The Producer is one of the most demanding roles in any production and one that more often than not gets little of the spot light. South Australian Film Maker Peta Astbury deserves some time in the spot light not only because he has produced an independent feature film, but one that has been successfully sold and distributed on several platforms including a cinematic release all the way to VOD (Video on Demand) all while the film was made, as David from ‘At the Movies’ says, “on the smell of an oily rag”
Peta had been working in the media industry for over ten years and had completed several short films when in 2007 she decided it was time to reach higher and tackle the difficult task of producing a feature film. Together with Director Chris Moon, Peta went about putting together a business plan an clever script all about a biker named Fig.
The Marriage of Figaro
At the time there was a lack of comedy films being made in Australia and the business plan by Peta had identified the opportunity that gap in the market presented. By keeping the constraints of the film firmly in mind during the writing and development phase they were able to maximize the resources available to them and focus on telling a story that audiences would enjoy.
The film was produced for around $60,000. Au and went on to a successful cinematic release, negotiated, organized and managed by Peta herself. Producer had transformed into distributor. In the world of indie film you often have to wear multiple hats.
The Marriage of Figaro was shot on the Panasonic hpx502, an ENG camera. Its a great example of story being the guiding factor. The P2 format provided a tape-less workflow and the camera was capable and dynamic making a fast production pace possible. Although 2/3rd inch cameras like the HPX502 are not what camera people dream of it was more than capable enough and the story, the characters and the camera work all came together to create a great response from the audience. Exactly what a producer and her team want to hear.
Peta is in the midst of developing her next projects, including a horror film and a biopic on Australian poet Henry Lawson.
Take a look at the interview with Producer Peta Astbury:
Peta’s tips for film makers?
- Be Persistent.
- Be Passionate.
- Develop an eye for a good script and good talent.
- Know when to walk away.
- Have something ready that you want to make next. If you have a success on your hands you will need you next one ready to go to make the most of the opportunity in front of you.
The Marriage of Figaro 2009 Trailer:
If you enjoyed the information from Peta or have any questions for her, leave a comment bellow and we will be sure to hit her up for some more info and advice.
While you’re at it, take a look at the IMDB page here and the ABC’s At the Movies did a review you can find here.