Some 15 years ago David Barker first heard about a twisted sexual “game” known as ghosting from a colleague whose two high school friends had perpetrated this practice on an unwilling victim.
The term refers to two men who switch places while having sex with a woman so quickly and quietly that she is unaware.
After more accounts of this so-called game surfaced in the media, Barker got the idea for a psychological thriller which explores what might happen if two men lured a woman who proved to be stronger, smarter and more cunning than them.
The result is Pimped, writer-director Barker’s debut feature, co-written with Lou Mentor, which is now shooting in Sydney, produced by Barker and Annie Kinnane.
The plot unfolds over the course of one night when Sarah (Ella Scott Lynch) meets the handsome, captivating and smooth talking Lewis (Benedict Samuel).
Lewis aims to be the bait in a sick sexual trap set up by himself and his low-life, rich kid housemate Kenneth (Robin Goldsworthy).
When their ruse backfires, Lewis and Sarah are forced into an unlikely alliance with deadly consequences. Heather Mitchell and Lewis Fitz-Gerald play Kenneth’s parents.
“Pimped is one of those stories I couldn’t get out of my head,” said Scott Lynch, whose recent credits include Doctor, Doctor, Brock and Love Child.
“It’s subversive and compelling, experimenting within deeper, darker psychological aspects of ourselves and how that can illuminate our ability to both love and hurt.”
Samuel, who starred in the US TV series Gotham and The Walking Dead, said: “It’s exciting to be part of a film where I believe audiences will be questioning their own moral compass. The characters aren’t what they seem and that’s a great challenge for an actor.”
Barker makes his feature debut after directing numerous TVCs, music videos, shorts and the online sci-fi comedy series The Future Machine, which won the outstanding achievement in direction award at the L.A. Webfest in 2011.
“Our aim is to make a thriller with a difference,” said Barker. “At its core, Pimped is about betrayal. They’re deeply challenging roles. I couldn’t be more pleased to have Ella and Benedict leading our film.”
The producers raised the finance for the shoot from private investors and intend to secure completion funds during post. They have yet to announce their distribution plans. Andrena Finlay is the consulting executive producer.