About this project
We are looking to raise money to shoot this 6 x 5 minute web series set in Los Angeles. We have managed to attract a team of dedicated practitioners to help us because they believe in it as a project.
Whilst all the cast and crew are working for free or deferred payments, the money raised will help us hire gear, and to pay for locations, catering, and insurances. All of the money raised will appear on the screen.
Principal photography begins mid August and the entire series will be filmed over six days.
The modern world is a scary place – suffocating, fractured, and alienating.
On the surface, Jef is a regular guy. He’s good looking, charming, and funny. He also has a good job and a beautiful girlfriend. But he just doesn’t feel right. And he’s not sure what to do about it.
He is bombarded by advertising messages, annoying campaigners, and friends who all have solutions. Thankfully, his best friend, Tom and girlfriend, Shelly want to help. The only problem is, their solutions are disastrous.
Together they try to solve Jef’s problem but he soon realises that it might be something only he can fix.
Low Life is a comedic and heartfelt look at depression. It is a cross between Sleepwalk With Me and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Creators, Luke Eve and Adam Grossetti, explore the topic in a highly visual, evocative and humorous way.
Jef - played by Henry Nixon
Charming, good looking and funny. Jef is a regular guy. Girls find him attractive and guys like hanging out with him. He has a good job working as an advertising copywriter and a beautiful, supportive girlfriend. On the outside, he has it all. But on the inside, darkness lurks. Jef thinks too much. He’s what you’d commonly call ‘moody’. He’s not horrible but it’s fair to say that he feels life’s highs and lows. There’s an inherent sadness about Jef and everybody and everything is telling him he should do something about it. The problem is - he’s just not sure what.
Shelly - played by Claire van der Boom
Intelligent, fun, and supportive. She embraces Jef’s quirks and tolerates his mood swings. Until recently. She begins to see Jef’s sadness as a weakness, and thinks that he should do something about it.
She’s been walking around on eggshells for months … and something’s about to crack. She is confident and ambitious and can’t hang around forever waiting for Jef to get his shit together. She has her own plans and it’s come time to pursue them - with or without Jef.
Tom - played by Randy Jay Burrell
He is everything that Jef can’t be. He is cock sure. He walks with a swagger. He sleeps with who he likes, when he likes. He acts before he thinks. Life is one big Sunday. He and Jef are friends, but Tom lies firmly at the centre of his own world. Tom thinks that Jef thinks too much. Jef thinks that Tom doesn’t think at all. Slowly, Tom begins to see the world through Jef’s eyes.
Mental illness has become one of modern societies' greatest challenges. It's not helped by having a crippling stigma attached to it. People are made to feel weird or different. They feel embarrassed and hide it which only exacerbates the condition.
On average, 1 in 8 men will have depression and 1 in 5 men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives. While woman are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, men are less likely to talk about it.
We hope that Low Life may get this conversation started because laughter can be the best medicine.
For a more thorough explanation see Luke's director's statement below.
Luke Eve - Producer and Director
Luke began his career as a freelance photographer. Armed with a strong visual aesthetic and a keen eye and talent for dramatic comedy, Luke has the unique ability to capture great performances in a visually exciting style. He graduated from the Australian Film Television and Radio School in 2005 and in the same year won Tropfest with his film Australian Summer. He has directed five short films including Cockroach, a 14-minute visual effects loaded film that has gone on to screen at over 30 International Film Festivals and win over a dozen awards. In 2012 he was the series director of the landmark documentary series Great Southern Land for ABC and Cordell Jigsaw Productions. The production was Luke’s third television series and garnered him a nomination for Best Direction In A Documentary Series at the 2013 ADG Awards. He has a number of feature film projects in development including The Truth About Jack, Grounded and A Pure Drop, a bio pic on legendary singer / songwriter Jeff Buckley.
