Can you tell our readers a little about
Enzo and I met around 10 years
ago when we were working as editors at Channel 9. Since then
we have both worked as producers and editors on lots of TV,
Documentaries and short drama. We've also always been into
genre films. So after years of talking about them we
eventually made the decision to take the skills and networks
of people we had built and make one - The Tunnel was born.
Who are your inspirations?
Wow - that'd be a massive list
of people and films. If you're talking about The Tunnel we
looked at a lot of the old school horror films - we both
like the 'less is more' idea and the tension that a lot of
them create. We're talking movies like Ridley Scotts'
"Alien" and Kubriks "The Shining". We also drew inspiration
from more recent films like Blair witch, REC, The Descent
and District 9, as well as some more unusual places like the
documentaries: Touching the Void and Grizzly man.
How did you come up with the idea "The
We actually started with the
characters in the journalism crew. At first we were going to
set it in the outback - in one of the old mining ghost towns
that litter the Aussie countryside. It was some time later
that we decided to move the story into the city because
there was something very cool about being so close to so
many people but so far from help.
Have you ever explored the tunnels underneath
Both Enzo and I had been into
the various tunnels that criss-cross Sydney at some time in
the past. In particular Enzo had done a tour of the rail
tunnels under the CBD so we relied on that experience a lot
throughout the writing phase. Then when it came time to make
the movie I spent several months scouting a whole bunch of
locations all around town.
Are you scared of the dark?
Not usually - but when your
deep underground, alone, and your torch starts to run out
batteries your mind can definitely play tricks on you.
Bel Deliá as Natasha in a
traumatic scene from The Tunnel
How do you choose Bel Delia, Andy Rodoreda,
Steve Davis, Luke Arnold and Goran D. Kleut to star in this
We got Bel and Andy on board
very early - when we shot the very first teaser for the film
in 2008, and we always felt they were great for the parts.
From there the next challenge was to find the cameraman -
because of the logistics of how the scenes play out and the
tight budget we needed someone who could act and film at the
same time. That is why we started chatting to various TV
cameramen we knew. From the very first audition Steve blew
all of us away. Luke, Goran and others like James Caitlin
were then about getting the right people for the dynamic
that was being created by the main three actors.
Which actor do you think stole the role in
I think all of them did an
absolutely amazing job and I think they all have a moment
where they really own a scene in the movie. Obviously you
expect (or hope for) that from really talented and
professional actors like Bel and Andy. Steve, having never
acted before, was the real surprise packet for all of us.
Whose idea was the 135k Project?
The idea for 135K was born at a
Korean restaurant in Glebe. Myself, Enzo and my fiancé Shan
were sitting down chatting about Star wars frames and the
idea of people buying cinema memorabilia when the light bulb
moment happened. From there it was months of research and
refining to turn that into the 135K Project.
How many people think that "The Tunnel" is
Even though we make no attempts
to hide the fact it is a movie it seems quite a few people
aren't sure if the story is real or not after seeing it.
That's actually really satisfying because, while we didn't
want to copy The Blair Witch Project and convince everybody
it was all real, we did want the movie to feel 100%
believable and blur the lines of reality and fiction. That
is why we incorporated a lot of real locations and Sydneys'
history into our story. So for people to watch it and be
sucked that far into the world we created means we got that
What was your greatest difficulty in filming
As with any indy film it comes
down to two simple things - time and money. You never have
enough of either and that always creates loads of stress and
problems. But that is what you sign up for when you take the
Bel Deliá as news reporter Natasha in a faux interview
How long did it take to put this film
We actually started the writing
process way back in 2007 when we were throwing around ideas
for a low budget movie. The whole project really ramped up
in late 2009 when we started getting partners, like
Zapruders other films and DLSHS, on board. The last 18
months have been non-stop.
BitTorrent is generally used by people
wanting free illegal software and movies, what drove you to
release the film on BitTorrent?
We decided from the beginning
that if we were asking people to help fund the movie then it
wouldn't be fair exchange to then ask them to pay to watch
it too - so we always wanted to do some kind of free online
release. What a lot of people also seem to overlook is the
size of the audience that use p2p networks - it's huge. As
filmmakers that is one of the main reasons you make a film
to get an audience to watch your story.
With Transmission/Paramount onboard for the
commercial release of the DVD, have you been approached to
make a sequel?
It's actually been our fans who
have been asking about a sequel the most. It is something we
have given a fair bit of thought to. Even when we were
writing this one we always saw the potential for several
other story lines coming out of the world of The Tunnel. But
we'll see how the next couple of months pan out before we
make that decision.
For those that have never seen the film, what
recommendation could you make about The Tunnel to them?
If you like tense,
claustrophobic horror/ thrillers then we feel this is worth
investing 90 minutes in. We've had a lot of diehard horror
fans saying they normally don't jump during movies anymore
but there were a couple of points in The Tunnel that
definitely got to them.
Steve Davis as cameraman Steve
With more awards than you can poke a stick
at, what was your favourite accolade?
It's always nice to pick up a
'best film' award - particularly at a horror film festival
where you up against a bunch of other great genre films. The
other accolade that sticks out in my mind is the AIMIA award
we won earlier this year. We were up against some really big
corporations with massive budget projects and we managed to
sneak a win. It was a really nice to have all the hard work
that DLSHS, Enzo and I put into that side get recognised.
It's often a forgotten part of a project.
Now that you have basically humbled Hollywood
by your production, what is your next project?
We are working on a few new
things at the moment. There is one more traditional film our
director, Carlo, has been writing that we are working on. We
also found the experience of making The Tunnel amazing so we
really would like to be able to do another project like
this. But it is all about getting the right idea that will
work for this style of production - we have a couple we are
developing and excited by. We will just have to see which
one of those comes out on top.
Any advice to budding film makers?
If you have done your planning
and truly believe in your story just get out there and do
it. It's really easy to listen to all the people who say