Coast filmmaking duo calls action on world premiere for new film
SUNSHINE Coast filmmaking duo Terrance Young and Ashlee Jensen’s latest movie Project Eden: Vol 1 will make its world premiere at the 42nd Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival from
Project Eden tells the story of a woman who becomes a fugitive after discovering her son’s catatonic state may be at the heart of a global conspiracy. It is the directing/writing duo’s second collaboration after the success of their debut film 500 Miles in 2015.
I caught up with the budding filmmakers in the midst of their blossoming career to see how they are travelling pre-release of Project Eden and what their next move will be.
How did you cope with the success from your debut, 500 Miles?
Ashlee: It was just so satisfying seeing our hard work pay off and being recognised for the sacrifices we had to make as individuals to break into the industry as independent artists.
Terrance: 500 Miles was more of a success on a personal and professional level in the sense that it was a stepping stone onto our next film, which was shot internationally on a million dollar-plus budget. While the film wasn’t marketed hugely, it got recognition with being distributed worldwide on DVD and video-on-demand and won numerous awards.
Considering 500 Miles’ low budget, was the response a surprise?
T: Yes. For a small budget of only $50,000 it was definitely interesting to see how well it was received and more so how it touched many people’s lives whom we had never met.
A: We were overwhelmed that a small indie film from Australia was being recognised internationally and it showcased how integral a good story is. We didn’t have a huge budget but the story related to so many people so widely.
Where did the idea for Project Eden come from?
T: I had the beginning and end for Project Eden in my head 10 years ago, but with our experience level at the time and lack of finance, it was a film that was never developed because it needed to be done at the right time. Together, Ashlee and I finished the script after 500 Miles was completed and decided to shoot it in the United States.
Describe the differences going from a small budget Australian film to a larger international one.
T: It’s a minefield, yet one that is so rewarding at the end. It is unexplainable in words. To say it was difficult is an understatement. We both sacrificed so much in our personal lives to make this film happen and share this story with the world. We always knew in our hearts there were big things meant to happen for this particular film. But overall it was quite an interesting experience to go from something so small to something so large within only a 12-month period. But being thrown in the deep end, in my opinion, is always the best way to learn.
A: It just raises it to a whole new standard. We had the opportunity to work with industry professionals, recognised actors and an international cast and crew. It has allowed us to cut less corners as we can spend money on the production, where before we were limited and had to get really creative to meet the standard we wanted. While this has been great for our experience levels, it’s now a really nice feeling to watch your work and be 95% happy with it.
Only 95% happy?
T: Well, if you are 100% happy, you will never improve. We are very proud but we also want to grow and make bigger and better things.
Describe your teamwork:
A: We have a rare and dynamic collaborative relationship that everyone recognises on-set and in our daily lives. Being such visionaries, the end goal that we both want is always the same and we are able to utilise one another’s different skills to achieve what we set out to do. There’s never been any significant conflicts because we always ensure that we are constantly in communication and bouncing ideas off one another.
We both recognise that our working and creative relationship is integral to our success, so we ensure that we have trust and respect for one another, our ideas and solutions to problems. I believe that if the leaders of the pack are in tune and happy, then the rest of the cast and crew are at ease and comfortable to give their best work.
How did you two meet?
T: Through mutual friends over 10 years ago.
Describe that feeling when you get the ‘money shot’. T: It’s an exhilarating feeling, to put it lightly. When something you planned for months finally comes to life there is nothing better and it is the very reason that we do what we do.
Is Project Eden: Vol 2 the next move?
T: It is already in development. We have a few offers but are waiting to see how the first one goes before we take that any further. We do have another project in the meantime. It’s an Australian comedy, so that may be coming out first. You will have to wait and see…
Canadian actor Mike Dopud plays David Roth in Project Eden: Vol 1.
Project Eden: Vol 1 will premiere next month at the 42nd Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival.
A sneak peak into a scene from Project Eden: Vol 1.