At first glance, you might look at Australian writer/director Timothy Boyle’s trailer for his 4th feature film ‘The Half Dead’ & think it was made for big budget dollars, with its epic helicopter shots, explosive action & jaw-dropping visual effects.

But what’s more jaw dropping is that ‘The Half Dead’ was made on a modest indie budget with just 7 crew geared up with 6 feet of track & a Wally Dolly!

So how do you make your film look like a Hollywood blockbuster on a shoestring budget & attract big name stars like John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones) to your production?

Tim ensures that “It all comes down to story”.

Tim’s writing tips:

  • Visualize your film as a trailer & expand on those scenes.
  • Write in the genre you love, forget about logistics.


A massive gamer & comic book fan, Tim threw it all into his script for ‘The Half Dead’, a sci-fi thriller in the X-Men vein, about a young woman who 15 years after a near-fatal car accident awakens with newfound psychic abilities.

To achieve the film’s high production value on a tight budget, Tim’s plan of attack was to continuously keep the camera moving, & to use helicopter stock footage for the bulk of exteriors.

“Filmmaking is just problem solving. Because even on bigger budgets, nothing always goes right”.

Tim & ‘The Half Dead’ crew were always under the pump – be it locations pulling out mere moments before arrival or conflicting schedules with actors, a 30 day shoot quickly became 60. If not for the sheer determination of a devoted cast & crew, & some sage advice James Cameron personally gave to Tim; whom he met through his colleague Sam Worthington Fink! (2005), ‘The Half Dead’ might not have even made it halfway…


Find out more from our interview with Tim:


Tim’s made the bold choice of shooting Australia for America, which he believes will open the film up to the wider market. He stands strong that we (the Australian film industry) need to stop relying on the funding bodies & start acting as a commercial business. “If you make a film, & it doesn’t sell, then that’s on you”.

Recently appointed an international sales agent, ‘The Half Dead’ will be attending this year’s AFM (American Film Market) to be introduced to buyers & is set to release worldwide mid-late 2015.

Tim’s top tips for filmmakers:

  • The cheapest thing you (as a writer/producer/director) can do is write. You get it right on the page and people are interested in being in your project, no matter what the budget.
  • Make what you want to see.
  • Don’t just talk about it, get out there & do it. The most important thing you can do as a filmmaker is have your movie seen.

More info:

Check out ‘The Half Dead’ facebook page here.

For the IMDB info.

The Official site here.

And for more info on Timothy Boyle & his films.

If you have any questions for Tim, hit us up in the comments and we will throw them at TIm and get right back to you with an update! 🙂





Related Posts
Recent Posts