“The Lost One is the story of apathy; it explores the question of how far people are willing to go if put in a horrible position,” says writer/director Damian Hussey, who makes his feature directorial debut (after doing the cinematography on indie flicks like Ashburn Waters, Gunpowder and Alice) with this grim and gritty thriller.
The Lost One tracks Shae (Emily Rowbottom), a disillusioned former police officer who discovers a child abuse network run by the rich and powerful. During the course of her investigation, she meets vigilante Riley (Stephanie Ranty), whose mission is to expose the ring at any cost. Shae initially rejects Riley’s philosophy but over time forms the opinion that maybe the only way to deal with evil is to kill it. At the same time, Shae challenges Riley, who is headed down her own dark path. “The film was inspired by the corruptions and cover-ups pervasive in the highest levels of our society,” says Hussey. “Why is it that some individuals are untouchable, and scandal after scandal gets swept under the rug? Do we need vigilantes of our own? What would you do if you had the worst of humanity in front of you? Would you hand them to the police and risk them walking free? Or would you take matters into your own hands? I can’t answer this moral question. Everyone will have their own answer depending on their unique worldview.”
Shooting an indie flick in Australia is never easy, but The Lost One had some very particular obstacles to launch itself over. It was budgeted at a very tight $30,000 considering the scope of its ambition, and was shot across twenty locations with a large cast and more than a few complicated effects shots. It was also filmed in September of this year, under strict COVID-19 enforced health and safety guidelines. According to Damian Hussey, however, he had the right equipment – along with the right people – to make it all happen. “The film was shot on two Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K cameras,” the director explains. “Most were single camera setups, but we shot multi-cam during the action scenes to cut time and reduce risk of injuries. The Pocket 4Ks are also great in lowlight, so we were able to capitalise on this and not hire any extra lighting. I’ve been shooting on the Pocket 4K since it first came out in 2018 and I purchased a second one early this year. They were the perfect choice for the shoot because of their small size, great image and low light capability. The BRAW format is ideal for indie filmmaking due to its relative small file size and great image quality.”
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K cameras also meant that Hussey could move quickly and effectively through his complicated shot list. “Most scenes were single camera setups but we operated the two cameras for the stunt scenes,” the director explains. “This allowed us to limit the number of setups, and reduce the possibility of injuries by repeating risky scenes. We had a very small budget so the dual ISO capability meant that we didn’t need to hire large lights, while still maintaining a clean image. The single camera setups were mostly on sticks and a dolly, so we kept the other camera on standby on a gimbal. This further reduced any down time of changing camera configurations.”
To keep track of The Lost One, head to the film’s official Facebook page.