The Sweepers directed by Justin Davey, Emmy Award winning Director
Geoffrey Caple-write, actor, co-producer, and is from Perth Western Australia
Craig Cochrane co-producer, actor character Agent Hanson. Craig is from Adelaide, Australia
Terrence Leclere Actor - character 'Bo' the bad guy & the music composer, he is originally from Paris, France but grew up in New York
Premieres at 10pm Wednesday 18th August
Interview by Jasmina Nevada
-I have some inside information that told me that this is kind of a competition to 007.. Would you guys like to give me a little more information about your action thriller short, I believe was a 10 minute short?
Yes, well essentially what it is, is 2 Australian Secret Service Agents are sent to Los Angeles to retrieve the Prime Minister's wayward daughter. So the Australian Prime Minister's daughter has come to L.A, no-body is really sure why. He has a re-election campaign that is going on and word is getting around that she is getting into trouble over here so he needs her back in the country putting on a good family face. So our 2 characters are sent to L.A. to retrieve her without the press knowing about it, much fuss, once we get here, we don't know why we are coming here, we do know that we will receive our assignment once we get here, once we get here we discover that we are supposed to retrieve the Prime Minister's daughter. As it turns out, I was conducting an affair with her back in Australia secretly she is now pregnant carrying my child. So I see a light of hope saying I am going to leave all this behind abort the mission and try for a life albeit somewhere and try and flee the government and that's when the complications start. The other character says we have to abort the mission and go back to Australia and tell everybody. I say that there is no way and it is a real conflict between the two agents, one wants to continue with the mission, one doesn't and I don't want to give away what happens...
-Best to keep it as an enigma...
Therein lies the conflict basically is a race against time to try and retrieve her
-How long is your short film?
-How did you come up with this concept and idea?
Well I can give you the short version, we had a development deal at ABC family for a comedy that we had done, the three of us were in, so our management ended up threatening to sue us and threatening to sue the network and that fell apart. So we wanted to keep the momentum going and do something immediately and take advantage of the fact that we were Australians in L.A. I came up with the idea of the Jason Bourne type world and doing an epic drama in a short film. I came up with this world started running ideas with Craig sort of developed an outline of a story went off and wrote the screenplay and there we have it
-So you were able to turn this negative situation into something full of drama and action.... and how long did it take you from the concept to paper to the final short film?
Well to be honest it happened quite quickly I think the screenplay was originally 26 pages which took about 3 or 4 weeks to write and took 3 days to shoot and we shot at LAX completely guerrilla style at LAX which we could have gotten arrested for,
-So it was very gung ho then you just did it off the bat?
We were very much in the habit Justin Davey who directed the short did the film, that's how I met 'the dingo brothers' Craig and Geoff so Justin and I actually we had met doing a lot of short films, we all got along so great that we were just pumping out content whether it was small Internet films we already had a working model of making content, so I think in answering your question as to how quickly it got made was pretty quick- 3 days
-I think that you guys are setting a good example here in Los Angeles to those of us from different countries, pursuing artistic dreams here, so you all put all your heads together and come up with something like this?...
To add to that we could think off a thousand reasons not to make a film and then justify that, but we have to think of what we can do, not we haven't got enough money, we need this location etc.. no we have everything we need we just need to make it
The example then would be to be creative and just go with it..
What we don't like is that there is all this technology and everyone think they are a film maker in a way it's good in another it's bad because there is this glut of ideas that are just thrown together and only a small percentage of them are really worthwhile. So if you are going to do something and have actors and producers and create something make it worthwhile
-Basically what you are saying is put 100 per cent effort into it..
Don' t waste people's time with garbage do something that's quality at least
-What expectation then do you have for your short?
-OK watch this space.....What kind of response are you expecting from your audience? What are you perceiving?
We look at a lot of short films and we see credits and they have 30-40 crew. We have basically 3 maybe 4 of us shooting, with this and seeing the quality of the film we have made I think we are going to get a good response and imagine we had $50,000 behind us and a crew of 30 people it's going to be something else
We also have a feature script written for it, and a 1 hour TV pilot so basically we have follow up..
What's appealing about this movie is the 2 lead characters Handsome and Wenks story where 2 Australians orphans become Secret Service Agents, it's a very cool premise that could be additive to a pilot and a feature I think that is the appeal of this film. I think that people will definitely get into that and also the way it's shot. Justin Davey has a great gritty style of shooting that we explored and this film played on a lot of peoples strengths
The thing is that Justin is an Emmy award winning Director, he won an Emmy Award for his Snickers commercial and is he is a real student of Michael Mann so he loves that visual gritty style so its like incorporating that visual style into a 10 minute action thriller so we have always maintained that short films are not that so at the very least what we are doing is something different that you don't often see in 10 minute short film and if people can walk away saying at the very least it was different and it looked great and the performances were good That's great!
I suppose you are hoping for something that captures the attention from the beginning to the end with no waiver in the middle...?
It moves.. and some of behind of the scenes we chopped it......chopped it up..
-Oh, would like to ask you then..Did you change the original script when you were actually shooting it?
Absolutely. Originally was 26 minutes and Justin went away after a couple of weeks and cut it down to 10 minutes and sent it to Jeff. It was a 26 minute cut to a total of 6 minutes and we thought that this was 'brutal' and then came back again with 10 minutes Jeff viewed it amazed and that was it 'wow' and that cut all of the fat out and got to the point it moves so well kept wandering but you understand it the whole way
Which is a crazy thing as writing the 26 page screenplay and I have written a pretty tight script and then you realize in the editing room and with a total of 10 minutes all the essential elements of the script were there
So it's an amazing experience to see this from 26 minutes to 10 minutes and the pace of the short is bam, bam, bam and the pace of it is pretty frenetic
-In summary then what advice would you have to lets say to 2 young film makers, actors directors etc who are trying to do the same thing as yourself in terms of what you guys have just told me?
(they all shared their opinion)
Probably give me a call,
Get your cheque books ready
1st class airfares.... (all laughing)
For me, (Terence) keep making stuff even if you don't think it's good enough, keep making it and almost as important more importantly in some senses if you can find people you like working with keep working with those people because really creative energy, when you are with a certain group of people you think certain ideas and you really execute different ideas differently
-So like minds then...
Like minds & inspiring minds and so me (Terrence) Justin, Geoff & Craig. Every time we hang out we have a blast and so I know that every time it will be a good product.
Thank you for your time
*I think that this interview provided a great insight into the movie and also great pointers, advice for those of us trying to find our path way into the industry from different countries etc-Jasmina Nevada*