Adam Grossetti - Writer
Adam is a published and professionally produced award-winning writer having worked with some of Australia’s leading film, television and theatre companies. Adamʼs first short film Early Eddie and the Bus Stop Blues won the Brisbane International Short Film Competition. Since then Adam has written and developed episodic television drama including Home and Away and Sea Patrol. His stage plays have been produced throughout Australia including a recent commission by Sydney Theatre Company Artistic Directors Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton to adapt Luigi Pirandelloʼs Vestire gli Inudi for the stage. He is a recipient of the Philip Parsons Playwrights Award for his stage play Lost Lagoon at Belvoir Street Theatre, (BSharp) and the Queensland Premiers Drama Award for Mano Nera at The Queensland Theatre Company. Adam is currently developing Mano Nera as a feature film.
Henry Nixon - Jef
Henry Nixon has appeared in numerous feature films including Cate Shortland's multi award winning, Cannes “Un Certain Regard” screened: Somersault, Elissa Down’s Berlin Film Festival screened The Black Balloon and Matthew Saville’s Noise, which screened in Official Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, in which he delivered a chilling and memorable performance. He has lent his voice to the animated feature $9.99 with Anthony LaPaglia and Geoffrey Rush, and George Miller’s Oscar winning Happy Feet, featured in thriller Triangle alongside Melissa George and Liam Hemsworth, Ed Kavalee’s comedy Scumbus with Dave Hughes and Peter Hellier, and Luke Tierney’s $quid with Josh Lawson. In 2011, Henry was seen in Julia Leigh’s controversial Sleeping Beauty, which screened in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, and in Special Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011. Henry’s television credits include ‘2nd Lieutenant Hugh Corrigan’ in the multi Emmy award winning HBO/Dreamworks/Playtone mini-series The Pacific produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, Underbelly Files: Infiltration, All Saints (as the much loved nurse ‘Sterling "Sterlo" McCormack’), McLeod’s Daughters, and East West 101. In 2013 He will also be seen in the fifth series of Packed to the Rafters, ABC’s mini-series Devil’s Dust and Network Ten’s new series, Mr & Mrs Murder.
Claire van der Boom - Shelly
Claire van der Boom is an award winning Australian actor who graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 2005. Her early television roles included Love My Way and East West 101. She followed these up with a stand out performance as Stella, the most prominent female role, in the Stephen Spielberg/Tom Hanks mini-series The Pacific. Claire made her feature film debut as the female lead in Nash Edgerton’s The Square in 2008. That same year she starred as Grace in the television drama Rush, created by John Edwards and Network Ten, for which she was nominated in 2009 for a Silver Logie as “Most Outstanding Actress”. In 2009 Claire played the role of Alice opposite Ryan Kwanten in the feature film Red Hill directed by Patrick Hughes. Claire was then cast as Billie Tucker in Tough Trade, a US television pilot for Epix also starring Sam Shepard, directed by Gavin Hood (TSOTSI) and produced by Gavin, Jenji Kohan (Weeds) and Chris Offut (Weeds, True Blood). In 2010, Claire filmed the leading role of Sister Berenice, in Sisters Of War, a tele-movie for ABC TV, directed by Brendan Maher and produced by Andrew Wiseman. Claire was awarded the “Most Outstanding Actress 2010” Silver Logie Television Award for her work in the tele-movie. This was followed up with the role of Clelia in director Cherie Nowlan’s tele-movie for Screentime The Man Who Got Away; and the guest role of Juliette in City Homicide for the Seven Network. Recently for television, Claire has played the recurring role of the British character Rachel in the US CBS series Hawaii Five-O, opposite fellow Australian Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan. In 2013, Claire worked opposite Luke Wilson and Jessica Alba in the independent film Dear Eleanor, directed by Kevin Connolly.
