Brothers cook up first fea­ture

Bag­ging some­thing spe­cial

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - LIFE - WORDS: SEANNA CRONIN

Turn­ing their ac­claimed short film into a full-length fea­ture has been a rewarding process for brothers Jonathan and Josh Baker.

The Aussie twins spent more than a decade di­rect­ing ad­ver­tis­ing, moving to New York in 2007 to fur­ther their ca­reers be­fore de­cid­ing to put their cre­ative tal­ents to use in a short film – Bag Man.

“We felt like we needed to do some­thing new and fresh and longer than 60 sec­onds,” Jonathan said. “We thought ‘let’s do some­thing a lit­tle more quiet and dra­matic and in­tro­spec­tive and the­matic’, and it came out the other end as Bag Man.”

The film earned the brothers a Grand Jury Award nom­i­na­tion at the 2015 SXSW Film Fes­ti­val and the Best Drama gong in the Short of the Week Awards.

“With a lot of eyes see­ing it we re­alised peo­ple are go­ing to start ask­ing us what a movie ver­sion of this is, so we thought let’s come up with ideas of what that longer story could be and even­tu­ally we had an out­line for what Kin could be­come,”

Jonathan said.

They struck upon the idea of tweak­ing their main char­ac­ter, an African Amer­i­can teenager, into Eli, a teen who was adopted into a Pol­ish fam­ily in Detroit.

Kin re­unites Eli (Myles Truitt) with his older brother Jimmy (Jack Reynor) who has just been re­leased from prison.

“It be­came about fam­ily very quickly,” Josh said. “We wanted to team the lead char­ac­ter up with some­one who can chal­lenge him and we fig­ured out re­ally quickly we wanted an older brother char­ac­ter.

“As soon as we cracked the idea that they would be in­cred­i­bly dif­fer­ent from each other, we knew at the be­gin­ning of the movie we wanted them as far apart as pos­si­ble and by the end of the movie we wanted to bring them to­gether.”

The brothers are forced on the run by a se­ries of un­for­tu­nate events, pur­sued by a venge­ful crim­i­nal (James Franco), the feds and a gang of oth­er­worldly sol­diers. A plasma ray gun, dis­cov­ered by Eli in an aban­doned ware­house, is their only pro­tec­tion.

The gun, de­signed by Su­per­vixen Stu­dios in Syd­ney, plays a key role in the plot. While the weapon was part of a big twist in their short film, the brothers knew they couldn’t re­peat the same sur­prise twice.

“It’s not a movie about a gun but it is some­thing that gets in there and in a very com­pli­cated way finds its place,” Jonathan said.

“There’s this ’80s nos­tal­gia of a sin­gle pro­tag­o­nist boy who finds some­thing and it com­pletely changes their world. We grew up on th­ese kinds of movies and it’s em­bed­ded in the stuff we love and sto­ries we like to tell.”

Kin’s end­ing, an­other clever twist by the Bak­ers, leaves the door open for a se­quel.

PHOTO: ALAN MARKFIELD, SUPPLIED BY STUDIOCANA­L.

SEE IT: Jack Reynor and Myles Truitt in a scene from the movie Kin.

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