There has been a wave of local production in the Western Australia in recent times. The latest cab off the rank is the web series GREENFIELD. It tells the story of James (Ethan Tomas) who returns to his hometown of Greenfield after ten years. Why he left is unclear, but as soon as he arrives in the dusty wheatbelt town, it is evident he isn’t welcome. James doesn’t seem to care what others think, he only has eyes for Kelley (Marthe Snorresdotter Rovik), also recently arrived back in her hometown.
There is definite tension and chemistry between James and Kelley. Whatever old business they have is further complicated by Alex (Renato Fabretti), a Greenfield local. Alex is part of a group of bored young men, that includes the thuggish Jason (Daniel James Tenni). The cast of characters is rounded out by Jason’s girlfriend Justine (Claudia Cirillo), Kelley’s father Ben (Kym Bidstrup) and her brother Michael (Liam Graham). These people seem to live together in this small town under sufferance. There is a feeling of wary co-existence.
The tension of the first episode builds strongly and the feeling that James is in some sort of danger is an undercurrent throughout the following parts. There is also the question of his motives and his temperament. Is he a good man doing the best he can or does he have a trouble-making streak? The audience is kept guessing.
The series has moments of beautiful cinematography featured throughout the five episodes, with Merredin portraying the fictional Greenfield. It does not rest on visuals; it also gives off a palpable sense of claustrophobia as James is dragged into the metaphorical quicksand. Although, the tale is obliquely told in places, the main story thread is always there pulling us along. Performances are good throughout the cast. Ethan Tomas is solid in the lead. He has the most screen time and is a believably troubled man struggling to work out his next move. His scenes with Marthe Snorresdotter Rovik are the emotional glue of the piece.
GREENFIELD is made with the assistance of WA’s ScreenWest and the Danish Film Institute. There is probably an off-topic gag to be made about shooting in the town of Denmark rather than Merredin, but AccessReel is above that. Writer/Director – Julius Telmer and co-director Jevgeni Nicholai Busk have delivered much more than one usually expects from an ultra low-budget, crowd-funded independent. The series unfolds as though it is a feature.
You can see the entire series immediately on the Youtube. Click here to get to the series page and you’ll have access to all five episodes.