Williamstown played host to the cast and crew of Roger earlier this year, with the short film featuring a gallery of local stars including Nick Bracks, who gets covered in ashes and pashes throughout the torturously twisted eight-minute duration of the film.
Roger is a dark comedy that revolves around a death and a wake, where nothing appears to go to plan for those attending, which Writer and Director Anthony Michael Webb said was both purposely and perfectly awkward.
“I always tend to find the humour in a horrible situation to lighten the blow. So, Roger to me was an ironic play on a sad situation. The result is funny but very awkward humour,” Mr Webb said.
“When it was being shot, as soon as the camera were rolling that awkwardness wasn’t hard to create because it was unbearable to film. There were a lot of laughs from everyone involved in the process.”
Ultimate levels of awkwardness appear to be reached when Nick Bracks pashes co-star Ellen Grimshaw, a moment that did not quite get fully captured on the first take, as Director Anthony Michael Webb reveals.
“I’d like to say the embrace was one take, but it was a couple. They were both very professional about it, but the rest of us were trying to hold back tears of laughter, which didn’t help, but we got there in the end,” Mr Webb said.
“The whole film was shot in Williamstown on 5th January 2018. We did a couple of run-throughs and then shot the short in a whole day. The cast were extremely professional despite the endless laughs we had while making it.”
Starring alongside pashing co-stars Nick Bracks and Ellen Grimshaw are actors Erin Lilya and Jake Borelli, with Borelli most known for his role as Dr Levi Schmitt in the eleventh season of hit US television medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy in 2005.
“I met Jake in Los Angeles in 2012. He used to work with my Australian actor friend who is based LA. His acting ability is so natural. Watching him evolve to the actor he is today is a joy to watch,” Mr Webb said.
“Nick and I connected mid last year to collaborate on a photoshoot. We became great mates and have since collaborated on two short films now. The first film, Lucky, has been selected in the Noosa International Short Film Festival 2018.”
“I met Ellen on the Sunshine Coast almost a decade ago when she lived here. Erin is a good friend who does a lot of stage theatre in Melbourne. So, it was a joy to finally work on a project together.”
Roger might not be taking its dark comedy to a short film festival this year, but its unique and sometimes unexpected navigation through the events of death and wake to follow is sure to keep viewers intrigued, more than anything, for eight minutes or less.