Johnny Carr and Riley Nottingham in 'Strange Creatures'.
Henry Boffin’s Strange Creatures, the first feature to be released under Humdrum Comedy’s new drama venture Nottingham Pictures, has completed filming in Victoria.
Following in the tradition of Nebraska and Little Miss Sunshine, the road trip dramedy stars Riley Nottingham and Johnny Carr as Nate and Ged Taylor, two brothers who haven’t spoken in four years following a mysterious falling out.
When their mother passes away from a sudden aneurysm, the brothers must set aside their differences in order to fulfil their her dying wish: to have her ashes scattered at the old family home in the country town of Narrabri. Setting out across Australia in the only vehicle available to them – a black hearse – the boys soon realise that the trip will be anything but plain sailing.
Written by Boffin, Strange Creatures is produced by Nottingham and Rachel Forbes, with all three having previously worked together on sitcom Metro Sexual. The executive producer is Julia Adams, while the creative team also includes casting director Natalie Wall, production designer Pernell Marsden, costume designer Ellen Stanistreet, and hair and makeup artist Emily Stacey.
Filming took place at about 30 locations in the state across four weeks, including Glenroy, Essendon, Moody Pond, Yarramundi, Lara, Kew, and Epping, among others.
Nottingham admitted to IF that they “probably bit off more than they could chew” in terms of the schedule, but came away with some “really amazing” results.
“I think we have created something really magical,” he said.
“The story is about a family coming together and past traumas being opened, and the cast and crew on set really did feel like a family at the end.
“When we finished, it was 3am in the morning and we were all hugging each other; it was a really beautiful environment.”
Forbes said the universal themes within the story would resonate with a modern Australian audience.
“Henry’s unique blend of comedy and drama makes this a really distinctive story as well as a deeply personal one of grief, family, and addiction,” she said.
Discussions are underway with international distributors, with an Australian broadcaster announcement to be made soon.
The film marks the beginning of a new era for Nottingham and Forbes as the first title to be released under Nottingham Pictures.
While the upcoming feature is the focus for the moment, there are also plans for a sci-fi horror, as well as a television drama set in the world of reality television.
Nottingham said the idea for the new business came after Humdrum had completed series two of Metro Sexual in 2021, with Boffin’s script offering the opportunity to go in a different direction.
“Humdrum comedy worked for us over the last ten years because we have been doing largely comedy,” he said.
“When it came to this production, it made sense from the outset to classify it as a different project that felt right to go out under this company.”
Strange Creatures will likely be released in the first half of 2024.