by FilmInk Staff

2007, however it was the dawn of the feature film project which encouraged them to officially join forces and found their production company, Chrave.

Prior to this, their shorts, music videos and business promo clips had generated a large online viewership, with 350,000 alone on Youtube with their domestic violence drama Sinking Ships.

The Chrave team was excited about tackling Moorehouse Road, which tells the story of newlyweds Sunni and Flynn, with their friend Tyler, who stay at a country guest house which becomes a nightmare after they learn the owners of the residence are hiding a dark family secret.

In 2013, Peters [left], a first-time homebuyer, built a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house in Baldivis, WA, which was a fast growing new land estate. “Building a house was very exciting, it was also my first time living out of home.”

However, after a few years of struggling financially, Peters would eventually lose enthusiasm for homeownership. “Paying a mortgage by yourself is tough! And just add the general living expenses to that and you ask yourself, ‘why am I doing this?’”

Peters realised that he got caught up in the idea of property investment and gave it priority over his true passion, filmmaking. So, in 2017, Peters, who had no formal training in film production, decided to rent out his house, work part time and go to film school.

After only one trimester, the then 27-year old Peters ended up withdrawing from the course. “I hate to sound arrogant, but while film school was fun, I feel like I wasn’t learning anything new at this point, I had already learned so much on my own.”

This revelation actually gave the aspiring filmmaker the confidence to keep pursuing the greater goal, so he started scribbling down notes for a synopsis. His long-time love for the horror genre made it easy for him to know what type of film he would like to write.

David Laurance [left] noted it had been some time since their last filmmaking venture. “I told Chris – ‘we haven’t made a movie in a while, what’s happening?’ Then Chris would say he had been making notes about what he’d hoped to be our first feature-length film.”

This would develop further over the course over a year and eventually the first couple of drafts would be written. The pair went on to host a script reading. With Peters’ job in talent management and casting, they had no shortage of local actors to approach the project. In the lead of Sunni, the film’s “final girl”, they cast Hannah Arevalo who had just finished training at WAAPA. Also cast was Taylor Than-Htay, Lawrence Murphy, Grady O’Connell and industry veteran Kate Hall, known for her work in TV shows such as Ship to Shore.

They recruited a small, multi-skilled crew as well as close family and friends who would also help out.

As Chrave had decided to fund the film themselves, this meant they needed to strategise a plan when it came to costs and spending. “This was a very low budget film, we each wore multiple hats during production and had to adapt to changing situations quite a bit,” tells Laurance.

Just as production began, Peters received the news that his tenants were not renewing the lease to his house and would soon be moving out. With the film now his main focus, Peters decided it was time to put the house on the market. “I really wanted to give everything to the movie. Mentally, physically and financially, I was doing what I love, and the house was no longer a priority to me, but it was still costing me.”

Peters would successfully sell the house during production.

Shot between February and May 2021 in rural areas around Perth, Moorehouse Road was luckily not impacted too greatly from the global pandemic, as Western Australia had very tight border restrictions at the time. “Only once did Covid mess us around, and that was right before the final shoot day, which was also the big finale of the film. Literally hours before our last day, it was announced that there had been a positive case in the community and WA entered a snap lockdown for one week,” Peters says.

Luckily the lockdown ended on time and the production was able to wrap the following week.

Moorehouse Road had its world premiere at the WA Made Film Festival on 11th March 2022 to a sold out audience. The film is currently on the festival trajectory and returns to the big screen in its native Perth from 21 – 23 October at The Backlot Perth.

Chrave aims to have the film available on streaming in 2023.