Ruth Richards, David Argue and Brenton Foale.
When actor Brenton Foale told friends he wanted to try his hand at writing and directing they suggested he start with a short film.
Foale had different ideas, convinced he had the ability to shoot a feature based on a script he started developing just two years ago.
He joined forces with Passion Media Productions’ Leanne Campbell, for whom he worked as a crew member on her short film Love in Motion last year.
With private investment, a crowd-funding campaign on Pozible and $60,000 of Foale’s own money, they are financing Deal, which started shooting in Melbourne on Saturday.
The plot follows six people whose lives become entangled, erupting in violence, deceit and crime. They include Stephanie (Madison Vulic), an attractive young woman who has an opportunity to attend a top modelling school but has little money.
Dean (John McCullough) is living on borrowed time and wants nothing more than to reunite with his estranged daughter. Fiona (Ruth Richards) struggles to raise her baby daughter while her alcoholic husband is unemployed. Jarrod (Harley Diprose) needs to summons the courage to start a relationship with a beautiful girl from his high school days.
All have heard the urban legend about Luke (Axle Gunn), the one man who could make their dreams become a reality. David Argue (Gallipoli, BMX Bandits, Razorback) plays a villain named Tony and Naomi Lisner also plays a supporting role..
Foale tells IF he got the idea two years ago while working as a store manager, the most boring job imaginable. He filled in the down time by starting to write a screenplay based on the timeless premise of good vs evil, and within three days had an 88-page draft. Thereafter he did 22 drafts, the last one co-written with Richards.
The actor figures he learned a lot about the craft of filmmaking during his career and has no qualms about making his debut on a feature.
South Australian-based Blue Velvet Productions will handle US distribution and help the producers with the Australian release. Blue Velvet CEO Steven Spiel co-wrote the psychological thriller Addiction, produced by the US's Amis Entertainment, which starred Orange in the New Black's Vicky Jeudy.
A former cop in Victoria, Spiel this year wrote and directed the short film Never Forgiven, intending to give the public a better understanding of the effects that traumatic events can have on individuals.
Campbell tells IF, "I have developed a close working relationship with Blue Velvet Productions and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship. I will be in discussions with them at a later date regarding Twisted (starring Albert Goikham) and Broken Sunshine (starring Naomi Lisner). I have several other projects in various stages of scripting including The Doll Maker (starring Tony Markulin) and The Booty Boys."
Deal will have a staggered shooting schedule because DoP Rick Idak is doubling as the behind the scenes videographer on Matthew Holmes’ bushranger movie The Legend of Ben Hall, in which Foale plays a magistrate.
Meanwhile Lisner is developing a feature based on her screenplay The Doctor’s Wife, loosely based on her own life. She intends to play the lead and newsreader George Donikian has agreed to play her husband. No director is attached yet.