A group of wild young girls roar across the foothills of Australia’s Snowy Mountains in their beat-up, solar-powered Holden Commodore. While recharging the car, the girls come into contact with what is real and what is fake about themselves

Seeing filmmaker’s unique representations of the future is probably the most satisfying part of our job. The ones that trigger a longer lasting impressions are often the ones that stick to lo-fi and minimum visual effects. Cooee does just that, presenting a vision of regional Australia in the near future. Director Toby Morris creates a dystopian-like world with hints technological advancements, but sticking to already existing elements. Cooee follows a gang of teenage girls racing across the foothills of the Snowy Mountains in their beat-up, solar-powered Holden. While recharging the car at an isolated homestead, the girls encounter a family addicted to Virtual Reality. They are forced to confront what is real and imagined in their own lives.

Examines the fate of Australia’s regional youth in a future crippled by a failing economy

The short film was written and produced as the proof of concept for our feature version of Cooee, currently in development. We wrote a screenplay that examines the fate of Australia’s regional youth in a future crippled by a failing economy and an older generation that has deserted their responsibilities and reality itself.

The short expands on a single sequence in the feature script that we felt best conveyed the world and its characters, and gave us the opportunity to bring them to life for the first time. We were lucky enough to secure an incredible cast and crew, all of whom shared our passion for the story and its potential as a contribution to Australian cinema. We’d spend our days racing cars through wind farms, and our evenings sharing a motel – sitting around a project and watching the rushes together. There was a beautiful sense of community which made it a really special shoot for everyone involved.

The film’s striking thrill comes from its four edgy main characters. Odessa Young, Airlie Dodds, Sapphire Blossom and Maddy Madden wonderfully transcend the energy to the camera. The film’s switch in tone through its progression is a feat fantastically achieved by the crew. Our discovery of world along with the simultaneous grapple between the girls makes for quite the dynamic. Of course all glued together by a smooth direction and an incredibly sharp photography.

There’s no dream which gaffer tape can’t bring to life

The primary camera used was an Arri Alexa, but in order to capture the action sequences, we found ourselves using a bit of everything: RED Epics, Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera, DJI drones, I think even the Canon 5D was in there somewhere! One of our proudest achievements was a low-budget scorpion arm which we rigged together in order to capture some of the more cinematic car shots in the film. There’s no dream which gaffer tape can’t bring to life!

We also discovered that wind farms are probably not the best places to shoot elaborate drone sequences. Turns out they’re quite windy.