Marcus Graham, Samara Weaving, Julian Roberts

Marcus Graham, Samara Weaving, William Emmons and Nick Britton head the cast in Before Dawn, a horror movie which will be the first from Julian Roberts’ Arc Storm Pictures.

The enterprising writer-director-producer already has arranged a distribution rep for the privately-funded film in the US and is looking to negotiate a service deal for theatrical release in Australia.

He is meeting with investors in the next two weeks and aims to finalise the budget by early December so he can start shooting in April/May in Avoca in country Victoria.

Graham will play a Senior Sergeant named David who is assigned to take charge of a police station in a small country town after the death of his wife in a carjacking. David, his daughter Grace (Weaving) and younger brother Dan (Britton) set out for their new home as news breaks of an infection that’s uncontrollably spreading across the world.

Meanwhile, sociopathic criminal Jonathan Henslow (US- born Emmons) is being transported from Melbourne jail to Barwon Prison when the transport car is hit by his crew, who kill one guard and take the other guard hostage.

“I believe there is a misconception that people don't want to see horror films in Australia,” Roberts tells IF. “Look at the success of Wolf Creek and the sequel coming soon. People rallied online to get the Evil Dead remake and Cabin in the Woods shown at cinemas in Australia.

“Look at the success of Oz Comic-Con and Supernova as well as the Melbourne Zombie Shuffle, which gets nearly 10,000 people each year. Look at the success of The Walking Dead in Australia which has a huge following. We are hoping to ride that wave.”

Weaving spent four years on Home and Away and appears in Ivan Sen’s Mystery Road. Russell Southam of Little Big Film Company is an executive producer on Before Dawn and Darwin Brooks is the line producer.

The DoP is Carl Robertson, who is shooting Infini for writer-director Shane Abbess in Sydney. Frank Lipson of Thunder Tracks is the sound designer and Jamie Murgatroyd is the composer.

Linda Nelson of Nelson Madison Films and Indie Rights Movies will represent the film in the US for cable distribution. The plan is to launch the title in the US on iTunes initially and then roll out on all other VOD sites.

Referring to the Australian strategy, he says, "I want to do a service deal over a traditional release as I want to have more control over the release where independent features tend to get an extremely limited release if any at all and are not given the proper opportunity to be successful.

“My background is hospitality. I studied film 13 years ago and couldn't get anything going and fell out of the industry and decided to give it another go after a friend from film school made his first feature film last year. We filmed a trailer last year with Marcus, Samara and William and most of the cast to show to investors and have had a great response from it recently.”

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  1. I’m really pleased to see this – a young independent film-maker who is reading the market, and focusing on producing an entertaining story that will get an appropriate distribution strategy behind it, and get actors and crew working. The more films – of all sorts – that get made in this country, the better. Looks to be some real talent on board too, both behind and in front of the camera.
    Good luck to him, and I hope we see more of this approach, rather than the usual over-reliance on government funding that seems to have led to an excess of small budget, “worthy” Australian films – that never get seen, as marketing and distribution are forgotten about….or were tedious and unwatchable in the first place.

  2. Good to see there are some passionate film makers here in OZ. Movie sounds great I can’t wait to see it!

  3. Its always great to see hard work that pays off on the big screen. Seeing film makers put something together from scratch and making it to this amazing film is remarkable on its own already. Well done to Julian and the team and can’t wait to see this flick hit the big screens!

  4. Julian Roberts , independent film maker is set to take of with his first feature film Before Dawn. With a whole generation or two of Zombie fans this film with a stellar cast and crew is set to do great things in the home and overseas markets. Never losing site of his vision Julian has worked tirelessly to make this film.

  5. Julian Roberts is an incredible filmmaker. I’ve seen some early footage from Before Dawn and it blew me away. I can’t wait to see the finished film, Julian is going to be massive.

  6. Julian personifies the type of indie film-makers who invest themselves totally in their actions in order to make things happen. He deserves all the support that he can get.

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