IT’S taken five years but two Colac filmmakers have finally realised their dream of seeing their debut feature film on the big screen.
Writer-directors Jarrod Theodore and Lachlan Ryan uttered a collective sigh of relief when their sports comedy Reverse Runner premiered at Colac Cinema on Saturday night.
Featuring appearances by Steve Moneghetti, Bruce McAvaney and comedian Dave Callan, the film is executive produced by Stephen Herek, who directed Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Mighty Ducks, and the live-action version of 101 Dalmations.
Reverse Runner tells the tale of Kid Campbell, a slightly backwards young man who doesn’t fit in until he finds the sport of reverse running and the Alternative Olympics.
Shot in Colac, Lavers Hill and Geelong, Theodore said the project was borne of “a passion to make films”.
“We jumped in the deep end and said ‘let’s have a crack at making a feature film,” Theodore told The Standard.
“We didn’t think it would take this long but we learnt a lot about the filmmaking process.”
Shooting took about 30 days spaced over a two-year period, while casting took about six months.
Theodore and Ryan eventually chose Bianca Linton, who had appeared in episodes of Rush and City Homicide, for the female lead Hannah, but struggled to find someone to play Kid Campbell.
In the end, the writer-directors turned to their Colac friend Dan Cannon, who came up with the original idea for the film.
“We couldn’t find anyone,” Theodore said.
“(But) Dan had a pretty solid understanding of the character.
“He did an amazing job,” he said.
Getting the involvement of bigger names such as McAvaney was surprisingly easy, he said.
“We basically just asked the question.
“We said ‘we’re making a sporting film and you’re the best sports commentator in Australia and would suit it perfectly’.
“He was very happy to do it and very helpful.
“Steve Moneghetti …thought it was hoax when we asked.
“He plays a main character throughout the film … a homeless person.
“We sent him the script and he loved it.”
The film screens tonight for the public at Colac Cinemas, and there are plans to show it further afield, with Theodore keen to obtain screenings in Ballarat and Warrnambool before pursuing national distribution.
He said the support of American director Herek had been great.
“He oversaw what we were doing and gave us advice on what we were doing.
“We were over in America at a film festival … and we tried to get some meetings and were lucky enough to grab his attention.
“We told him how much we loved The Mighty Ducks, and how big it was in Australia and he was blown away.
“He was a pretty nice guy, very humble, and he agreed to help us out.”