Written, directed, produced by and starring Jace Pickard, the upcoming Australian genre drama Fragmentary from Bendy Spoon Productions puts us in the shoes of a man who believes he can travel to an alternate reality under the influence of alcohol to see the love of his life, who was murdered in his reality two years before. Debbie Neilson, Jacinta Moses, Helen Shoobert and Renee Lim co-star.
We caught up withe Pickard for a quick chat about his intriguing new project.
How did the story develop?
The story for Fragmentary has always been in the back of my mind and it only actually became a reality in 2016 when I went through a bad break-up due to a drunken night out. I went home for a week and started typing and a month later, the first draft of Fragmentary was completed. The script deals with alcoholism and what we go through after a death of a loved one. However, there is a theme within the script that is there subtly, which is everything happens for a reason and even though things are shit now, you will recover. And that is what I kept telling myself after the breakup and it is quite evident in the script.
What was your development/pre-production period like? How did you raise funds?
I started pre-production towards the end of 2016. I think the biggest concern for me was getting a DOP who had a great quality camera. Bendy Spoon Productions shot their two previous films (which I executive produced) on a Blackmagic Cinema Camera and I knew if I was to be the next to direct a film, it would have to be somehow better. I was introduced to DOP Nicholas Price by director Wayne Tunks when he shot a web series pilot I was in, and we had a meeting. He told me he loved the story and if he was to come on, that I had to promise to not quit halfway through. Two years later, I can definitely say I kept my promise.
Funding was a different story. I decided to go with the Australian Cultural Fund to raise funds for the film. I ended up getting $2500 from that site and I took out a loan for the rest of the film’s budget.
What challenges did you face during filming?
I think the biggest challenge during filming is the prosthetic make-up during the climatic scenes for the monsters in the film. It would take make-up/sfx Joshua Churchill around two hours to apply prosthetics to each actor and so we would have these actors come in quite a number of hours before a shoot to get into the make-up chair, to then shoot an 8-16 hour day. It was exhausting for everyone involved.
What other films did you draw inspiration from?
I drew a lot of my inspiration from Joss Whedon. I absolutely LOVE Buffy the Vampire Slayer and some of those episodes have very realistic themes in them even though supernatural elements occur.
Where can we see it?
The film will hit the film festival circuit early 2019, and around the same time there will be a premiere in Sydney, Australia.