Randy Jay Burrell - Tom
Randy Jay Burrell has been an entertainer his entire life. Ever since he could walk at the young age of ten months old, he has been dancing and making people laugh. Randy did his first play when he was only four years old. The Wizard of Oz, Randy was the Tin Man. Ever since that play he knew he wanted to be an entertainer. Throughout his childhood and teenage years, Randy was performing in plays and homemade movies. He even created his own documentary for his action figures beginning his directing and writing career. Growing up in entertainment, Randy modeled for many different photographers and was featured in magazines, book covers, and catalogues. After a couple years of modeling, Randy knew it was time to pursue his dream of becoming a successful actor. Randy then went full force into the film and television industry. Since then Randy has worked with some of the great actors in the industry and has learned many new skills from them for success. He continues to create, perform, and learn everyday.
Terry Maratos - Nick
During his years growing up on California’s Central Coast, Maratos began his interest in acting, appearing in various local theatre productions. Upon graduation from high school and utilizing the bi-lingual language skills and dual citizenship from his Greek heritage, he enrolled in Greece’s Marines Corps. After his stint in the military he spent time in Italy and then returned stateside to enroll in school in Santa Cruz, California. Eventually making his way to New York, Maratos immersed himself in the theatre scene. He began appearing in Off-Broadway and Off Off-Broadway plays, including a number of avant-garde productions from theatre companies based on the city’s Lower East Side. Notable among these was playwright Richard Foreman’s Miss Universal Happiness. He currently lives in Los Angeles.
William Hawkes - The Campaigner
Prior to acting, Will spent most of his 20's working in a variety of professions and traveling extensively. He has held over twenty jobs including, carpenter, candy-maker, inflatable jump house deliverer, door-to-door encyclopedia salesman, insurance adjuster, and tutor/mentor for incarcerated youths. Will has also traveled through over twenty countries. His nomadic adventures include hiking through Cechuan ruins in Peru, perusing through crowded street markets in Tangiers, sailing around Elba island in the Mediterranean, running with the bulls in Pamplona, and playing futball between frozen nettle patches outside of Moscow. The experience in varying professions and the opportunity to observe and participate in a multitude of cultures has provided Will with unique perspective and given him insight into a better understanding human behavior. At least that's what he tells himself.
Susy Kane - Pearl
Susy has appeared and guest starred in numerous award-winning and critically acclaimed TV shows and worked alongside some of the greatest names in comedy in both the UK and USA. Her appearances include The IT Crowd, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, The Thick of It, Saxondale, Gavin and Stacey, White Van Man, Mongrels, The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff, Misfits, TV drama Hattie, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s Emmy nominated Extras Christmas Special and most recently as the villain Caroline Denby in Nickelodeon's House of Anubis.
Catherine Jermanus - Vee
Catherine graduated from QUT with a degree majoring in drama and journalism and also studied at the prestigious Atlantic Theatre School in New York. After cutting her teeth in commercials she branched out on to theatre, feature films and TV roles, appearing in shows such as Crownies, Packed to the Rafters, Rescue Special Ops, Review with Myles Barlow and Underbelly. Catherine also has a passion for and experience in casting and is thrilled to be on board as Casting Director for Low Life.
Martin Dew - Therapist
Martin was born in the United Kingdom. He trained at The Guildford School of Acting during which time he was selected to appear in professional repertory at The Redgrave Theatre, Farnham and subsequently several workshops at The Globe Theatre. 1980s Television engagements in the UK included The Ruth Rendell Mysteries (TVS), The Great Wall of Iron (BBC) and The Les Dennis Laughter Show (BBC). As a British voice talent, he could be heard in the BBC Radio 4 Drama series Fear on Four, the BBC/Miramax film Captives and, later, various commercials for radio in San Francisco. Further television appearances in the UK included Dr. Who, Superchannel's Hippo and an interview on Jonathan Ross's BBC Film program. Martin worked as an executive in the film industry for many years, having moved to California in 1995 to join a division of Lucasfilm Ltd. His recent return to acting has included roles in Steven Spielberg's War Horse (2011), Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master (2012), and TV shows Mad Men (2013) and Conan (2012).
