“You know that feeling you get after fist pumping with a crowd during a midnight screening of Back To The Future when Marty McFly absolutely kills it playing Johnny B. Goode on the electric guitar? That’s what Tim Fox, writer of Jump, wanted to get across, the fun and energy of time travel, romance and adventure. Hence, he penned Jump, flagrantly stealing tropes from every film he loved from childhood; it’s like Sarah Connor, Doctor Who, Edgar Wright and Marty McFly made time-wimey love and out popped our screenplay.”
That’s director Josh Mawer explaining the inspiration for his latest short film, Jump, with the plot officially…. ‘George is all elbows when it comes to talking to Amy. But his time travelling dating coach knows that persistence making perfect.. ‘
Jump is part of an anthology web series called ‘The Bench’, which according to Mawer is “the brainchild of EPs Tim Fox, Justina Ward and Oliver Wenn, produced with The HubStudio in Sydney. Series 1, now finished, is six short films all set around the same park bench. Happily, it was a prop bench and could be moved to each location as needed for each story.
“Each short film is a unique story across different genres with different characters, cast and crew. All up around 130 cast and crew worked across six films over three years go-to-woah.
“They sent out a call for scripts, whittled down around 80 submissions to 8 shortlisted screenplays, and 6 of those went into production. The producers were grateful to receive some funding from the Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation, and an amazing deal from gear house Digital Logic, and then from each and every crew and cast member who all contributed their time and talent to bringing it to the screen.”
And how does Jump take its, ahem, seat on this bench? “Each episode is a standalone story, a ‘snack-able feast’ of bite size entertainment, and the producers sequenced the eps into a comedy, then a drama, and so on,” Mawer tells us. “Each film assembled its own team, and our team is Writer – Tim Fox; Director – Josh Mawer; Producers – Stephanie Begg, Tim Fox, Michael Knott; DP – Adam Lynch; Editor – Lara Benwell; Composer – Ellie Cumming; Cast – Michael Whalley (George), Michael Howlett (Zed), Madeleine Jones (Amy/Future Amy)
“There are small Easter eggs through the series; some actors reappear, some locations look the same, some dialogue hints at more, however the beauty of the series is the showcasing of the imaginations of talented local filmmakers with little more than the proverbial park bench. We shot our episode third, and though each ep is a standalone story, linked by a park bench, we felt the momentum building of this community affair and filmed in the sub-tropical humidity of Sydney in February. Michael Howlett, playing the eccentric time-traveller ‘Zed’, was layered in from boots to gloves to trenchcoat and accessories in the sweltering heat, and happily didn’t pass out on set.”
Josh Mawer holds a Graduate Diploma in Narrative Directing from the Australian Film, Television & Radio School [AFTRS] and has directed numerous shorts, including the multiple-award winning Legacy. His partner and Jump producer Stephanie Begg is currently studying the Masters of Art Screen in Directing at AFTRS, and has written and directed several short films, including the 1million+ viewed web series Same Same with creator Lauren Augarten.
Both Josh and Stephanie are stoked to see Jump play at Flickerfest. “It’s one of our favourites and draws good crowds, and you can escape the summer heat watching flicks inside the pavilion theatre, then go for a dip, then back for more, then for a beer and dinner, then back for more. It’s good seeing friend’s films there, and catching up with them, and then of course we love showing our little film too. It’s in its 28th year and still going strong, providing such a good community for filmmakers and punters to get along and watch great shorts. As an academy qualifying festival specifically showing short films, it’s so exciting just to be selected to screen!”