Coast film­mak­ing duo calls action on world pre­miere for new film

Life & Style Weekend - - WELCOME // INSIDE TODAY - Layne Whit­burn

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

Fe­bru­ary 10–20.

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.

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