Filmmaker, dog

Hole in the Ground
2008 | 39 mins | 16mm & DV

Synopsis: Zack is a young man seemingly detached from reality. He drifts through his everyday existence, wandering through streets, meeting with friends he cares little for, staring at the places and people that inhabit his world. This existence is punctuated only by brief excursions with a camcorder to film acts of depravity, the only activity that seems to stimulate him. Seduced by the power to create his own images and increasingly alienated from the world around him, Zack commits and records a tragic act that forces him to confront – and engage with – reality anew.

Festivals: BUTFF Netherlands, Arad Underground Film Festival, Roma Independent Film Festival, Cinema in a Cave.

The "Hole in the Ground," as it was unaffectionately known, was a huge, beautiful, derelict space in the middle of Perth city, on which now sits the BHP Billiton building. It remained undeveloped for years, following various development fuckups and swapping of hands. It became overgrown and attracted wildlife, plenty of garbage, and some great graffiti. It was a truly inspiring place and I'd written much of the film around it, including the ending, which was supposed to take place inside the space itself. We had to rush the film into production when we learned that construction was about to begin. After much begging and negotiating with BHP, we were a whisker away from gaining access. On one occasion we had to cancel because the place was found to be infested with tiger snakes and needed to be sealed for extermination. The next time, our last chance before construction started, we had to bail at the last minute once we realised it was an Easter weekend and couldn't afford to pay the public holiday surcharges for security, safety, insurance etc. that BHP required from us. So we never actually see the "Hole in the Ground" in the film, although various scenes happen right next to it (we ended up leaving out shots of the space itself). Nonetheless, we like to think that the spirit and emptiness of the place lives on in the film, and we kept the title because it somehow works. I remember this being a fun and relaxed shoot, despite the ridiculously low amount of film stock we had to work with – the shooting ratio was about 2.5:1.

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