Short Film Big On Action

Having just wrapped his second short film, Post Apocalyptic Man, actor turned director Nathan Phillips chats to us about the shoot.


The star of Aussie films (Wolf Creek, Balibo, Summer Coda) and Hollywood flicks (Snakes On A Plane, Surfer, Dude), Nathan Phillips has an interest in working on the other side of the camera. After co-founding the independent production company Sons of Outlaws, Phillips directed his first short entitled Message from the CEO in September last year.

Phillips can now add another credit to his directorial resume. He's just finished shooting the short Post Apocalyptic Man. Starring Damian Walshe-Howling (Underbelly, the upcoming The Reef) and Michael Dorman (Daybreakers, Suburban Mayhem), it follows one man's quest for revenge against a totalitarian empire, set in a post-apocalyptic Australian outback.

Phillips is quick to recall the combined effort of everyone involved in the filmmaking process. "Everyone that was in my crew is my family," he says. "Anyone who works in film knows how close you get and everyone in my crew, I'd worked with previously. Everyone was working on four hours sleep and I'm just so happy to think people will get the chance to see their work on screen."

With the help of his creative team, Phillips carved out a unique vision for the film. "We were trying to create a big short film," he explains. "We wanted to be able to own what we do and not have to to rely on CGI or special effects. We wanted to actually have grunt and brass balls and celebrate Not Quite Hollywood style," Phillips says referencing Mark Hartley's rollicking documentary about the Australian genre films of the seventies and eighties.

When asked if he encountered any challenges in bringing the film to the screen, Phillips is surprisingly succinct. "Finding money. We only found our money two weeks before [we needed it] so thank God for people who love art and could support us because we literally had no money. It was all coming out of our own pockets before we finally found someone who had a bit more money to help us and if it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be here."

Currently in post-production, Phillips is looking to develop a release strategy that will capitalise on the recent success of other Australian productions. "I've got a few people interested over in the States and I know of people in Melbourne and Sydney who are interested. Of course we'll make a short trailer which we hope to run off the back of a new Australian film like Red Hill or something as great as Animal Kingdom to get people more excited."

With the New Year approaching, Phillips' work schedule is quickly filling up. "I'm working on the amazing story of Tom Wills (for the ABC), who is the man who created AFL football with filming set to commence next week. Then I've got to go back to America to do a series called Outlaw Country with John Hawkes from Deadwood - it's full of guts and glory and I get to play a real outlaw!"


Visit the Sons of Outlaws website here.


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