Channing McKindra - Hula Hoop Girl
As a film and television student at New York University, Channing McKindra learned how to create a production from start to finish, but performing in front of the camera was her true passion. After graduating from college, she appeared in Off-Off-Broadway musicals, including the successful Caligula Maximus at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. Following her foray onto the stage, Channing became a favorite of the EyePatch Productions team and appeared in a number of videos for companies such as Motorola and Ogilvy & Mather. Through her connections, Channing also booked well-received commercial work. With several years in New York under her belt, Channing moved to Los Angeles where she made her debut as a vocalist at Colombo’s Restaurant & Jazz Club and appeared as a model in Black Hair Magazine. She continues to work in print and on camera, most recently using her acting chops in ads for major brands.
Genevieve Farrell - Yvette
Genevieve got her start as a child actor with roles in the Emmy award winning series, Zoboomafoo and Disney's Molly: An American Girl on the Homefront, produced by Julia Roberts. Genevieve recently graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Southern California’s film production program with a minor in marketing. As an actor, writer, producer, her award winning short, Angela Wright, has played in 18 international film festival and is now available on iTunes. Genevieve has also written, produced and starred in comedy videos featured on Deadline Hollywood, the Funny or Die mainpage, and the Huffington Post.
Ali Sandler - Producer
Ali graduated from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a BA in Film Production. She has produced a number of narrative films and music videos, as well as three documentaries. Her 2012 documentary, Waiting For Mamu, tells the story of Pushpa Basnet, who was named the 2012 CNN Hero of the Year for her work in Kathmandu, Nepal. The film is an Official Selection at Michael Moore’s 2013 Traverse City Film Festival. Ali also recently produced ULTIMATE ULTIMATE (currently in post-production), a low-budget mockumentary on Electronic Music, Directed by Jack Henry Robbins, with Executive Producer Tim Robbins.
Rebecca Hu - Producer
Rebecca Hu halls from Toronto, Canada and graduated with honors from the University of Toronto with a triple major in Cinema Studies, English Literature and Psychology. In 2005, Rebecca Hu was the proud recipient of the prestigious Diversity in Broadcasting Award presented by WIFT - T (Women In Film & Telelvision - Toronto). After 8 years and close to 100 productions later, she established her own production company Kungfu-Barbie Productions with the core mission of creating "kickass" films from a female’s perspective while also working to broaden opportunities for minorities and the under-represented. Past producing credits include the independent feature films 1,001 Ways to Enjoy the Missionary Position, White On Rice, Pretty Rosebud and 40 Is the New Dead, as well as the feature length documentary I Heart Hollywood, and TV shows Red Bull’s Rock the Route and Digg into Books.
Eva Di Blasio - Co-Producer
Eva produced her debut feature film Little Sparrows which received rave reviews on the international festival circuit, winning a number of awards including the 2010 DigiSPAA Spaartan Award for Best Digital Feature Film, WA Screen Award for Outstanding Drama and a nomination for Inside Film’s Independent Spirit Award. Eva graduated from Curtin University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Television. In the same year Eva produced and directed the documentary short Taxi which earned a WA Screen Award nomination. In 2011, Eva worked closely with the Australian Theatre for Young People, co-producing the short films Bat Eyes and Boot for The Voices Project. Bat Eyes screened at Venice Film Festival as one of the top ten finalists in You Tubes Your Film Festival. From 2011-2012 Eva worked as a producer for twodogs.tv and recently graduated from the Australian Film and Television school completing a graduate diploma in producing and screen business. Eva is the 2012 recipient of AFTRS and Screen Australia LA internship with Village Roadshow and The Gotham Group in Los Angeles.
