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Cargo (2017) Poster

(I) (2017)

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Actor Martin Freeman found a special rapport with young actress Simone Landers: "Simone's never acted before, she's been a joy. She's a really lovely lovely girl, she loves to laugh. She was charging me a dollar every time I swore so I ended up giving her a lot of money."
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This movie is Australia's first Netflix Original feature film, the first Australian theatrical feature film to be released globally as a Netflix Original.
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This film is a full length feature film remake of the earlier recent Australian short film Cargo (2013). The interval between the two film productions, which share the same name, is about four years.
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Actress Simone Landers, who played Thoomi, worked with Indigenous artists and learned local dialects for her role as Thoomi.
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The favorite part of making the film for young actress Simone Landers who portrayed Thoomi was "staying up late and making new friends." From Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia, she had not spent a lot of time with Australian Indigenous communities and so connecting with Natasha Wanganeen and Bruce Carter, who play her parents, was a special part of the experience. Bruce, she says "was like a dad to me, he was very friendly. He taught me to be friendly to other people. He told me that you call David Gulpilil 'Uncle David' and he kept me warm and gave me hugs." Landers is not a big fan of zombie films, but for her, "'Cargo' isn't really a zombie film. 'The Virals' are symbolic of the Western pollution...the film promotes the Indigenous respect for the land, and I am proud to be a part of that."
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This feature film is based on a 2013 short film of the same 'Cargo' name which went on to online viral success garnering about thirteen million views on YouTube.
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One of the film's two co-directors, Yolanda Ramke, has said of this film: "The landscape is a key player in our 'outbreak' scenario, its harsh and unforgiving nature throws up countless obstacles for our protagonists, whilst at the same time offering protection and a means to survive."
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For the five weeks of production filming in South Australia, the Australian state experienced what was apparently its worst weather in about a century (or one hundred years). There were floods, power blackouts, torrential downpours, and even a mini cyclone. Miraculously enough, though, the filmmakers never lost a day's filming during the production shoot.
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An extensive consultation process was conducted with members of the Australian Indigenous community throughout development. Indigenous writer Jon Bell came on board as script advisor, assisting Ramke in understanding specific cultural practices, avoiding stereotypes and delivering authentic contemporary dialogue. This process also greatly informed what would become a central theme of 'Cargo', a disconnect between the modern western world and Indigenous traditional culture.
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Despite having never been to Australia, and weathering some adverse conditions, star Martin Freeman proved to be somewhat of a leading man behind the camera as well. Co-director Yolanda Ramke observed: "As the leading actor in the film, I think he set a really beautiful tone on set, a really nice tone of warmth and leadership, especially with the kids who were his primary co-stars in the film. I think he was a really great captain in that way, and he was a pleasure." Ramke added: "It was a very challenging part for him, it was very physical. A lot of the time he was carrying a one-year-old child on his back for probably 90% of the film. And were shooting in some really isolated locations and had some crazy weather. And emotionally as well, the arc that his character goes through is pretty intense and he has to grapple with some pretty big things. It was very challenging and I think he handled it really well."
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A key part of packaging and financing the film was finding the perfect Andy who is played by actor Martin Freeman. This character is a deliberate departure from the conventional protagonist audiences might expect to see fronting a genre piece. Directors Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling wanted the central character to feel like a fish out of water, an urban man genuinely struggling to protect his wife and child from a threat he cannot control, who is confronted by a land and culture he doesn't fully understand. Andy is not your archetypical hero. He is flawed and deeply human. He struggles to connect with his infant daughter, and in many ways is still learning how to become a father. He can be stubborn. He doesn't always make the right call - in fact, more often than not he makes the wrong call. He is not uniquely equipped to deal with the life or death circumstances in which he finds himself, he is simply muddling through as any of us might. He is relatable and refreshingly complex take on the post-apocalyptic survival film lead.
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Of the film's lead actor, this movie's producers collectively said: "Martin Freeman is an absolute pleasure to work with. He's incredibly talented, incredibly professional, makes everybody in the cast and crew feel completely comfortable, he creates an environment of trust and fun. He makes it fun, he's very funny. He is quite extraordinary. He makes sure that every single moment, every line, every action is completely real. If it's not true, he makes sure that it is. He finds a way to make it real. There's never a false note. Even a film that has quite a heightened concept, it's just beautiful to watch."
