Katrina Bowden and Aaron Jakubenko fight for survival in ‘Great White’

Katrina Bowden and Aaron Jakubenko.

US actor Katrina Bowden (30 Rock, The Bold and the Beautiful) and Aaron Jakubenko lead the cast of survival thriller Great White, which is now shooting in Queensland.

Scripted by Michael Boughen (Tomorrow, When The War Began, Killer Elite) and directed by TVC director Martin Wilson in his feature debut, the plot follows five people who are stranded on a seaplane far from shore.

Their challenge is to try to make it to land before they either run out of supplies or are devoured by sharks.

Bowden, who played Florence Fulton in The Bold and the Beautiful and Cerie in 30 Rock, and Jakubenko (Tidelands, The Shannara Chronicles) play the seaplane operators and lovers Kaz Fellows and Charlie Brody.

Cast as the hapless passengers are Tim Kano (Neighbours) as Joji, Kimie Tsukakoshi (The Family Law, The Bureau of Magical Things) as his wife Michelle and Te Kohe Tuhaka (The Dead Lands) as the cook Benny.

In their second collaboration following Andrew Traucki’s survival thriller Black Water : Abyss, currently in post, producers Michael Robertson and Neal Kingston raised the $6 million-plus budget from pre-sales negotiated by Altitude Film Sales, private investors and the Producer Offset.

Casting director Ben Parkinson suggested Bowden, who was looking for a lead role. “We sent her the script and she loved it,” Kingston tells IF.

“Ever since watching Jaws as a kid I realised the effect a shark film can have on a movie audience. The fear you feel in the cinema and again venturing into the water is real. Great White tells a great, grounded story with fantastic characters.

“It will be a very theatrical experience. My advice to cinemagoers is ‘hold onto your popcorn, there are some big scares.’”

Under the direction of production designer Adam Head an array of sharks have been built, a mixture of animatronics and VFX created by Dave Kenyon. The DOP for the 25-day shoot is Tony O’Loughlan.

Kingston added that the producers are holding off on selling some territories, noting: “We want to keep some blue sky.”