Garrett O'Brien - Director of Photography
After completing and premiering his first film, Get The Gist it became evident that filmmaking would never let go of Garrett. The complexity of the visuals in narrative storytelling engrossed him, allowing him to find cinematography as his calling within filmmaking. Since then Garrett has finished his Master’s in Film from American University; tested and used cameras for Lucas Film on their feature Red Tails; and shot several award winning short films, such as Waiting on a Train and Fractured Legacy along with a host of other documentary and commercial work. Last year he filmed a short film Constant, which he also wrote and directed. It's currently screening and winning awards on the festival circuit. Over the past few months Garrett has shot four short films and the comedy feature Gone Doggy Gone.
Gypsy Taylor - Production Designer
Gypsy is a Designer and Illustrator whose career spans film, TV, theatre, & animation. After graduating from NIDA in 1994 with a design degree she has worked as a costume illustrator and costume design assistant on Baz Luhrmann’s Australia & Alexander the Great as well as the first and third of the Chronicles of Narnia. Recent film credits include, Associate Costume Designer on The Wolverine, Production Designer on Channel TEN’s I Will Survive, Costume designer for Peter Templemans feature Not Suitable for Children, Costume designer for Jim Henson’s Me & My Monsters, and Production designer for Ozploitation Horror film Primal. Gypsy also worked with Shaun Tan on storyboard development of his Academy Award winning short film The Lost Thing. On the side Gypsy teaches Costume design and Illustration at AFTRS and NIDA. She has also designed music videos for The Living End, The Mess Hall and Zombie Ghost Train – which have provided the perfect platform for Gypsy to express her affection for all things kitsch, spicy, comical and macabre. In March 2013 Gypsy showcased her large scale original paintings at Blank Space Gallery.
Melanie Annan - Editor
Melanie has over ten years experience as a film and television editor across many genres including drama, documentary, television, music videos and commercials. She is known to be a compassionate and dedicated editor. Her short films have screened internationally and won numerous awards including an Australian Screen Editors award for Best Editing for Something Fishy in 2012. Australian Summer won Tropfest in 2005 and Danya won the Rosemount Diamond award at the Jackson Hole Film Festival as well as Best Editor at Hatchfest, USA. Recently she has completed Spine which won Best Australian Short at the Melbourne International Film Festival and the six-part ABC comedy At Home With Julia which was nominated for an AACTA award for Best Television Comedy Series. She is currently editing the comedy feature Gone Doggy Gone.
Louise Heseltine - Publicist
Louise Heseltine has over 11 years of experience working as an entertainment publicist. After completing a Masters in Communications at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, she freelanced at various Melbourne PR agencies working on campaigns for Dendy Films, Rialto Entertainment, Cinema Nova, and the AFI Awards. In 2006 Louise co - founded Limelight PR, a boutique PR agency specializing in film and television. Her clients included the Melbourne International Film Festival, St Kilda Film Festival, Cascade Films, Emu Creek Pictures and Matchbox Pictures where Louise implemented the campaign for the award-winning TV series The Slap. Louise has extensive film festival experience working for Alliance Atlantis at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival representing Brokeback Mountain and The World's Fastest Indian and as an Associate Press Officer for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. She now lives in Los Angeles where she works as a film publicist.
After earning a buzz as one of New York City’s up-and-coming songwriters, Benjamin Cartel put his solo career on hold in 2004, the year he co-founded the indie folk duo Kaiser Cartel. Years later, that band is still moving along... and Cartel’s solo career has earned a new set of wheels too, thanks to an EP that bridges the gap between Wilco’s wry rock & roll and John Lennon’s classic pop. Money and Love is Cartel’s first solo release. Like the musical influences that spawned it, the EP is a mix of old and new. Several songs, like the vintage pop/rocker No One, were written before Kaiser Cartel’s formation. Others, like the rave-up title track, are newer compositions. Julia, one of the album’s harmony-drenched highlights, was written somewhere in the middle. Cartel looked everywhere for inspiration: relationships, the road, even old Alfred Hitchcock movies. The result is a recording rooted in honest, straightforward songwriting -- the sort of singer/songwriter fare that Cartel regularly performs at his solo shows, with nothing more than an acoustic guitar to back him up -- and dressed up with full, genre-spanning arrangements. It’s a recording that builds a bridge between opposites: between old and new, love and loss, rock and pop, solo songwriting and full-band recording.