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The closing shot pans out showing Wilpena Pound in the heart of the Flinders Ranges, one of Australia's most unique geographical formations. An enormous, crescent-shaped amphitheater, the Pound was formed over the course of millions of years worth of erosion, resulting in a "wall" of peaks which encircle a valley below. Wilpena Pound measures roughly 17 kilometres long.
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Prosthetics Designer Larry Van Duynhoven recalled early sit-downs with the film's directors: "[Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling] wanted to take a different tact to the normal kind of zombie film, that 1970s kinds of film. They wanted to try and stay away from the zombie word and folklore in some ways, just use those a little bit. They didn't want lots of blood on their faces, or open wounds. They wanted to keep it viral and hence why we started calling them "Virals" not zombies, they had a different way of thinking. They also wanted to have stages rather than just like a viral that started eating flesh. They wanted to have them incubate, like a chrysalis look, and then from there, like a butterfly transforms into something beautiful, we were going for the opposite - something disgusting."
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Directors Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling felt that the story needed an Australian Indigenous voice as new layers began to take shape within the film's post apocalyptic Australian setting. This resulted in a parallel story-line, so that the film tracks two sets of fathers and daughters navigating an environment ravaged by an epidemic. So, while British expat Andy (Martin Freeman) strives to find a safe haven for his baby daughter, fiercely independent Aboriginal girl Thoomi (Simone Landers) tries to save her own father. Both need each other to survive.
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Though the two exceptional musicians, Daniel Rankine (aka Trials) and Dr G. Yunipingu, had completely different styles, the two collaborators worked together beautifully, and the tragic passing away of Dr G. Yunipingu in the final stages of composition for the film, made the collaboration particularly treasured. The film is dedicated in memory of Dr G. Yunupingu.
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Casting aside thoughts of the broader zombie pantheon, directors Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling sought to investigate angles into this world that not only felt fresh, but also appealed to their sensibilities as filmmakers; a focus on the human element, rather than the creatures themselves. The answer came in the form of a single image: a zombie carrying a baby on its back.
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This movie was initially borne of the desire to explore the 'zombie' genre in a contained, short form project. To zero in on just one family's fight for survival - a glimpse through the keyhole, rather than busting down the entire door. As lifelong fans of science fiction, horror and the paranormal, directors Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling had always been eager to unleash their imaginations in the 'undead' universe. But they were also keenly aware of the significant challenges this would present. In tackling a genre that has recently stamped such a claim on pop culture, the chances of unlocking a fresh point of attack felt pretty slim.
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Since becoming a Tropfest finalist in 2013, the earlier Cargo (2013) short film has garnered over thirteen million YouTube views. It was not long before directors Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling had signed with American powerhouse agents CAA who were interested in their next venture.
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With a well-honed instinct for anything insincere, star Martin Freeman proved an incredibly inventive actor to the point that he never played a scene the same way twice. Naturally, given his comedic background, he was also a gifted improviser, which led to the discovery of some lovely in-the-moment touches to the film.
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Indigenous Australian Aboriginal cast, elders and advisers consulted across many aspects including the history and use of specific locations, language, rituals and spear-throwing. "It wasn't until we had locked down that we were going to be shooting in South Australia that we then started researching the Adnyamathanha people", said co-director Ben Howling.
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Co-director Ben Howling spoke highly of the movie's star Martin Freeman: "Martin is just a really good person, such a team player. You forget that people of that profile are just normal people too and I remember on one of the first nights, we had dinner with him and he was saying he didn't know anyone out here. He comes out to do the movie, and it was out of that natural thing of wanting to make friends. He was always out having dinner with the crew and other cast. Just a generally lovely bloke to be around. Never complained, was always happy to sit in some dire conditions on set and persevere with that. He put up with mutant sized mosquitoes. He was just a trooper and like Yol [co-director Yolanda Ramke] said, set a really good tone."
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It was this visceral, evocative and emotionally charged image of a zombie carrying a baby on its back that resulted in a seven minute short film of the same name that struck a chord with its audience at the Tropfest Short Film Festival.
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When it came to casting Andy, the directors and producers wanted to take an unconventional approach. First and foremost, the desire was to cast an actor that audiences might not expect to show up in a genre film like this one. Almost equally important was the desire to cast an actor whose personal performance style could help anchor some of the more surreal aspects of the story. Martin Freeman was the most exciting choice on all fronts, being a master of subtlety and understatement with zero interest in playing obvious, clichéd choices. Co-director Yolanda Ramke said: "His dramatic chops are exceptional and he exudes a natural warmth and charm, which we also knew we wanted our protagonist to possess."
