Cockburn Gazette - - WHAT’S ON - Ju­lian Wright

CO­ME­DIAN Ben El­ton set him­self up for a huge chal­lenge when he wrote a com­edy film set at a ru­ral mu­sic fes­ti­val over three years.

Not only were the lo­gis­tics of film­ing in WA and ne­go­ti­at­ing in-de­mand ac­tors with tight sched­ules dif­fi­cult to tackle, but Three Sum­mers went up against Hol­ly­wood block­busters when it was re­leased on Novem­ber 2.

Three Sum­mers fol­lows a group of dis­parate char­ac­ters whose paths cross when they at­tend an an­nual folk mu­sic fes­ti­val over three years.

El­ton, back in Perth af­ter a four-week Aus­tralia-wide pro­mo­tion tour, filmed the movie in the Peel re­gion and said he wanted to make a film about or­di­nary peo­ple as op­posed to su­per­heroes.

“Peo­ple are em­brac­ing it and say­ing ‘it’s real, it’s nice to see some or­di­nary sto­ries’,” he said.

“From The Cas­tle through Muriel’s Wed­ding, there’s a tra­di­tion of that sort of sto­ry­telling in Aus­tralia be­cause it’s all we can af­ford, so we have to rely on our ac­tors and our sto­ries and en­vi­ron­ments.

“We don’t have the bud­get to go to Mars or chase a

MU­SIC car off a cliff.”

But mak­ing a low-key film still had its chal­lenges.

“(It was) a lo­gis­ti­cal night­mare, gen­uinely hellish,” he said.

“We had a very small bud­get, we were a very long away from a num­ber of our lead play­ers’ homes, try­ing to as­sem­ble ev­ery­one in Pin­jarra, (it was) hard work to do.

“One of prob­lems with WA is it’s so f ****** big, the dis­tance even for lo­cal peo­ple is mas­sive. “But it’s ex­cit­ing.” El­ton said his first as­sis­tant, di­rec­tor John Fair­head, saved the day each time.

“The man is quite bril­liant; ev­ery day he fought with the weather, bud­get, the clock and what we were do­ing the fol­low­ing day, and peo­ple fly­ing in and fly­ing out,” he said.

El­ton urged au­di­ences to seek films other than block­busters.

“In a world of Thor, this week it’s card­board cut-outs of Thor then next week its Spi­der-Man and you wanna say ‘there’s an­other film, a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence’,” he said.

Three Sum­mers now. is in cin­e­mas

Pic­ture: Marie Nirme www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d475507

Co­me­dian, writer and di­rec­tor Ben El­ton.

Or­gan­ist Do­minic Perissinot­to and trum­peter Brent Grapes.

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