Rebecca Murphy has added feature film producer to her list of credits with a deadpan comedy set to debut this Thursday at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival.
Based on the 2014 short of the same name, The Florist follows millennial Annika, played by Murphy, who earns her living selling edible hypnotic flowers to fashionable eateries across Los Angeles.
Following her instincts, and driven by blind ambition, her business appears to be going well until the onset of competitors prompt her to take action and announce she has found the elusive Comet Flower, a legendary plant that may have unique qualities.
The film was written and directed by fellow Australian Andrew Ryan (writer and creator of MTV’s The Sellers) and was shot in California.
The short, also written and directed by Ryan and produced by Murphy, screened at Tribeca Film Festival, with the script named as a finalist for the 2016 Sundance Alfred P Sloan Prize.
Murphy told IF while the expansion of the project came with challenges, including shooting on a micro-budget of under $50,000, not really knowing what to expect from the process proved beneficial.
“We started to explore the idea of making our own feature after being influenced by people such as Mark Duplass, Mike Cahill and Brit Marling, who had made their own films,” she said.
“I was able to roll with the punches a bit more than I would have if I went into the experience knowing how difficult things could get.
“Having done it, I consider moving into the producer space as one of the best decisions of my life because I just learnt so much.”
The film was shot in the second half of 2017, with post-production wrapping in the summer of 2018/19.
Murphy, who is based in LA, said the timeline of the project had been a lesson in not expecting immediate success for the film.
“When we were shopping around the script, we had such a great reaction from people who were very interested in where the idea came from and there was a lot of encouragement from the people around us,” she said.
“It still took a while to get where we are now, in terms of releasing it and having it seen by an audience.
“For me, it has been about navigating that process and still being okay.
“I feel as though if you put something out there which you love and did with passion, then it will find its place.
“The programmers and the people of Revelation Perth International Film Festival share my passion for independent film.”
Murphy said she was looking to branch out further in future projects, including as a writer and director.
“I’ve been writing by myself, which is something I have never done before, and I’m hoping to start directing as well,” she said.
“I think I would like to start with a short film and see how I go, but the end game would definitely be directing a feature, or even just making another film, whether that be as an actor, or a producer.”
The Revelation Perth International Film Festival runs until December 13, with The Florist screening this Thursday 9pm at Luna Leederville, and Friday 2.15pm.
The complete program is available at www.revelationfilmfest.org