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Universal themes in the film's story include the idea of sacrifice for the survival of loved ones, and the bonds between parent and child, which transcends death quite literally in this case. Co-director Ben Howling commented: "Everybody has a parent, everybody has been a child at some point, so it's an accessible idea."
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It was always the production team's intention to make a film that connected with international audiences. As producer Samantha Jennings put it: "We've always from the outset conceived this as an international film. We really want to tell international stories. For us it's very important that it fulfills its genre and it can meet the expectations of its recognizable audience. But at the same time, it will appeal to a more sophisticated, more adult audience who may want to go to the cinema to engage with things about the world we are in, and the intensity of the emotional experience that they want to go to the cinema for. And this is about a man who is a father, who is thrown into a situation that is life and death, and how he deals with that. I guess it's the combination of knowing its genre and fulfilling that and at the same time offering a deeper experience for a more adult audience as well."
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Star Martin Freeman, who played Andy, said of the film's two directors, Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke: "I think they've been great. It's their first feature obviously and I quite like working with new people, I like working with new young directors because they are the future and they've got something else to say that I don't necessarily know about and ways of doing things that I don't necessarily know about."
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Young actress Simone Landers was one of four girls flown to Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia where the studios of the South Australian Film Corporation are located, for the final round of audition workshops. Landers was a stand out from day one. Co-director Yolanda Ramke observed: "Casting children, especially kids who have never acted before, is difficult because you're not assessing them on their control or technique or their choices. You have to keep it simple, and so you look for the kids who can listen well, who can listen actively, and for the kids who can connect authentically to the words they are saying. Simone ticked both of those boxes, but she also has these eyes that just draw you in; she was just incredibly watchable. As a person, there was a sweetness and a playfulness about her, she was still a child, but she also felt like a bit of an old soul."
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Andy Rodoreda, who portrayed the "Father" in the short "Cargo" from which this film is based has a small role in the remake as the father of the family met on the river bed. Named "Father" in the original, Martin Freeman's character is named Andy, perhaps as an ode to Rodoreda himself.
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Producer Kristina Ceyton said of this film: "The decision to shoot in South Australia was based on various factors...First and foremost, we had such a fantastic experience on The Babadook (2014), with great support from the SAFC [South Australian Film Corporation]. We had access to outstanding facilities, including the Adelaide Studios, and the crew and industry partnerships formed in SA [South Australia] have endured...For Cargo (2017), the landscapes are so central to the power of this story and the directors' vision, we all felt very strongly that South Australia's diverse and stunning outback locations would add beautifully to the film's screen impact...We are really excited about bringing our next, bigger production to the State."
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In portraying the film's Australian Indigenous elements, co-director Yolanda Ramke said "there's a need to do that in a way that is respectful and that is authentic" and adding "just making sure that element of the story was being handled correctly was also a big part of the creation of this film." This proved to be an eye-opening and deeply enriching part of making the film, as a great deal of even recent Indigenous Australian history is not widely known.
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Larry Van Duynhoven, the film's prosthetics designer, commented: "As I said, [for] 'the Virals' we tried to use the Australian outback as our inspiration and it worked really well. We tried to keep some of the Viral stages dry like earth and we tried just to take a different tact. We didn't want to go over the top and that's evident when you see the film, because Ben and Yolanda [directors Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke] didn't want to do that, they wanted to keep it creepy in a different way, without going over the top. We tried to do something totally different and hopefully the fans like what they see."
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One of the film's two co-directors, Ben Howling, has said of this film: "We've been blown away by the spectacularly diverse locations on offer in South Australia, from the beaches to the vineyards, the wheat belt, the river lands right up to the towering Flinders Ranges. There is no doubt in our minds that we have found the perfect home for our story, and we genuinely cannot wait to get the cameras rolling."
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The film is post-apocalyptic thriller which shot in South Australia, including the Flinders Ranges and the Murray River region of the Riverland and Murraylands, boosting their local economies, and highlighting these stunning locations.
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"Because we were going for that minimal look to 'The Virals', we decided to create a creepiness in other ways, with make-up and skin textures. We were looking at different things that were loved as kids growing up in films, but just the internet, finding different faces and textures and colors," said prosthetics designer Larry Van Duynhoven.
