And so, the adventures begins…

It’s with great pleasure and excitement that I welcome you to the all new SHOTGUN! behind the scenes blog. For those of you that have been following some of the work we’ve done at LateNite Films over the years, you’ll know that we’re all a bit geeky (in a good way!) and enjoy making the most of the power of the Internet and social networking, but more importantly, we just honestly love the whole filmmaking process and really want to share any new knowledge we pick up along the way with other like-minded people.

Following the lead of other website’s such as Peter Jackson’s Kong is King production diaries, the One Ring production diaries, everything that Chris Jones does, and even the online production diaries of smaller Australian films such as Glendyn Ivin’s Last Ride, we are attempting to document the whole production process from beginning to end, from day one. Well… almost day one. In actual fact SHOTGUN! has been in development for many years already, however LateNite Films have only recently jumped on board, teaming up with Alistair Marks to help ensure that this amazing script gets off the page and into cinemas!

If we step back in time to 2007, writer/director/producer Alistair Marks (at the time in his final year of a Bachelor of Film & Television at Swinburne University), put together a very impressive short film titled “SHOTGUN! An Opening Sequence” with a team of enthusiastic and extremely talented students also studying at Swinburne, with the intention to raise enough interest from the short to get a full length feature film off the ground. Alistair wrote the script under mentor Richard Franklin, who sadly died before he got to see what his protegee had achieved. Franklin directed Hotel Sorrento, Psycho II and Patrick and worked with directors George Lucas and John Carpenter. When Alistair was interviewed by the Altona Laverton Mail, he reflected “Without him, I never would have had the guts to follow this through”, and that “he was so encouraging and believed in us and the project”.

Luckily for Alistair, Franklin wasn’t the only person who believed in his directing and scriptwriting abilities! With the help of casting director Sarah Hallam, Alistair and his team were able to secure an amazing cast including Samuel Johnson, Steve Bisley, Rachel Ward and Simon Lyndon.

After a fairly smooth principle photography and post production, especially considering the limited budget, the short was finally completed and was showcased to a collection of highly distinguished Australian film producers and investors at Camberwell’s Rivoli Cinema. From all reports, everyone loved the short, including audiences overseas as was proven by Alistair winning the Best International Director of a Short Film (2010 Los Angeles NYIIFF) and Best International Comedy Short Film (2009 New York International Independent Film Festival). But despite a huge amount of interest from various high profile people, at the time the short came out, the feature film script was not as solid as it could be, so instead of jumping straight into transforming the short film into a full length feature film, Alistair went back to the drawing board and rewrote the script many times to get it to it’s current 8th draft.

Step forward to the present… Now, at long last, from all reports and advice from some of the best in the business (including Stuart Beattie of Tomorrow When The War Began fame)  – the script is finally ready to be made! And we’re all very excited!

We are currently in the initial stages of pre-production, and are in the process of putting the finishing touches on the script, starting to look into casting once again, lining up potential investors, preparing budgets, and basically just going full steam ahead!

So what’s the plan for this blog you might be asking yourself? Well, all key members of the crew will be keeping YOU up-to-date with everything that’s happening at SHOTGUN HQ. Alistair Marks, who will be directing the feature film will be keeping you in the loop in regards to all things creative. Nicholas Colla and myself (Chris Hocking), who are co-producing the film, will explain how we’re going about getting the film from a script to principle photography. We will also record regular video diaries, and as the production process goes on and more people jump onboard this explosive adventure, we’ll be posting all manor of information on sound design, special effects, stunt work, and basically everything else to do with the film. We are strong believers in “content is key” – so you won’t be disappointed in what we’ve got in store!

We will also be looking through the SHOTGUN archives, and digging up old behind the scenes photos and videos, to bring you up to speed in regards to how the short film was made, and why it took so long to get from the short film to this current stage of finally getting the feature film made.

One thing is for sure, the next several months are certainly not going to be boring, and we’re taking YOU along for the ride!

So on behalf of Alistair Marks, Nicholas Colla and the rest of the team at LateNite Films, I want to warmly welcome you to our new site! Please, make yourself at home! Feel free to ask us any questions that you have, as we will be more than happy to answer them. Also, if you’re not a fan already, check out our Facebook page as we’ll also be posting lots of cool stuff there as well!

Thanks for visiting! Make sure you bookmark this page, as the best it very much yet to come!

To infinity… and beyond!

Best Regards, Chris!

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