Scott Lewis is a Melbourne-based Australian filmmaker, founder and director of Blue Starling Films and best known for his film, ‘The Case of the Shanghaied Songbird,’ starring Jack Campbell, which was featured at the Noir Film Festival in Prague.
“Towards the end of last year I was fortunate to attend the Noir Film Festival at the Křivoklát Castle just north of Prague for the premiere of my short film The Case of the Shanghaied Songbird. The inspiration and the subsequent month in Prague has undoubtably fed into my present project, a noir sci-fi feature screenplay set in 1948. Who would’ve thought that the lively tourist streets of Prague may’ve had tumbleweeds rolling through them six months later.
Back in Melbourne, and we have just entered into round two of lockdown and mandatory face masks. Tough times. I have taken this opportunity to refine my feature screenplay. The Shanghaied Songbird gave me a perfect head start into researching period dialogue and character traits and shaped the way I have included locations in this script, for example the challenges of shooting exteriors in a city full of graffiti.
This screenplay has had me dig into themes of 1940’s Communism in Australia, parapsychology, propaganda and mind control techniques (or the more polite phrase ‘coercive persuasion’) This is also set at a time when the U.K were looking at the Australian outback to test their Atomic bombs, tests that preceded for 5 years after 1952. It’s all very cold war paranoia and loosely based on a true story referencing a mysterious unsolved case.
Ultimately the next phase of production is to raise finance, which will be very interesting in these turbulent times. One of the benefits for indie films to move into production presently is to employ film crew freelancers at a time when they need it most.
I guess the best thing to do in an uncertain future is to keep persistent and stay present. That’s usually where all good art comes from anyway.”