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Actress Natasha Wanganeen and actors David Gulpilil and Anthony Hayes all previously appeared in Phillip Noyce's Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) around fifteen years earlier.
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This zombie movie's lead actor Martin Freeman previously portrayed Declan in the earlier zombie movie 'Shaun of the Dead' (2004). Freeman briefly appeared in this earlier spoof horror comedy and then reunited with that film's writing duo of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright for the cult hit 'Hot Fuzz' (2007) and again later for 'The World's End' (2013).
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The film is dedicated in memory of Dr G. Yunupingu.
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Head of Production at Screen Australia, Sally Caplan, said: "It's fantastic to see the trajectory of Cargo (2017) from a highly viewed short [Cargo (2013)] through to a feature. Screen Australia is thrilled to be able to support Cargo (2017) and Causeway again, having worked with them on The Babadook (2014) and the upcoming feature The Nightingale (2018). They're a formidable and exciting team as are the two directors, who are making their feature debut and for whom we have very high hopes."
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CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation, Annabelle Sheehan, said Cargo (2017) underlines the value of developing partnerships. "Cargo is a prestigious, nationally supported project with a great creative team who are collaborating with a South Australian producer and our highly regarded crews. It provides a real opportunity to further build our industry here. The Flinders Ranges and Murray River are ideal for telling this story and the film will bring a lot of attention to the State."
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The movie's directors and producers undertook location scouting during development and financing. It was the combination of three regions in South Australia, the vast plains of the outback, the intimidating yet spectacular Flinders Ranges, and the vibrant Murray River region, that offered quintessential Australian landscapes within a dramatic and powerful context.
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The production team were particularly keen to create a soundtrack for the film that was an exciting piece of work in itself. Films such as 'The Proposition' (2005) had been elevated by a music score by a particular artist or artists in a way that offered a new kind of alchemy.
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Co-director Ben Howling said of directing this movie with co-director Yolanda Ramke: "Yolanda and I have been mates for almost a decade now and we first started working together in reality TV, behind the scenes and just formed a friendship over our shared passion for film and TV. Along the way we've done joint projects together, show reels, short films etc. and it's always been a really collaborative kind of thing. There's never any strict 'you're the director' it's like 'this is what we want to achieve, how do we approach it?', and it's through that relationship, the way we operate now is very much the same, we tackle it in a collaborative way. We've both got our strengths, I'm more technically oriented I guess. I shoot and I cut. Yolanda's got a writing-acting background, so she has a stronger grasp of drama fundamentals. But there's also a lot of crossover, Yolanda's got a great eye as well. I dictate shots and she dictates story, they are our strengths but then we come together and meld them altogether in one big pot."
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One of two 2017 horror movie feature films starring actor Martin Freeman. The pictures are 'Cargo' (2017) and 'Ghost Stories' (2017).
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Actress Simone Landers, who played Thoomi, received an 'introducing' credit.
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The creation of a post outbreak world in the Australian outback was part of what made the concept cinematic and unique from the beginning. This was not a world set in an unforeseeable future, it is one that could potentially happen to us, to our world, within the next year. It was important for the filmmakers that the world felt recognizable as ours, so audiences could conceive of this happening to our society, yet at the same time it being an immersive universe that was engaging on screen.
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Producer Samantha Jennings said of young actress Simone Landers: "Watching Simone open up, has been really...she has never done anything like this, this is her first experience of filmmaking, and just to see her start to open the process, and love it, and be respected by the team, it's been amazing. And she's delivered beautifully. She's got an inner strength and she's got a depth to her, a soulfulness to her but at the same time she is very open and innocent and has a beautiful quality that she is completely authentic with."
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In continuing to develop the movie's script to financing stage, Causeway Films came on board as a partner. The American producers originally approached producer Kristina Ceyton after the success of another South Australian shot horror movie she had produced called 'The Babadook' (2014). This earlier film had been launched at the Sundance Film Festival earlier that year, where it had made a big splash, and been really well received. Ceyton recalled "we read the script and looked at the short film ['Cargo' (2013)] which we thought was beautifully done and it was something we fell in love with straight away. It was something we were absolutely moved by." While 'Cargo' is not your typical 'zombie' film, it was this combination of heart alongside familiar tropes of the genre that hooked both Ceyton and fellow Causeway producer Samantha Jennings. "The script knows how to deliver to a genre audience. Beyond that, we were very interested its deeper layers. It is a story with something to say and also one that has a very powerful level of emotional meaning and engagement."
