IT’S not unusual for indie filmmakers with tiny budgets to hire first-time cast and crew.
Writer-director Fin Edquist’s new film Bad Girl — shot in WA — is the first major lead role for actor Sara West and the first feature film for Perth producer Tenille Kennedy.
Bad Girl also marks the cinematography debut of Fremantle’s Gavin Head, an experienced assistant cameraman who has worked on dozens of films.
“I’ve assisted for many years and I’ve been mentored by Geoffrey Simpson, who has worked on Oscar winning films like Shine and Fried Green Tomatoes,” he says.
“Simpson actually recommended me for Bad Girl which came as a surprise.”
Head was born in Kalgoorlie and lived in various places around Australia before settling in Fremantle in the 1980s.
He now considers the port city to be his home.
A great place
“I love Fremantle and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else,” Head says.
“Fremantle is a great place to come back to after a long shoot and wander around and do nothing.”
Having a favourite place to unwind is important for the cinematographer, especially after a hectic four-week shoot in the Swan Valley, Kalamunda and Serpentine for Bad Girl.
The bloody and intense psychological thriller follows Amy (Sara West) as she fights to save her adoptive parents from her deranged new friend Chloe (Samara Weaving).
“I think Gavin Head is incredible,” West says.
“I think he has absolutely heightened Bad Girl to a level I could never have imagined it would go.
“He did an amazing job with very little crew and very little money.
“I think he’s the genuine star of the film — he was amazing to work with.”
In 2013 WA looked set to become the Hollywood of Australia, with Impian Films and Extraordinary Group announcing ambitious plans to build a $50 million film studio in Perth.
Head argues that a local studio is essential if WA is to have a sustainable and attractive film industry that can keep talented filmmakers from heading East or overseas.
“Money must be invested in some infrastructure,” he says,
“You need a club house for this industry, somewhere centralised.
“It’s not about the studio making a fuck-load of money, it’s about the technicians and the people involved in movies in WA to be able to take ownership of the industry here.
“I’ve never felt so alive making Bad Girl and I’d love for other West Australians to feel that too.”
Bad Girl will have a limited cinema release form April 27.
by MATTHEW EELES