Short Film Pre-Production: The Idea, Casting, Location Scout and Test Shoot by TO CATCH A BUNYIP Writer/Director Bradley Gillow

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

Hi, my name is Bradley Gillow.

I’m a young filmmaker from Australia and I’m currently directing a film called TO CATCH A BUNYIP.

When I was a kid I’ll always remember seeing a camera around because my Dad used to video tape all of my baby videos.

Image courtesy of Bradley Gillow and Jachin Dahlitz of TO CATCH A BUNYIP

I don’t know, it was something that I always thought was interesting the phrase a picture paints a thousand words. I like to imagine that film does that a thousand times more than photography. That kind of sparked an interest in film for me.

By the time I was six I was just watching movies constantly and the films that I would watch the most were adventure films.

TO CATCH A BUNYIP is basically a film about this young girl Emma who goes to the Billabong every day because she believes that the Bunyip lives there and she wants to capture it for its magic (she believes that Bunyips have the power to regenerate life). She wants to get the magic because she wants to help her sick Mom Jess who suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

Her older sister Abbey clashes with Emma because she doesn’t believe in Bunyips and that what Emma is saying is nonsense. She wants to have Emma share more responsibility.


What made you want to tell this story?


Image courtesy of Bradley Gillow and Jachin Dahlitz of TO CATCH A BUNYIP

Bradley: This film that I’m making is a personal story that I’ve wanted to convey for about three years now because my Mom had Parkinson’s disease and it had a significant impact to the way that I was growing up as a kid.

When I graduated from high school my Mom passed away from her 12-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. And for about two years I was depressed because I wasn’t really sure where my life was going after that.

I wanted to make this story to convey my feelings on that experience, as well as sort of an outlet for me to get over those feelings and move on.

The reason why I incorporated Bunyips, there was a film that I watched when I was a kid called Dot and the Kangaroo, that was a film that I used to watch with my Mom. And I wanted to turn this bad situation into something more light-hearted so I immediately thought of that film. That film happens to feature a Bunyip.

Image courtesy of Bradley Gillow and Jachin Dahlitz of TO CATCH A BUNYIP

I wanted to enjoy my inspiration from that memory in particular and make a film where it comes from a very bad place into a more light-hearted adventure film.

The story is not so much about the Bunyip but rather the family. Yet the Bunyip is all a part of this and is the link to the family. You don’t see the Bunyip per se, but I’ve written it in a way that it’s left for interpretation whether the Bunyip exists or not and it’s something for the audience to decide on.

Image courtesy of Bradley Gillow and Jachin Dahlitz of TO CATCH A BUNYIP

This is the first short film I’m directing. I’ve done directing in the past where I was not 100% sure what I want or what I’m going for but with this I have a clear idea in terms of every small detail from production design, cast, locations.

I feel pretty confident as a director to do my job well. I’ve spent so much time just thinking to myself all the small details of how the scenes are going to play out, how the shots are going to look, how the performances are going to play out during the scene.

Obviously there are going to be issues that are going to pop up while filming but I think I have enough preparation to be ready for the shoot and because of that I think this will turn out really good.

In terms of the production of this film, so far it’s been pretty challenging to say the least because I wanted to have this film…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Image courtesy of Bradley Gillow and Jachin Dahlitz of TO CATCH A BUNYIP
Bradley Gillow: Born in the heart of Australia, 1998, Bradley Gillow is a young filmmaker who’s currently studying film and television at JMC Academy. At the campus, he’s known as the ‘go-to’ Editor, being nominated for awards for his efforts. His film Lifeboat (2017), won Best Documentary at the Martini Awards, sharing his thoughts on abortion and the male perspective. His upcoming film To Catch A Bunyip (2018) is Bradley’s first major directing debut, which is in dedication of his mum who suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
Jachin Dahlitz: Born and raised in Brisbane, Australia, I discovered a love for imagery at a young age. During high school I worked as a graphic designer and animator, which eventually led me into the world of filmmaking the year I graduated. I began working as a freelance multimedia artist on films and corporate content soon after, and since then working with audio and visuals has become my biggest passion.









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