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Working with highly experienced sound designer Liam Egan, the production team sought out the most apt and original collaboration possible. They ending up bringing together two extraordinary but very interesting artists: Daniel Rankine (aka Trials), who is half of the hugely popular Indigenous Hip Hop duo, 'A.B.Original'), and Australia's most prominent indigenous musician, multi-instrumentalist and transcendent vocalist, Dr G. Yunipingu.
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South Australian locations featuring in the film include the northern Flinders Ranges where the filmmakers found a landscape that evoked a remote world which supported the film's post-outbreak context.
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Debut theatrical feature film of the movie's two directors Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke.
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Newcomer Simone Landers played the character of Thoomi. For her, "Thoomi is tough, independent and caring. She is loyal and I like those qualities about her", said Landers.
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At the time of the casting of Martin Freeman in this movie, audiences hadn't really had the opportunity to see him play a father on-screen, and the idea of placing an English actor at the heart of the story added a whole new thematic layer to the film. Co-director Yolanda Ramke said: "One of the things we were really excited about with this film, was the idea of trying to cast against type, within the genre and within this character. And we were really super uninterested in going for more obvious action hero type moulds and the idea of Martin came along fairly early in the piece and he is just such an interesting actor. He is very subtle and very tasteful in his choices and has a tendency to underplay things in a really beautiful way and a very authentic way, and he is never going to make the obvious choice and every take is performed differently, he is all about giving you lots of choices."
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Co-director Ben Howling observed of young actress Simone Landers who played Thoomi: "She's got such a passion, she's a little star, a rising star. I remember in the casting process, we were doing little workshops with her and you just couldn't wipe the smile off her face because she was enjoying it so much. That's something that really speaks volumes, she was just so gung ho about everything, she always wanted to go for another rehearsal and practice, because she just loved doing it. She's got a cheeky sense of humor. I think she is one to keep an eye on."
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'The Virals', the creatures in the movie, were designed by prosthetics designer Larry Van Duynhoven. The film's directors Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling themselves also took an approach to the movie that was organic to the setting and landscape.
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One day during production filming inside a tunnel, a stunt-person was setting himself on fire for a fire stunt, and the police commissioner came on television and advised everyone to leave their place of work. With equipment falling down around the set, the production needed to just get that one fire shot.
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Filming in part took place at the Murray River region of the Riverland and Murraylands in South Australia where the picturesque location provided the perfect contrasting scenery to the arid outback scenes.
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The passion for the core idea of the film remained strong, having been inspired by the degree to which the earlier 'Cargo' (2013) short had been embraced globally, but moving forward, the creative interests of the film's two directors Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling lay in digging into their own identities as Australian filmmakers. The ambition was to take the father-daughter love story at the heart of the original film and organically fuse this with dramatically exciting facets of Australia's culture and history.
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Producer Sam Jennings said of the film's two directors, Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke: "Yolanda and Ben are wonderful. They have a fantastic relationship with each other. Very unified, both bring different strengths to the table. You know they are really talented young people; they have a fantastic energy but at the same time they are really focused on what they are doing. This is their first feature film, it's a very exciting thing to watch, them kind of owning that and taking on the big machine. But they have a very unified voice together and they know their genre inside out but they still want to make something quite elegant and beautiful."
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Costume Designer Heather Wallace, whose home is in South Australia where the movie was shot, also drew a lot of inspiration from the South Australian landscape. She said: "For the palette we talked about the landscape and 'The Virals' emerging from the landscape and becoming the landscape. So, it was really good fun. We worked on the palette a lot and getting the colours right and exploring that. Particularly, with 'The Virals', it's very much about the earth and the salt bush all those colours and pops of colour as well, some pastels. But my main focus, every single garment has been dyed or toned. So, every single costume has been dyed or toned down. It's all toned and muted."
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The focus in pre-production was to build a sense of trust, familiarity and rapport between actor Martin Freeman and eleven year-old first timer actress Simone Landers. When it came time to shoot, co-director Yolanda Ramke said: "Freeman was a wonderful creative partner and a genuine delight to work with. He was collaborative, but just as importantly, he came to set every day with questions and a point of view and a determination to dig for the reality in the material. He had no interest in playing obvious or contrived choices, and even less interest in looking cool or heroic. He was far more drawn to Andy's flaws and weaknesses, and embracing those to create a more authentic, multi-faceted character."
