye and giving it amazing realism.

2012 will be the year of Redeemed, and getting it off the ground. I will report our progress as best I can without it impacting the fragile nature of negotiating its existence...

Here's to the new year and it being one of success