Harken back to the Australian film industry circa 1970’s-80’s and think of those wild, exploitation films that exploded onto the screen, where it was blood and guts galore and each cut was like a vicious assault on your eyeballs! Enter writer/director Tom Danger’s 2015 indie feature ‘Lead Me Astray’. An 80’s inspired, ‘ozploitation’ thriller about a young veterinary student (played by Jace Pickard) whose mysterious, violent past claws its way back to the present after the one person he loves is thrown into unspeakable danger…
Complete with dramatic red and blue lighting cues in true Dario Argento fashion a la ‘Suspiria’ (1977) and set to a pulsing synth score worthy of any John Carpenter film, Lead Me Astray is a faithful homage and welcome addition to the genre.
Check out the trailer:
Made with a skeleton crew on a shoestring ($10,000 AUD!), Tom saved every cent from working at his local toy shop. He borrowed camera equipment from his uni and shot the film in a matter of weeks, much in the mould of the guerrilla, ragtag band of filmmakers who scraped and scrounged to get their films made back in the 70’s-80’s.
Learn more from our chat with Tom and executive producer/actor Jace below:
Of course no film, let-alone low-budget, goes without its woes. Despite hardship in wrangling locales and dealing with council, it was a temperamental electric generator on a cold, wet night that would truly test how tight-knit a team the Lead Me Astray cast and crew would become over the course of production. Tom reflects ‘I’ve never been so thankful for surrounding myself with good people’.
Hear it all from the horse’s mouth in part 2 of our interview:
When it comes to directing, Tom likes to give a lot of leeway and creative freedom to his actors. ‘It’s a matter of trust’.
Tom’s directing tips:
- Have faith in your actors, you don’t need to tell them what to do. You guide them as needed.
- Cast people you want to work with. When the tough gets going, the last thing you want is a difficult actor.
Without a doubt, every low-budget indie filmmaker will run into roadblocks, encounter sleepless nights and border on pulling the plug. But if there’s a resounding piece of advice ANY budding filmmaker can learn from the excitable, resourceful young Danger, it’s to ‘just do it’ and to ‘not let fear be the thing that stops you!’.
Lead Me Astray is set to hit the festival circuit and release in 2015.
Wanna know more about Lead Me Astray? Comment below or on our facebook page and we’ll hit up Tom and Jace for more info.