Movie about league player to be filmed in Gladstone
AN ambitious plan to bring Gladstone to the silver screen is underway - and your help is needed.
That's the call from local producer Luke Graham, who along with director Heath Davis is aiming to film Broke, a feature-length film about an ex-rugby league player fallen on hard times, set in and around Gladstone.
All the profits from the film are set to go to the Men of League charity.
Luke, whose father is ex-Kiwi league star Mark Graham, wants to make Broke a "Gladstone film".
"This is going to be Gladstone's film, and this is something that's going to go to the Australian marketplace, and hopefully the world marketplace as well," Mr Graham said.
The producer is keen to secure as much involvement in the film from Gladstonites as possible, saying he hoped the film gave the more artistically-inclined members of the community a chance to gain an insight into film production.
"I want to get high school students involved in the production, and primary school kids as well," Mr Graham said.
"We want to bring kids on who want to see what a director does so these people can become involved and become attached to the project at various stages."
This is going to be Gladstone's film, and this is something that's going to go to the Australian marketplace, and hopefully the world marketplace as well
The film has already attracted Steve Bisley of Mad Max fame, Steve le Marquand and Claire Van Der Bloom to play the lead roles.
The film will be made on a miniscule budget and while the production is fully funded, the production is seeking an extra $55,000 to "turbo-charge" the film.
Mr Graham said any help would be appreciated.
"If they can't donate financially and would like to give their time we would love that. There's our Facebook page where people can go on and ask us if there's anything they can do to help," Mr Graham said.
People can check out the film's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/brokefilm and follow the links to donate.
Why film in Gladstone?
APART from Being Mr Graham's home town, he said he was excited by the "cinematic qualities" of the town.
"If you look out at the scenery, it's very beautiful in that it's cinematic," Mr Graham said.
"It was once a contender for a tropical location but it is now an industrial town and the beauty is in the industry.
"It has all that concrete, all that metal, those lights at night and at dusk… it's amazing, it really is."
He said the opportunity to get a local community involved in a film excited him.
"Everybody's excited to be able to do a film outside of Sydney and be somewhere you've never been," Mr Graham said.
However, with Gladstone one of the gambling hot spots of Australia, Mr Graham is hoping that the film makes a real impact.
"We're definitely aware that Gladstone is one of those gambling hot spots, and it's a place where a lot of young people are earning a lot of money," Mr Graham said.
"Sometimes they tend to live for the now so throwing away thousands on gambling doesn't seem like a massive deal to them… but the good times won't last."
About the movie
AT its heart, Broke is a film about addiction and redemption.
"This film is about gambling and about someone who had it all, lost it, and is now getting the opportunity to redeem themselves and carve out a new role for themselves," Mr Graham said.
"A lot of these people who are in the public eye, after they lose their moments, they're completely lost."
Broke weaves the tale of broken down "BK" Kelly, an ex-league star caught up in the twin vices of gambling and alcohol addiction.
"It's about a man trying to let go of the past but trying to carve out a role in the present," Mr Graham said.
"When we look at players who go through all this trouble like gambling, drinking, or whatever, we're very quick to criticise.
"We say 'you had this opportunity, you had God-given talent to do this'. We never see the side of it where they're actually a person who's trying to deal with life as best he can but everyone has vices, and his vice doesn't let him stop."
Mr Graham has seen first-hand the devastation gambling has wrought in the rugby league and wider communities.
"My father's Mark Graham, and we've met a lot of people with gambling addictions which is being pushed throughout this film," Mr Graham said.
"Sportsmen, people who are addicted to winning can be addicted to gambling really easily and they end up losing a lot."
He and his father, who started the Gladstone chapter of Men of League, say they've seen gambling be a problem long before the media focused on the issue.
"It's been massive in the media for the last two or three years, which means it's been a problem for a lot longer," he said.