Filmmakers chase thrillseekers

The Courier Mail – by Des Partridge


THE latest movie to be filmed in and around Brisbane…

THE latest movie to be filmed in and around Brisbane won’t be targeting a niche market or award nominations.

Instead, the makers of the thriller ‘Acolytes’ will unashamedly target a mainstream audience – especially the estimated 800,000 Australian movie-goers aged 16 to 18 who want horror and thrills rather than romance or comedy.

“I’m making an MA 15+ rated commercial feature that has some meat on its bones,” says Sydney-based director Jon Hewitt, whose cast includes Joel Edgerton and Bundaberg-raised actor Michael Dorman.

Brisbane has a heavy presence in the production via writers Shane Krause and Shayne Armstrong and producers Richard Stewart and Penny Wall of Stewart-Wall Entertainment.

Edgerton and Dorman feature in the cast with newcomers Hanna Mangan-Lawrence, 16, from Sydney, and Melbourne teenagers Sebastian Gregory, 17, and Joshua Payne, 18.

The story, involving a serial killer (Edgerton), a small-town bully (Dorman) and their teen victims, is the first to be filmed by the new Stewart-Wall partnership headquartered at Bulimba.

Sixty crew are working on the $3.8 million feature that has its production headquarters at Redcliffe, and has involved locations in Beerburrum forest near the Glass House Mountains, Petrie, and this week Pinkenba near Brisbane Airport.

The industrial area close to the Brisbane River was the setting for a frantic chase, with three teen actors desperately trying to outrun a HQ Kingswood.

The scene no doubt will carry plenty of tension when Acolytes reaches cinemas, but ended in dismayed laughter on the set when the ancient Holden’s tailshaft scraped along Yarra St’s bitumen. An early lunch break was called for repairs to be made before filming resumed.

“I just love old Holdens,” said Dorman, who studied his craft at the Queensland University of Technology and featured on stage in Brisbane before moving to Sydney.

Filming for Acolytes should be completed on May 19 and it will be in cinemas next year.

The film is the first feature in the southern hemisphere to be shot on a $1 million high-definition Viper camera, which was leased from a New Zealand production company.

Two other local productions will soon follow Acolytes – the $24 million vampire thriller Daybreakers and the $7.5 million How to Change in 9 Weeks, based on the true story of a 15-year-old girl who was murdered by her baby-sitter, with Guy Pearce, Miranda Otto and Sam Neill.,,21688312-5003420,00.html