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Completed: May 2011.
A group of eleven recruits, composed entirely of excruciating social stereotypes, and one dorky camp instructor, embark on a weekend-long work retreat in the quasi-wilderness of northern south-east Queensland. Everything goes relatively smoothly, that is to say, lamely, until (you guessed it) one of the group turns out to be a homicidal maniac hell-bent on dispatching the others in a variety of creative ways. The only question is, who is the killer? Is it the jock? The goth? The crippled arsehole? Only time, and a suitable bodycount, will tell. Based on the Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel (sic), The Killage is a wacky, fright-filled journey into the darkest recesses of the human intestines.
The Killage was conceived in mid-2009 as a schlock-horror/comedy that poked fun at films in the “slasher” genre. The plan had always been to shoot the film over a very short period of time, and as a result the production was meticulously planned in advance, to the extent that the entire script was reproduced in storyboard format. The primary copy of the 166-page storyboards was referred to as “The Bible” and was used on set to mark off the completed shots.
Principal photography on The Killage was shot over two long weekends in 2010 – the 5th to the 7th of March and the 9th to the 12th of April – up at Ewen Maddock Dam Recreation Centre on the Sunshine coast. There were a few pick-up and insert shoots done after this, but basically the entire film was shot over the course of these seven days and nights. Needless to say, this demanded an extraordinary amount of dedication from our tireless cast and crew – who worked around the clock, often with no sleep, in order to get every last scene shot. Things were made all the more difficult by the fact that both shoots were plagued by intermittent rainfall, creating unusable sound for the interior scenes and turning exterior filming into an absolute nightmare. Much rescheduling of scenes and shuffling between inside and outside environments resulted. Time was so precious that two cameras were employed to capture many scenes, which is unusual given the style of film and the sometimes conflicting angles that were required.
Due to the hectic nature of the shoot, post-production on The Killage was an ordeal, resulting in over 470 visual effects shots – 90% of these were “fixes”, meaning, for the most part, the removal of undesirable objects that incidentally ended up in frame, such as filming equipment. Sound was also an issue, due mostly to the rain and the poor equipment available on the second weekend. To combat this, a week-long ADR recording took place at Griffith Film School, South Bank. Each actor came in separately and over the course of up to 12 hours (sometimes split over two days), re-recorded every line of their dialogue. Ultimately, all the dialogue in the film, except for one missed line, became pure ADR.
Achievements & Festivals:
- First Place (Trailer #2)
- Best in Festival