Put us in the picture on the Coast

PROMISING SIGNS: A scene from horror film Charlie’s Farm which was filmed on location in Imbil. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED
PROMISING SIGNS: A scene from horror film Charlie’s Farm which was filmed on location in Imbil. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

SUNSHINE COAST film-makers are calling for wider support to shine the spotlight on the talented pool of professionals itching to bring the region to the big screen.

Independent filmmakers have been working behind the scenes for years to bring their visions to life, but they say a lack of support from government bodies and poor infrastructure is holding the Coast back from revealing its full potential.

Nambour director Chris Sun has stepped out of the underground and on to the radar of big-name companies in Australia and the US after the success of last year's slasher film, Charlie's Farm.

But a lack of support and rising costs has prompted him to make the unfortunate decision to shoot his new flick, Boar, out west rather than at home.

Charlie's Farm was filmed on location in Imbil, near Gympie, and stars including Tara Reid and Kane Mosley enjoyed staying on the Sunshine Coast while reaching hundreds of thousands of fans on social media.

"It's an opportunity like that that has people talking about the Sunshine Coast," Mr Sun said.

"It's amazing what a picture can do for an area - just look at what Wolf Creek has done for the crater at the edge of the Kimberley.

"And who would have thought of filming in New Zealand before Lord of the Rings."

Mr Sun said the Coast's film industry was worth fighting for, but it was often a losing battle against expensive fees to shoot on location in the region at places such as national parks and beaches.

"The support from the local community is brilliant, but when you look to the governing bodies on the Coast there's minuscule support," Mr Sun said.

"I love the Australian film industry and I want to prove you can make it as an Australian director without moving to LA."

Mr Sun said it cost up to $25,000 to shoot at a beach.

Queensland is gearing up for the biggest movie to ever be filmed in Australia - Pirates of the Caribbean 5.

The big-name flick will be filmed on the Gold Coast and in Port Douglas, with Screen Queensland securing an exclusive deal with Walt Disney Studios.

The Federal Government reportedly offered a $21.6 million sweetener and the Queensland Government slashed payroll tax to fend off competition from other states and Mexico. While the film will be a huge coup for Queensland, Mr Sun said it would not benefit the average local filmmaker.

He wished the same sort of support could be given to covering fees for local filmmakers to shoot on location.

"I want to shoot Boar here on the Coast, I really do, but it's just too expensive. It's too difficult to film here," Mr Sun said.

"Filming on the Coast is alive and well, but a lot of people have to do it fast and they have to do it sometimes illegally in national parks and things like that because they can't get approval.

"That's the thing about indie films - people love it and will get out there and do it anyway."

Despite the hurdles standing in the way of the spotlight, many films have been produced in recent years against the idyllic Coast backdrop.

Sun's second feature film, Daddy's Little Girl, was shot on the Coast in 2012, and Coast actress turned director Madeleine Kennedy recently wrapped up filming Thicker Than Water in Caloundra with singer-songwriter Pete Murray.

Sunshine Coast Film Corporation is calling on the Coast's filmmakers and actors to join forces to boost the region's credentials as an ideal location for shooting.

The Noosa-based group, which was established to bring together everyone in the Coast film industry, has changed tack to create its own films after a lack of response from filmmakers to unite.

"The Coast needs to rally the troops get some think-tanks together and pool all the assets together that we have in terms of talent," chair Charlie Gardener said.

"We have amazing people but everyone is doing their own thing - we need to move away from the egos."

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