Darren Hanlon is an Australian singer/songwriter who plays urban folk music. He has released five solo albums, three EPs and eight singles on Candle Records and Flippin Yeah Industries, as well as several compilation tracks. After the dissolving of Candle Records he started his own pseudo-label called Flippin Yeah Industries in 2008. Before becoming a solo artist in 1999, he was a member of the Simpletons, and contributed backing guitar and keyboards for the Lucksmiths, the Dearhunters, and Mick Thomas. Darren is known for his engagement with his audiences, through his down-to-earth storytelling at live gigs as well as his often charming lyrics. Additionally, he is known for his quirky videos, including I Wish That I Was Beautiful For You which starred Darren alongside Hollywood veteran Eli Wallach. He has toured with Billy Bragg, David Dondero, Tim Kasher, Violent Femmes, and The Magnetic Fields.
Joel Sarakula is a singer with band who writes and performs retro-pop songs at the piano and guitar. Born in Sydney, Australia, and now based in London, he released his debut album The Golden Age on 17 June, 2013, following a flurry of UK radio support for his singles Bohemian and I Will Deliver which racked up generous plays across BBC 6, BBC London, XFM, Q Radio and Absolute. It's tracks like Matchstick Girl and The Lows that show that, in spite of all his world-weariness and global search for inspiration, Sarakula can't help but revert back to a songwriting style that's traditional in every sense, one that he grew up knowing. From a musical education in Australia, through baby steps at the piano, to wearing out his parent's record collection, he has long been captivated by the primordial soup of 60's / 70s pop music. With personal tastes that also span the more avant-garde, in Zappa and Kate Bush, including Pop greats like Pulp and Elvis Costello, there are clear nods to contemporaries like Beck, Brendon Benson and Ben Kweller in terms of ambition and style. While performing live, Joel presents a show he describes as an authentic musical experience that straddles the spiritual and the profane. His years of touring worldwide make him an engaging performer and he will be touring this album later in 2013.
Depression makes no sense. It strikes people who you don’t suspect would have it. It’s something hidden. Because it’s something to be embarrassed about. Those that have it are weird and are to be avoided.
Depression, like all mental health, is stigmatised.
What right do I have to feel lonely or be depressed or, for that matter, make a series about it.
I’m not chronically depressed but to simply say I get sad or I’m deep or sensitive is kind of bullshit. I suffer from depression. And I have for a long time.
There I said it.
The black dog is a frequent visitor – luckily for me its bark is worse than its bite.
It’s something I never talk about because I’m embarrassed and I feel guilty. I feel guilty that I’m even writing this. I feel guilty because I have amazing people in my life who deserve better than someone who shuts down and freezes for no apparent reason.
Depression makes no sense.
It’s a crippling sadness; it’s an inability to breathe; it’s an endless fog; a smothering quicksand along with a thousand other dark and brooding images. But it’s real. And I know a lot of people that have it. And suffer from it. And deal with it.
It’s a symptom of the modern world.
And when we talk about it it can be funny and even cathartic.
Which is why I wanted to make a series about it. Low Life by no means offers solutions. It doesn’t even pretend to. But hopefully it sheds light where there was once darkness on a topic that, until even a few weeks ago, I was afraid to talk about.
- Luke Eve
Risks and challenges
Making a film or video is always a challenge especially on a small budget. However, More Sauce has a great track record as a production company. Their library of productions have screened at over 100 international film festivals and have sold to over a dozen worldwide broadcasters. Along the way they have garnered over twenty awards.
This will be their first production in the USA. Filming in Los Angeles will be a new and exciting chapter and will no doubt create a series of fun challenges.
Thankfully, in true More Sauce form, they have attracted a stable of amazing practitioners to collaborate with ensuring that this production will be as successful as their previous outings.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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