The three-minute film, which is a live-action tale of the last remaining panda in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, has prompted comparisons to iconic films Mad Max, The Road and The Book of Eli.
Written and directed by Victoria Cocks, Wastelander Panda was created as a prologue for a television series that the team at Epic Films has been developing for the last year. Since being uploaded on Tuesday, the film has been featured on the front page of popular websites such as Buzzfeed, io9, Gizmodo and Neatorama, and caught the attention of Hollywood writer Gary Whitta.
“As well as the interest on blogs, we’ve had Twitter users commenting about Wastelander Panda in several different languages. Gary Whitta, writer of The Book of Eli, saw the film, and sent us a message saying “I enjoyed it a lot, very cool!” Even YouTube tweeted the film to their 8 million followers,” said Cocks.
“The most exciting thing has been reading the comments and emails from fans who loved what they saw and are asking us how they can help fund future episodes. We’ve been looking at the stats from the video, and it’s been seen in over 140 countries, including some as obscure as Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Greenland. It’s hard to believe that all these people are sitting in front of their computer watching something we made right here in Adelaide.”
Epic Films raised the money for the prologue independently, with assistance of a grant from the Helpmann Academy. They also received a lot of support from the local Flinders Ranges communities in Blinman, Parachilna and Hawker, who offered locations and acted as extras in the film.
They now hope to use the prologue’s success to fund a full series of Wastelander Panda, and will be taking their concept to television stations and funding bodies. They’re hoping to have production underway by the end of the year.