Aussie filmmaker Gregor Jordan gives us the lowdown on a new film festival he has founded with Bryan Brown, which aims to kickstart your creative engines.
Australian filmmaker Gregor Jordan is paying homage to festivals like Tropfest in the form of the Open Road Film Festival, his new joint venture with actor Bryan Brown. In conjunction with Harley Davidson, Jordan has created the ending to a film, with the festival on the lookout to find new Australian filmmaking talent to show them how the story began. Not only did Harley Davidson play an active role in Jordan's ending, they've provided financial assistance to help the pair set up the festival.
The top five scripts will receive grants of $1,000 each, plus the use of a Canon camera as well as invaluable mentoring from Jordan and Brown on how to shoot the films. If that process isn't appealing, or you don't qualify, you can also make your film and upload it onto the Open Road Film Festival's website.
"It's about unearthing new talent and helping find the future of the Australian industry," Jordan says. "The current battle against piracy and trying to create a model whereby films and filmmaking can co-exist happily with the internet is a real struggle. The idea at the heart of this whole thing is what spawned it, the idea of having one ending and a whole lot of different beginnings."
While the helmer behind such Aussie films as Two Hands and Ned Kelly, as well as the international outings The Informers and Buffalo Soldiers, Jordan is no stranger to how tough it is to get noticed as an aspiring filmmaker. An ex-winner of Tropfest, he attributes the kickstart of his career to that festival. "I think things like Tropfest are so fantastic," he enthuses. "It really gives filmmakers a break and the ones that win, the prizes aside, they get noticed and they get opportunities afterwards."
The one thing Jordan has learnt as a director is that there's no point sitting around and waiting for things to happen; you have to go out and do it yourself. "No one is going to give you a break, you have to make your own," Jordan asserts. "You have to go out there and hustle and write your own script, get your own camera, do your own thing. Get people excited in your vision. It's a real mistake to sit around and wait for that amazing script to come in the door, you may as well spend the time writing one yourself."
In conjunction with Jordan's partnership with Bryan Brown, support has come in the form of sponsors such as Audio Networks and Canon. "The ending was also shot on a Canon EOS-5DM3," he says. "These cameras are a very big part of independent film at the moment, so we're very lucky to have Canon on board."
Jordan hopes the Open Road Film Festival will become an annual event. "I would love to be able to have this festival be another interesting part of Australian film culture, in the same way as Tropfest or the Sydney Film Festival or the Melbourne International Film Festival," he says. "The fact that it's got this idea at its heart of one ending and a whole lot of beginnings, it's a different spin on things and that potentially opens up some creative doors."
The Open Road Film Festival is open for entries now with applications closing July 13. Finished films must be submitted by September 7. For more information, head here.