Three years in the making and set in a Sydney greyhound track, Ascendant is a haunting, modern noir piece from Observance writer/producer Josh Zammit.
Josh wrote, directed & produced the film with co-producer and co-writer Samuel Loveridge, however it almost never saw completion when the ban on greyhound racing was put in place, compromising his access to the location:
“They were happy to have us for free, we could do whatever we wanted … then managers changed, the industry changed, this political thing happened and it became more difficult.”
Josh was suddenly faced with a very different shooting climate. He found himself adjusting his initial vision on the fly to fit the location requirements:
“We weren’t allowed to do specific things … they were being very careful considering they were being shut down by the government.”
Interview with Josh, Part 1:
Then just 48 hours before shooting was set to start at the track, Josh lost his location and the future of the film was suddenly in jeopardy:
“Just a couple of days before we were going to shoot they cancelled on us, essentially because of the ban, all the media coverage … they got nervous and dropped out.”
Interview with Josh, Part 2:
Three months later the racing ban was overturned and he was able to get the location back.
By this time however the delay had caused a large follow on effect: the lead actor was now unavailable along with several key members of the crew.
Eventually dates were re-scheduled and the production was back on track.
Three years later Josh’s fierce perseverance and collaboration with DOP Carl Robertson won out. They completed the film while staying true to their creative vision, resulting in a slick, pensive and ethereal piece of Australian noir.
Ascendant will be released later in 2018 and you can find out more about it here.