Local filmmaker brings production to Ipswich
IF you're driving around Ipswich next week, don't be surprised to see a TV show in production.
Thanks to Connor Fairclough, the new show that is being funded by Screen Queensland will be setting up shop for several days as the series is being filmed.
Connor grew up in Ipswich, and pitched the series that he wrote to the film production gurus. He got the go ahead and was keen to have the show filmed in his home town.
Written and directed by the former St Edmunds student, Connor is excited about the new show, and comes after his telemovie Head Above Water aired on the 9GO! channel over Christmas.
"The show is called Cursed, and Screen Queensland have funded a pilot which is being filmed in Ipswich next week," Connor said. "The hope is that eventually an entire series gets funding.
"Cursed will follow the adventures of a couple of roommates who drink a bit too much one night and end up playing with a Ouija board. The problem is they wake up cursed and they can't remember what they did...and that's about all I can give away at this point.
"It's a comedy/horror piece, as I've watched lots of horror movies and thought what would I do in a certain situation. So that's where the idea came from and movies like Shaun of the Dead, What We Do In The Shadows and TV shows like Ash Vs The Evil Dead have been an inspiration, not to mention hugely popular."
The show brings back some of his stars from Head Above Water, and the full cast includes Kyle McCallion, Omar Al-Sobky, Cleo Massey, Elliot Loney, Mitch Wanlessn Neel Kolhatkar with Tristan Barr as producer.
"I've got a great team of people working on it at the moment. Pre-production is getting everything ready and the schedule is all done including filming in Ipswich. We're already thinking of strategies for marketing, as at the end of the day it's about generating the biggest audience possible. I've never worked with Screen Queensland and I've done lots of workshops with them in directions to take the show that I've never considered, so it's really good to get that kind of guidance," Connor said.
"I'm learning new stuff every day, and I think it's going to get better the further we go. This is my first experience writing in a TV format, so you have to consider the setting, the actions, and the props. Plus I've had some contacts with people at the ABC who have allowed me to pick their brains."
Connor is one of those people who is always thinking about his project, which often means carrying a pen and paper with him.
"I don't have a strict writing process myself, I just write when things comes to me and then get people on board to help me streamline things. I'll often wake up at 3am or be in the shower when I get an idea. I'm not the kind of person that can sit down and write from 10am to 1pm each day without fail. When I feel like writing I'll just do it, and when you get an idea before you fall asleep you have to write it down.
"I'm so new to this kind of thing, so I'm not going to sound obnoxious and say I have a 'process'. But in saying that, if it does go to series, there will be all kinds of deadlines... so that's something I will have to improve on."
So keep an eye out over the next couple of weeks for film crews in your suburb, it might just be the Cursed crew filming in Ipswich. In fact, Connor has one spot he'd love to set up a film crew.
"I'd love to film at the Workshop Museum one day," he said. "It's an incredible building and I think you could do some really cool stuff in there, especially with the lights off...it's perfect for a horror comedy."