01 June 2010
Drifting into Hollywood
RMIT student David Ludlow wrote, acted, directed and produced the low budget feature film Drifting.
"A logistical miracle" - Drifting was shot in 18 days and with a budget of only $2,000.
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Six months out of high school RMIT University student David Ludlow expected to be working or studying, but instead he found himself acting in a major television mini-series.
He was flown to Queensland to appear in Steven Spielberg's The Pacific, which recently screened on Channel 7.
"After years of drama productions at high school, I appeared at the National Theatre, was snapped up by an agent and then a month later auditioned for The Pacific," Mr Ludlow said.
"Suddenly I found myself in Queensland with Captain Dale Dye on a boot camp in the Daintree Rainforest learning to be a US Marine. It was like a whirlwind."
Captain Dye is a Hollywood veteran and guru behind many famous war movies including Platoon and Saving Private Ryan.
"The boot camp lasted for two weeks and we learned weaponry, the comradeship of being a soldier and how to talk like a US Marine in the 1940s," Mr Ludlow said.
"We filmed in Queensland for four months and then at Melbourne's Docklands studio, the You Yangs and a quarry in Victoria - which was blown to pieces for action scenes," Mr Ludlow said.
Mr Ludlow started a Bachelor of Communication (Media) at RMIT last year, with a view to working in the film industry.
"As well as acting I'm also interested in producing films. Over the last six years I'd developed an idea for a feature film. So, after The Pacific finished, I decided not to wait for the phone to ring for more acting roles but to make a movie instead," he said.
Drifting was shot in 18 days for an extremely modest budget of $2,000.
"I used some of my earnings from The Pacific to set up a 'David's Pet Projects Fund', which resulted in Drifting," he said.
"The film is about a young man who is drifting through life and longs for personal fulfillment. On his journey he meets various people who help him towards his goal.
"I star in the film, as well as writing, directing and doing everything else from the camera work and casting to wardrobe. I was also very fortunate to cast some really great actors who helped me make the film what it is."
Drifting has been submitted and is in consideration for the Melbourne, Toronto, Telluride, Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals.
"The reaction to Drifting has been amazing. My agent has called it a "logistical miracle".
"Once people get over the fact that it was shot so quickly and so cheaply, I hope they enjoy an interesting light drama about a character who manages to get out of a rut and move on to better things - a universal story that resonates with everyone," Mr Ludlow said.