Slow and Steady
After garnering acclaim for his Perth-shot short film ‘Hugh Jackman Saves The World!’, Canadian writer/director Lee Chambers is now gearing up to adapt his own novel.
Canadian writer/director Lee Chambers (pictured) has taken out the Best Screenwriter award at the Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards for his short film Hugh Jackman Saves the World!, which was set at a community college in Western Australia.
Chambers wrote the film as part of his ‘Make It Short Film Project', which he has been running since 2005, and which aims to bridge Canadian and Australian cultures, using high school students to assist with post-production.
"This is my third nomination in a row," Chambers told The Sudbury Star in an interview after the win. "I was starting to feel like Kate Winslet. Happy for the nomination and was open to whatever happened.
"We have talked to Hugh Jackman and are supporting World Vision this year. Over the years, we have donated thousands of dollars to numerous charities," Chambers said about the Make It Short Film Project.
Hugh Jackman Saves the World! was shot with the assistance of students from Roleystone Community College near Perth, and is a comedy that investigates the gadget-obsessed youth of today and how they are using it in positive ways.
While the finishing touches are being applied to the short for release, Chambers has already moved onto his debut feature film based on his top-selling novel, The Pineville Heist.
The film, which is set to star Booboo Stewart, who played Twilight's Seth Clearwater, is still in its early stages and originally started as a screenplay before becoming a book.
"The Pineville Heist definitely hasn't been an overnight thing," Chambers explained. "So far, it's been a four year journey and we are still going. Luckily, I love it just as much now as I did when I invented the story and character back in the summer of 2008.
"Because it takes a lot of time and money to get an independent film made, I decided to share the story in book form first. It's just a blueprint to build a film and most of the emotional and descriptive stuff isn't included.
"Drafting the screenplay into a novel allowed me to explore the setting and characters in more detail. Also, it becomes a nice companion piece when we start making the film. It will give actors more insight into what the heart of each character is all about."
The story of the film follows character Aaron Stevens who witnesses a murder, ends up with a bag of stolen money before being hunted down inside his school.
Aaron Stevens is set to be played by Booboo Stewart after Chambers found him online. "I was searching IMDB and he instantly jumped out," Chambers stated. "Sure he was in Twilight, but I didn't pick him because of it. He looks like how I envisaged Aaron to be. So I watched some of his stuff and was impressed with what I saw. I got in touch and he agreed to read the script.
"I met up with Booboo last summer. I spent some time with his family and really appreciated his humbleness. He's pretty grounded from the Twilight success, while at the same time trying to make smart decisions about future work."
Stewart said that he really loved the script and the character as soon as he read the story.
"Aaron is the average guy that has to do extraordinary things," Stewart said. "He's not perfect, which, as an audience, makes you like him.
"This isn't your average G classified movie; it has more of a punch to it, which I really like. Of course I think it's fantastic. Now I want to make sure I live up to Lee's vision."
Find out more about Lee Chambers here.