Your new movie Blue
World Order - in a few words, what is it about?
On the surface, it’s like Mad Max cross Star
Wars, but Blue
World Order is, at its heart, a story about family and what’s
dear to us. It asks about how much of our freedoms do we give up for our
security. It’s a common question and one that’s back in the news again
today. Does the end justify the means? I wanted people to walk away from
this and see both points of view and maybe wonder if our ‘heroes’ were
right or wrong
far as I know, Blue
World Order is based on a short of yours of the same title from
2012 - so do talk about that short and its relation to your feature for a
In 2012, co-director Dallas Bland and I made a short for a 48hour filmmaking competition. It turned out pretty well (you can see it here: https://vimeo.com/47932607).
From that we knew we had a much bigger story to tell. We expanded the idea
into a TV series, then pulled the first couple of episodes of that back
into a feature. I wrote the novel version and tailored the story to fit
into my Rule series of novels - (The Rule of Knowledge - www.ruleofknowledge.com).
The film only scrapes the surface of a much bigger universe, but
is a very complete story on its own, whilst hinting at what’s to come.
World Order being a post apocalyptic science fiction film, is that
a genre at all dear to you, and some of your genre favourites?
World Order was designed to show off the locations around my home
town of Canberra in Australia. I wanted to show that we could make any
kind of film here, and not just political thrillers (Canberra is
Australia’s capital city). Virtually every location on-screen is within 15 minutes drive of each
other. One of the great things about shooting in Canberra is we get a huge
variety of locations in a small area, so it’s great ‘bang for buck’
on screen. The environment lent itself to this kind of story - and I’d obviously
had the influence of things like Star
Wars and Mad Max growing up.
I love good stories more than any particular genre. That being said,
speculative fiction and science fiction are certainly the things that peak
To what extent could you actually
identify with your movie's hero Jake - or any of the other characters for
that matter? Or to put it another way, how would you react in a situation
similar to the one in Blue
I have been fortunate to have travelled a lot when I was younger. The
thing I learned is that the ‘norms’ that you take for granted can be
completely different when you go to another country. By extension, I can
imagine with great detail what would happen today if the rules, the
society we take for granted were wiped out. We rely so much on electricity
and technology - it’s not hard to see how much things would change if
all that tech were wiped out.
The part of the world we see in the Blue
World Order film is a tiny glimpse at a much bigger world. It’s
a place where the rules of society have crumbled, and yet there are those
who seek to reinforce those rules, even if it’s by dubious means.
If I were in Jake’s shoes, I think I’d miss coffee a lot! Jake
survives because he has a sense of purpose, he has to protect Molly - I
think if I knew what we know at the end of the film, I’d survive because
I’d have a sense of purpose. The hardest thing for people when you take
away the framework of society is to know why they’re actually trying to
survive. What’s the point? I’m sure I’d do okay once I learned what
the real situation was…
You of course have to talk about
the effects work in your movie for a bit!
We did as much of the effects practically as we could, to show off the
environments we had, but it was great to do something with LASERS! My twelve year old self would be super excited! We actually have a laser-tag
franchise based on the film and it’s story - www.revolutionlaser.com.au.
The visual effects in Blue
World Order were all done by talented freelancers. In a more
wholistic sense I wanted the film to be a vehicle for a VFX graduates to
give them a solid feature credit.
Do talk about
your directorial approach to your subject at hand?
The original idea for Blue
World Order was to make the film in a way to mirror the story. You
know, hand-held, using only what we could salvage, it was a real ‘run
and gun’ approach to give the sense of being there - almost docu style. As the film progressed however, it grew. Because we did it all
independently, I could make decisions as we went along. I wasn’t locked
into anything. I could evolve as we went… so things like the car chase,
laser battle, etc. could be added to give a new sense of scale to the
At its core, the film is about the people. It’s not about the
fight for example, it’s about the guys IN the fight, so I wanted to make
sure we cared about the characters and their motivation, because at the
end of the day, if you don’t care about WHO it's all happening to, none
of the rest of it matters.
The film starts tight and small, all about Jake’s world and his small
concern - but it grows from there. As Jake discovers and comes to learn
about a larger world, the scope of the shots and storytelling also expands
to big sweeping plains and wider shots.
Do talk about
your key cast, and why exactly these people?
Our cast are fantastic. The lead role of Jake Slater (played by myself
in the short) called for someone who could not only carry off the raw
determination of a father protecting his child, but also have the
physical martial arts skills for what was going to be a highly physical
role. I had known Jake Ryan for many years, we used to fight together on
the Tae Kwon Do circuit and I knew he was the perfect fit.
Stephen Hunter was always going to be Madcap. I was working with
Stephen on the set of The Hobbit, and saw what a talented actor he
was. Even though he didn’t speak while playing Bombur, I recognised that
he was the perfect counterpoint to Jake, the perfect partner. Stephen has
great comic timing, and the intelligence to play Madcap - a slightly
unhinged but brilliant scientist who’s a key figure in the resistance.
The role of Jake’s mentor, Master Crane, required someone with real
gravitas - but who also had the ability to play a little unhinged in his
wisdom. I’d been a long time fan of Billy Zane, particularly in an old Tales
from the Crypt film called Demon Knight. I had actually
bonded with Billy many years earlier over karaoke when I was working on a
film he starred in with Henry Rollins and Kelly McGillis called Morgan’s
Ferry. Billy has a real presence on screen and loves working in
Australia, so I threw out a ‘Hail-Mary’ and he loved the script!
A few words
about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
The shoot was hugely ambitious, and I knew that. People throw ‘low
budget’ and ‘indie’ around a lot, but this film really was. I’m
amazingly proud of what we’ve accomplished given the truly independent,
limited resource nature of the film. We got great bang for buck on
screen. Our principal shoot was 5 weeks, just to get all the main drama down,
but then about every weekend over the next year I would run out with a
camera and get pickups to help flesh out the story and action.
Everyone had a great time on set, but like all films, it was extremely
tough. So everyone pitched in. The only way through was forward, so that
meant that people had several roles - being an independent film, the lines
of segregation weren’t there: We had several people performing multiple
roles, and for some people like me, that lasted years!
$64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?
World Order is OUT NOW in the US! Just released on digital platforms
like iTunes, Dish, cable, DVD etc. Go here: http://radi.al/
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Blue
World Order has done the festival circuit around Europe and the US, winning a
bunch of awards. We’ve also had a tour of premiere screenings in
Australia. It’s been really well received - especially when the audience
realises that even though the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, it
touches on some really serious themes. It’s a lot of fun!
World Order is a little bit like medicine delivered in a sugary
pill, in that I wanted to explore some serious themes whilst
wrapping them up in a fun adventure film. I wanted to create two
philosophies that, in their own right, are completely legitimate - and yet
in this scenario they cannot co-exist.
Any future projects you'd like to
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Right now I’m actively looking for my next gig, so if you know anyone
I’m putting the finishing touches on Blue World Order
the novel. It links in with my series of novels (starting with The Rule
of Knowledge - writing as Scott Baker).
I’m also talking with international best-selling author Matthew
Reilly about his novel Contest, a great creature feature where
eight aliens are locked in a library in a gladiator showdown!
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Thanks for the interview!