The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco courts fans

Producer Bec Dakin realises that aiming to raise up to $150,000 via crowdfunding for a $3 million comedy adapted from a John Birmingham novel is a very tall order, but that’s not the point.

The primary aim of the Pozible campaign, she says, is to build a fan base for The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco, which will pay off when the film is released in cinemas and on digital platforms.

It will be the second feature from Dakin (whose debut was 2008 crime thriller The Horseman) and the first from director Zenon Kohler, who has directed TV commercials and shorts.

“We are starting to build a fan base and we will take them on the journey,” said Dakin, whose day job is a producer at Brisbane-based Cutting Edge, where Kohler is creative director. The screenplay is by Karl Maher, who writes TVCs for an advertising agency.

"It's about starting to share the film and the love with fans of the book, the filmgoing community and people who want to see comedies they can relate to. I guess we're trying to do things a little bit differently for this film and aren't of the mindset of waiting until you finish filming to start speaking to your audience."

The comedy is set in a share house where chaos reigns in the form of new housemate Jordan, an amphetamine-fuelled, nipple-rubbing, Celine Dion –loving fraud. Jordan soon vanishes after stealing the rent money, the TV and most of the housemates’ meagre possessions, leaving a path of destruction and illegal schemes that invite the attention of government investigators.

Dakin said the budget is a relatively high $3 million because there will be a huge cast of at least 50. Already attached are stand-up comics Damien Power, Josh Earl, Jordan Raskopoulos, Kristian Lavercombe, Hannah Levien and Samantha Roy. More high-profile names will be added.

The producer first optioned the rights to Birmingham’s novel in the late 1990s but could not get it financed. After meeting Mather and Kohler they produced short films and TVCs and she figured she had the right creative team to make the film.

So they formed Wickham Park Productions and re-optioned the rights. She aims to raise a fair chunk of the budget from Screen Australia and Screen Queensland and to start shooting next May/June, with her and Kohler taking a sabbatical from Cutting Edge, which will handle post.

Next month she is due to meet with distributors. “I hope we can do a day-and-date release in cinemas and on VoD,” she said. “One of the advantages will be that people in regional areas can see the film at the same time as those in the cities.”

An offer is out to DoP Simon Chapman, who shot Tony Ayres' Cut Snake and Josh Lawson's The Little Death.

Through crowdfunding site Pozible nearly $24,000 has been raised through this morning, with 15 days to go.

The producers boast: “This film really does have it all – quirky characters, bulldozers, babes, crossbows, cockroaches, babes, nun chuck wielding karate lesbians, criminals, babes, drugs, hangovers, babes, vibrating butt plugs and explosions. Surely you've come across all of these things before in your own life, right?”