Ashlee Page writer and director of short film “The Kiss” in which they won an AFI for Best Sort Film Fiction category in a tightly contested field. Ashlee will be participating in THE HIVE a ground-breaking 5 day residential lab taking place within the 2011 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival (BAFF). THE HIVE will encourage art form cross-pollination – between Australian artists, musicians, filmmakers, theatre makers, dancers, choreographers and writers between processes and creative approaches. THE HIVE introduces filmmakers to creative development methodologies and potential collaborators from other art forms and inspires artists from other genres to conquer film as a creative outlet.
TJ: So what was it like to win your first AFI?
AP: It was just such a great feeling, being an industry voted award makes the AFI even more important to me. Also we won against such outstanding and highly acclaimed competition.
TJ: How difficult was it to receive funding from the SAFC and Screen Australia?
AP: Well it was actually the first time I applied for funding and the SAFC believed that I had a great story idea but they were a bit concerned about how I was going to film it being based in the water and in the dark. But it all came together wonderfully we had Nick Matthews as DOP (winning an AFI for Best Screen Craft for his cinematography) and internationally renowned underwater cinematographer Marcel Ludgate.
TJ: It’s a visually stunning film how did you pull off your vision?
AP: I had never worked with water before so I was scared at first and with the heavy equipment that is required. However our first day of shooting was on the set of an indoor pool and it was so much fun and having the expertise of Nick and Marcel helped. The two female actors were just troopers and insisted on treading water the whole filming time only using noodles to float between takes. As you can imagine they were wiped out by the end of the shoot but it just enhanced the realism of the story.
TJ: It’s an adaptation of Adelaide writer Peter Goldsworthy – how did you come across this story and were you a fan of his?
AP: I took a job with WinTV in Loxton and took up reading in my spare time which lead me to Peter Goldsworthy’s novels and then came across his short story. My previous exposure to his writing was the theatre play adaptation of “Honk if you are Jesus”
TJ: So after your participation in THE HIVE what is in store for you?
I am currently in script development after receiving funding for a full length feature film from SAFC film lab initiative. The script is an original idea with filming to commence in 2012. The working title is Smashed. Also the producer of The Kiss, Sonya Humphries, has been approached long with me to be involved in an adaptation of Tim Winton’s collection of short stories “The Turning”. The producer Robert Connolly is looking at involving 17 different teams and apparently Cate Blanchett is rumoured to be tied to one of them.