Hitting It For Six
Save Your Legs started out as an amateur cricketing team tour of India, and is now a full-blown Australian feature film.
The 2012 MIFF seems to be the Festival of the first time feature, and director Boyd Hicklin is another that has made the leap from short form to ninety minutes. Save Your Legs has a pedigree: the film is the dramatic equivalent of the short documentary of the same name that Hicklin made when his ‘D-grade’ cricket team, the Abbotsford Anglers, decided to tour India as a last hurrah in a less than spectacular sporting career. This time, set ten years later, the team has gone from carefree to family-centric.
“[The documentary] was at a time of life at which for 99% of us was before kids, before mortgages, before complicated lives. The idea of picking up for four weeks and going to India and playing cricket was like, ‘yeah, sure’. Fast forward from that, and the idea of picking up for five weeks and going to India was like… ‘I may as well be inviting my friends to the moon’.”
Save Your Legs has been described as a cricketing odyssey bromance, and stars perennial Aussie blokes Brendon Cowell, Stephen Curry and David Lyons, among others. Cowell also wrote the script, and Hicklin was happy to have him on board. “I think when Brendan, myself and Nick (Batzias, producer) started working on what the script was going to be about, that’s when the realisation came – it’s about men, and it’s mid-life. Brendan’s fascinated with male relationships, and he likes to get to the core of how people work, and he was great at brining that drama to the table.”
Hicklin, like others, found that his background in advertising contributed to his ability to tell the story. “The thirty second world and the short form communication world does discipline you. You can’t faff around – you’ve got to get a message across. And it teaches you about time, and what you’re trying to say.”
It’s a drama that has been well received on both sides of the dinner table, too. A pleasing development for Hicklin has been audience response. “Women dig it,” says Hicklin. “They relate to it, they can laugh with it. [The men] don’t take themselves too seriously, but there’s real heart and honesty to it. That’s what I’d like people to experience and hopefully have resonate.”
Save Your Legs premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival and will be released in cinemas on January 24, 2013.