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"Going from a seven-minute short film ['Cargo' (2013)] to a 100-minute feature film, there's a big difference there in terms of material", said co-director Yolanda Ramke. "You need to start thinking more deeply about things that you want to be tapping into, and expanding the world of the film, and you have to get a lot more detailed and introduce new characters and new layers to the story".
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As the movie's development evolved, it became clear that the locations would play a huge part in shaping the dystopic world of the story, and South Australia immediately came to mind.
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Co-director Ben Howling put it that "we thought there was a lot of untapped terrain in Cargo [2013]" and after an intense four-week period of brainstorming, Howling and co-director Yolanda Ramke had a treatment to shop around on a whirlwind trip to the USA. Within a couple of weeks, producers Russell Ackerman and John Schoenfelder of Addictive Pictures had picked up the project, and upon returning to Australia, Ramke began work on the feature length script.
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Producer Samantha Jennings recalled: "When the decision was made to shoot in South Australia, the consultation process expanded." Various Indigenous Australian Aboriginal elders consulted on the script, as well as communities and families specific to the regions where filming took place.
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The artists and filmmakers planned to release the credits track of the film as a single, as soon as they heard it, they "jumped on the spot with delight. "The track felt fresh, the vocals were beautiful, it just came from somewhere deep."
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Having cut her teeth working for a number of years and in various departments in Australian television, co-director Yolanda Ramke went on to write and co-direct the 2013 Tropfest finalist short film, 'Cargo' (2013). The project became an online sensation, amassing over thirteen million views on YouTube, a festival run, and attracting the interest of international producers. In 2015, Ramke's first feature screenplay, an expansion of the short film 'Cargo' (2013), won the inaugural Gateway LA Script Development Program Award via Australians In Film.
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The South Australian landscape itself became the inspiration for all elements of production design. Highly experienced production designer Jo Ford has a strong connection with that landscape. She said: "I love filming in South Australia, this is my third feature film here. I did 'Last Ride' here in 2008, and I did 'The Rover' with David Michod in 2013, and now I am doing this. I love South Australia because I love the landscape, how it changes, it is so different everywhere."
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South Australian Arts Minister Jack Snelling said this film would inject millions into the local economy resulting in significant employment for local crew. He said: "The locations chosen for this film offer extraordinary South Australian landscapes. Productions such as these are incredibly valuable to the economy of regional towns providing a direct economic boost during the shoot as well as long-term tourism benefits from being showcased on screen to an international audience."
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Actresses Kris McQuade and Susie Porter both previously appeared in both Mullet (2001) and Better Than Sex (2000).
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In the time Daniel Rankine (aka Trials) was working on this film alone, his hugely popular Indigenous Hip Hop duo 'A.B.Original' won five AIRLA (Australian Independent Record Labels Association) Awards, including Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year, Best Independent Hip Hop Album, Best Independent Single for 'January 26', Best Independent Album or EP for their breakthrough Reclaim Australia, and the big one - Best Independent Artist, as well as two National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMA) Awards.
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Production designer Jo Ford responded to the idea of basing this post-apocalyptic world in our recognizable reality so that, like star Martin's Freeman's performance, it was a conceived as something that could happen to 'every man'. Ford said: "I think part of the reason that people hire me is that they think, no matter what world we put you in, whether it's a world that really exists or doesn't exist yet, like 'The Rover' [2013] and like this movie, you can make it be real, you can make it so that we believe this environment and where this story goes. So, I think what I always bring to shows is, let's make it real, let's make it so that the audience just sits there comfortably, takes in the story and doesn't get distracted by visuals that are really weird. I try to keep it as believable as I can."
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The film's closing credits declare that this picture was: "Produced and filmed in South Australia".
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The film in 2018 has been nominated for 5 AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts) Awards including Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay (Yolanda Ramke), Best Sound (Liam Egan), Best Production Design (Jo Ford) and Best Hair and Makeup (Larry Van Duynhoven, Beverley Freeman, Helen Magelaki).
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Martin Freeman's second production ending in "argo" after 'Fargo' (2014).
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The film has also received production investment from Screen NSW with distribution by Umbrella in Australia and New Zealand, with international distrib by Bankside and Icon UK.
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Debut produced screenplay for a theatrical feature film of the movie's screenwriter Yolanda Ramke.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Does not explain or attempt to explain the cause of the "apocalypse". No characters even care or question it.
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