DRIFT has been in pre-production for quite a while now and the buzz surrounding it has been on the up and up since last year but now finally we have confirmation in the form of a shiny press release that the surfing film DRIFT has begun production in the South-West of WA. The film stars Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator Salvation), Myles Pollard (Wolverine, McLeods Daughters), Xavier Samuel (Twilight Eclipse, The Loved Ones) and Lesley-Ann Brandt (Memphis Beat, CSI:NY). Check out the release after the jump.
Production will commence next week on the anticipated surfing feature film DRIFT, filmed in and around WA’s rugged and beautiful South-West region.
Set in the 1960’s and 70’s DRIFT is inspired by the true story of Australia’s legendary surf communities and the rise of the global surf brands during this era. The character-based action-drama will be co-directed by MORGAN O’NEILL (Solo, upcoming feature The Factory) and BEN NOTT in his feature film debut, with the shoot spanning across six weeks.
The story of the two Kelly Brothers will be played by MYLES POLLARD (Wolverine, McLeod’s Daughters) and XAVIER SAMUEL (Twlight Eclipse, The Loved Ones), alongside international Australian star SAM WORTHINGTON (Avatar, Clash of the Titans, Terminator Salvation) as a travelling surf photographer and filmmaker. LESLEY-ANN BRANDT (Memphis Beat, CSI: NY) plays his Hawaiian surfer companion.
Joining them are ROBYN MALCOLM (Outrageous Fortune), STEVE BASTONI (Underbelly, Neighbours) and AARON GLENANE (The Black Balloon).
Many of the support cast hail from WA including actors GREG McNEILL (The Circuit, September), SARAH LOUELLA (Cloudstreet), MAURIE OGDEN (The Shark Net), DAVID BOWERS (Cloudstreet), IGOR SAS (Lockie Leonard), MURRAY DOWSETT (The Circuit), LAURA FAIRCLOUGH (Cloudstreet) and NIDA graduate PHIL MIOLIN. Youngsters SEAN KEENAN (Lockie Leonard) from Busselton and KAI ARBUCKLE from Clarkson play the young Kelly brothers.
Castings last week in Margaret River were bustling with many South-West residents auditioning for extras roles of surfers, children and locals to complete the cast.
Local WA surfers will be cast as ‘surf doubles’ and used for stunts in the film. Classic longboard surfing scenes feature in the early parts of the film, before evolving to the modern performance short board era later in the film. Some of the main cast are surfers themselves, with other cast members having surfing lessons throughout pre-production.
“Drift will resonate internationally on many fronts. The story is about the birth of the relationship between Australian surf culture and global youth culture that still resonates around the globe today. The wandering surf lifestyle is now the mystical ‘dream life’ for many, but in the early days the quest for freedom was a perilous and uncertain journey,” said the co-directors MORGAN O’NEILL and BEN NOTT.
“Drift’s execution will rely on a perfect balance between a gripping rags-to-riches story and a never seen before level of in-water action. The surfing and land action scenes will grab a wide audience’s attention, while the characters, WA coastline and classic story arc will keep them emotionally invested,” they said.
DRIFT is played out over the breathtaking and epic setting of the remote Western Australia coastline in locations from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, including Margaret River, Augusta, Gracetown and Nannup. Many of the surfing scenes take place at Margaret River’s Surfer’s Point, with some background footage shot during the recent Margaret River Pro competition last April.
Producer TIM DUFFY, a former resident of Gracetown and Yallingup said: “We are receiving generous support from the local region in the making of DRIFT and the film will put not only the amazing landscapes on the international stage, but the South-West region as a whole. As well as local cast and crew, we’re utilising local suppliers and businesses right down to the many specialised surfboards being used in the film.”
Over 70 local WA crew will be employed on the six week shoot providing a significant boost to the WA film industry.
The production of DRIFT marks a home-coming for West Australians TIM DUFFY, MYLES POLLARD and SAM WORTHINGTON, all of whom grew up in the region.
After their mother escapes from Sydney to Margaret River in the 1970’s, the two Kelly brothers spend their youth searching for the perfect wave. Out of necessity the family launch a backyard surf business – re-thinking board design, crafting homemade wetsuits and selling merchandise out of their van. Battling big waves, small town conservatism and criminals, the brothers give rise to a global brand. A story of passion, corruption, friendship and loyalty, deadly addictions and fractured relationships, DRIFT tells a tale of courage and the will to survive at all odds.
The screenplay is written by MORGAN O’NEILL from an original story by O’Neill and TIM DUFFY (Let’s Talk About Sex) and produced by TIM DUFFY, MICHELE BENNETT (Chopper) and MYLES POLLARD. DRIFT will be distributed in Australia by Hopscotch Films, and is slated for theatrical release in 2012.
DRIFT is a production of World Wide Mind Films and is funded by Screen Australia, South West Development Corporation, ScreenWest and Screen NSW. Regional funding partners include Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, Shire of Busselton and Tourism WA and Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association.