Body takes what's pretty much a throwaway scene in modern crime
cinema and drives it to its unexpected extremes - so what inspired you to
make a movie about "cleaners" in the first place?
I suppose those types of scenes can sometimes come across purely as
filler, depending on the filmmaker and their intent. For me, making my
living in a hands-on job (carpet laying) I wanted to play with the notion
of a laborer or tradesman's assistant if you will. In the past I've had
people attempting to assist me, who more often than not completely lacked
experience – and it showed. This is exactly that, just set in the world
sources of inspiration when writing The
sources of inspiration range from popular horror/slasher films all the
way through to situational comedy and everything in between. Horror fans
will certainly pick up on a couple of references here and there, and I
wanted to pay homage to the likes of the Coen Bros (Fargo and Blood
Simple) and Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction and Jackie
Brown), in addition
to films like Killing Them Softly and 100 Bloody Acres.
What can you tell us about The
Body's brand of humour?
is such a subjective thing, isn't it? But in the case of The
Body, I think
it's even more niche because of some of the phrasing that is very specific
to us Australians. My hope is that international audiences are simply
enticed by the notion of something that's different to their regular film
diet. The dialogue is reeled off quite quickly and I didn't feel the need
to highlight each of those moments that were intended to be a funny. I
think if you're doing that, your writing isn't strong enough to stand on
Body entirely shot in one locations, what were your techniques to
keep things interesting throughout on a visual level?
You're quite correct there. Other
than the opening title sequence, the film was shot in a singular location.
And believe it or not, the location was actually a property in the middle
of a busy suburb and not the desolate landscape we make it out to be. In
regard to making it as interesting as it could be, the location itself did
a lot of that for us. That said, I spent months of pre-production planning
shot choices and how the sequences would play. In addition to bringing
along a really professional camera department, our DP Nick Berry-Smith
bought a wealth of knowledge to the project when it came to transitions
and back lighting etc, and ultimately he is a huge part of the reason why
I think the film has those layers.
talk about your directorial approach to your story at hand!
Haha, nice of you to ask! Although
I'm going to end up saying the same thing I have in the past – and even
more so in regards to this latest film. I've always stated that I'm the
guy that procures the puzzle pieces, but it's those singular pieces
working together that creates the completed puzzle. The bulk of my job was
done once I had my cast/crew locked away and they deserve any accolades
that come my way.
can you tell us about The Body's
cast, and why exactly these people?
previously worked with all three of the actors in one capacity or another
on my last short film The First Date.
Tim was an extra in that micro
short and I'd worked with him on another occasion. As luck would have it,
Anton came on board to fill a role very last minute on that same short.
Marc is a man who wears many hats in the industry and he was my DP and editor
back on that film, but this time around I really wanted to use him
in an acting capacity. He and Anton knew each other well and hopefully
that professionalism and shorthand they have with each other shows in the
A few words about
the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
shoot itself, like most, was a lot of fun – albeit somewhat stressful.
We had something like 10 pages of dialogue that needed to be shot in just
two nights! The shoot was delayed twice throughout summer and spring due
to scheduling commitments and was eventually booked in the winter months
where unfortunately we ended up losing an entire night due to bad weather.
Everyone powered through pretty long nights though, and we got there in
the end which was a relief.
$64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?
there's a bit of the unknown about official releases etc. I'm currently in
the process of looking into securing a publicist and having us take the
festival route over the next 12 to 18 months. We may be a couple of years
away but hopefully those of you in the US will be able to catch it at a
festival in the not too distant future!
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of The
COVID-19 taking the world by storm back in late February-early March, we
haven't had the chance to do an official premiere yet, and in fact, a
majority of the cast and crew haven't even seen the completed film! The
reception from the handful of critics who've seen it thus far has been
overwhelmingly positive, which of course is great feedback for the work
everyone put in. We're currently four from four with festival selections
so fa,r which is fantastic news!
Any future projects you'd like to share?
pre-production through to every facet of post, we spent over a year (on an
off) working on The
Body and so to be honest I've welcomed the break and a
little down time that comes with that haha! Being a self-proclaimed
cinephile I find it challenging to find new and interesting ways to
re-invent ideas and stories. That said, I'm in the very early stages of
drafting another short screenplay that will see me venture into a mix of
western, comedy, and science fiction. I've also been working for the last
few years on a re-imagining of Stanley Kubrick's 1956 crime drama The
Killing, so stay tuned!
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movie's website, social media, whatever else?
can find the official Facebook page at
and the IMDb at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9794466/
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
think you've pretty well covered everything, Michael, thanks for chatting.
It's been a pleasure and I'm looking forward to being able to share this
film with the world in the not to distant future. Thanks again!
for the interview!