Predator/Matrix cameraman Robert Agganis behind lens of $2.2m Short Beach
[Wed 31/08/2011 12:14:09]
By Sam Dallas
Cinematographer/steadicam operator Robert Agganis, who worked on big-time action flicks Predator and The Matrix, served behind the lens for new Australian feature film Short Beach.
The Sydney-based Agganis, who typically works on US films, employed the RED ONE MX and Canon 5D (for underwater sequences) on the $2.2 million teen movie, which is currently in post-production. A US distribution deal was inked before the cameras turned over in February earlier this year. An Australian distributor has not yet been signed.
Agganis is best known for his work on Arnold Schwarzenegger classic Predator (first assistant camera), The Matrix (steadicam/camera operator) and Alex Proyas sci-fi film Dark City (steadicam/camera operator).
“It doesn’t play like an independent Australian film; it plays like a Hollywood movie – there are cameras everywhere and it’s energetic – because we had that cinematographer who had spent time with those big boys,” Short Beach producer Steve Jaggi says.
Agganis recently worked as a steadicam operator on local comedy feature Dealing with Destiny, which had its premiere on Monday night. It will screen in selected Sydney and Melbourne cinemas, with all proceeds going to children's charity Variety.
Marc Van Buuren, who was the post-production supervisor on Sanctum and associate producer on Red Dog, will work closely with Iloura on the visual effects for Short Beach.
Short Beach, which is also produced by Liz Shute of Jaggi Shute Productions, is a teen beach movie set in a small Australian beachside town. It tells the story of Denise Dixon – once a strong-willed and determined young woman, who now finds her life turned upside-down after a night of terror. As a result, vicious rumours spread around school and across the beach.
“It’s like Mean Girls goes to the beach,” Shute indicates.
“So really it is a film about bullying and unfair treatment by your peers and friends sticking by you in the end.”
Canadian-born Jaggi, who has spent the past 10 years in London, says it’s more realistic than, for example, Hollywood teen movies as it depicts what life at 16 is really like.
“We’re not doing it in the Hollywood system, so we can actually portray that,” he says.
“It’s dealing with the challenges and I think Short Beach closely mirrors day-to-day life.”
As a result of sticking to the age-range, casting was challenging due to finding talent that had a certain level of experience. Making her film debut is Australian identity Nikki Webster. Joining Webster, who is best known for her Sydney 2000 Olympic Games performance, is Sarah Chadwick (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), Genevieve Morris (Comedy Inc.) and QUT graduate Hilary Caitens as Denise, in her feature film debut.
The filmmakers were adamant about having teens playing teens – and not using the services of older actors. They believe there is a real gap in the teen market.
“So often there are films relevant to a teen audience but also relevant to older brothers and sisters and parents, and finding pictures that are just for them are quite rare,” Shute says.
“We wanted to create a film that was visually stunning, has high production values but also is a story that was true to the audience.”
Delivery is scheduled for the end of October. To view a behind-the-scenes video, click here.
Cinematographer Robert Agganis
Shooting Short Beach
QUT graduate Hilary Caitens (as Denise)
[Wed 31/08/2011 12:14:09]