Red Billabong ready to roll

Red Billabong, an action-thriller about two brothers who discover old secrets and family ties in the Outback, starts shooting on the Gold Coast on Monday.

The production marks the feature film writing and directing debut of Luke Sparke, who is partnered with his father Ian in SparkeFilms.

The plot follows the brothers as their friends go missing and they fear they are being stalked by someone or something from their worst nightmares.

The cast includes Dan Ewing, Tim Pocock, Bruce Carter, Jessica Green and newcomers Sophie Don, Ben Chisholm, Emily Joy and James Straiton.

Ian Sparke is producing and the international sales agent, the UK’s Manifest Film Sales/Intandem Films, will pitch the project at the American Film Market in November. Cutting Edge Brisbane will handle the post and VFX work.

Luke Sparke said, “Red Billabong is a roller-coaster ride and a rip roaring thriller. It’s got elements of action, suspense, comedy and genuine fright moments. We’re blessed with a fantastic experienced Queensland crew and an exquisite cast."

SparkeFilms is a full production service for military and period based films, comprising production, costume and make-up designers, military advisers, set decorators and props.

The Sparkes are in advanced development on WW1 drama The 34th Battalion, which follows a bunch of young recruits from Maitland in rural New South Wales who joined the Australian Army’s 34th Battalion in the lead-up to the epic battle to save the French town of Villers-Bretonneux in 1918. Luke will direct, Ian will produce and both collaborated on the screenplay.