Sacha Douglas

Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?
I have entered my web series pilot ' Arrival' into your festival. It's based on a true story. It's a drama, and comedy, with a 'dash' of romance. It's a true story about a young Indonesian (West Javanese) man's determination to change his life ultimately from being very poor to becoming ' well-off', and able to afford three meals a day. Wayan attempts to fulfill his dream by living abroad. The story follows his journey, in both difficult and relatable times in two worlds- one his homeland, the other a possible country he would maybe like to live in: Australia

The logline: A poor West Javanese man in Bali is given the one opportunity to leave behind a party lifestyle, along with his friends, for unexpected love and money in Australia. His hope of making money and a life, to support his family, maybe over before it begins.

Arrival Movie poster  1png

What are your ambitions with your project?
To make a web series about this true story. The web-series trailer is complete and available. To gain funding shortly (yes I've applied, and shall continue trying to gain funding via grants and contacts). I plan to film the pilot soon hopefully, then a web series for online streaming services. It's a story that needs and deserves to be told.

Tell us something about your shooting.
The trailer was filmed with a zero budget, and it is based on a true story. I filmed and wrote the pilot for 'Arrival' whilst still undertaking my Diploma in Screen, Media, Directing, and Screenwriting. What pleasantly surprised you? Winning an international film festival award for the pilot script firstly. Also, everyone (both cast and crew) were well prepared, and we didn't require many takes for the trailer. This is due to the professionalism, formal training, and experience of both the cast and crew. I didn't require many props to create the main scene either. Both of the main actors were professional and gave their time freely. This was the case, even when they were busy with other film commitments, and other work around filming.

For what group of spectators is your film targeted?
The web series is targeted towards those who've moved countries and/or cultures, and anyone who has experienced airport issues. It is also for anyone who has experienced long-distance love, and anyone born into a poor family, wishing to better their life. Lastly, it is for those (and there are many), who've travelled overseas for a holiday, met, and married a local, and subsequently welcomed their new partner to their home country.

Why should distributors buy your film?
It's a unique, and untold true story, which is already winning international awards. It's relatable for many different groups of people worldwide. You are in good hands. I'm a professionally trained and experienced screenwriter, and director, as are all of my crew. We work hard, and the web series will be successful. I already have potential international investors available, a great crew available, a budget breakdown, and a pitch ready to bring the web series to life too. It also doesn't require a large budget to film, fortunately either. With so many people who can relate, it will be viewed by many worldwide. The characters are also in-depth in both their differing lives, life experiences, and personalities. There was so much great material to work with too, creating the pilot of the series. Writing and directing the remaining episodes will be just as enjoyable. This web series will also show the much-loved Australian landscapes and the Indonesian lifestyle both in well-known Bali and in local villages. It is one that many want to see, or can only dream about. It also will show the hardships of being Indonesian, both nationally and internationally. As a distributor, you will make money, and a profit too. Anyone who asks me about my screenwriting, directing, and filmmaking, thinks of the film 'Eat, Pray, Love' and then responds with words such as ' Your story is such a different story to 'Eat, Pray, Love', and 'Where can I see the film?' amongst other comments.

How would you specify your work?
I'm a professionally trained screenwriter, director, and filmmaker. My writing genres so far are drama, romance, and a dash of comedy. I hope to write, and direct 'crime' genres soon too as this is what I enjoy watching most personally. I look forward to venturing further into other genres. I also made a documentary about the Indonesian Tsunami in 2004, and begun another about the Beach Boys life in Bali. These are for filming in 2024. I've also begun a podcast interviewing filmmakers to be released shortly too.

What characterises your film?
'Arrival' was my first as a professionally qualified filmmaker, director, and screenwriter. It is characterised by being filmed utilising a Black Magic Ursa camera, a qualified experienced writer/director who took risks with some camera shots, who was able to bring to life a film trailer on zero budget, and then utilising a small budget for the pilot and web series. I also seek out actors who are great with their craft and suited to their roles.

Why did you decide to become a filmmaker?
I have always from my teenage years onward, known that I wanted to act, and be a filmmaker. I love watching films, and streaming series. When I was in high school, the only degree for film training was too competitive and I unfortunately missed out. I was also discouraged by my father at the time. With Covid, I fortunately was provided with the opportunity to return to study, and finally, many careers, and qualifications later, completed an intensive Diploma in Screen, Media, Directing, and Screenwriting. I also have acted on quite a few Australian TV series including 'Neighbours' which is known internationally. I wanted to find a way to be on a film set working when there are no acting roles. A film set is quite possibly my favourite place to be. I have worked on a few films since 2022. Two of which have also won international Film Festival awards on first entry. I adore screenwriting, directing, production coordination, location scouting, and casting, amongst so many other crew roles. I still adore acting though, and I hope to write movies in which I can also act.

Who is your role model?
Great question. There are so many in the film industry. Tom Cruise, Chris Hemsworth. Ryan Gosling, Matthew McConaughey and there are more. Every great screenwriter, and director actually who has ever successfully written or directed a great film. They are all hard workers, persevered and never gave up. They live and breathe their love of film.

Which movies are your favourites?
Again so many. 'Notebook', 'Shawshank Redemption', 'Seven', 'Mission Impossible', 'Dexter', 'Philadelphia', and there are so many more. Also, there are so many great series that I love - 'Emily in Paris', Dexter, most Thrillers, 'Vera', 'Tiitanic', 'Lincoln Lawyer' and many more. Why? Various reasons. The movies/series are either so well written, that they draw you 'the audience' in. You cannot stop viewing the film or series. Also, the acting is great, and/or I enjoy the genre, the cinematography, and the storyline. In the case of Emily in Paris, this series takes me away to one of my favourite places to visit. The escapism is real! Working on any of these, and many more would be uttterly brilliant!

Where do you look for inspiration for your films?
I look to my own experiences, the general public that I observe, travel experiences, and watching other films & movies. Talking to people too. Often also, ideas just literally come into me, when I least expect it too. I just start writing.

Which topics interest you the most?
So for clarification, topics that interest me, can often be different from those I write films/documentaries, or web series about. I'm interested in travel, injustice, food, wine, the beach, music, reading, health and wellness, and watching and making movies and web series.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career? Completing a very intensive Diploma of Screen, Media, Directing, and Screenwriting. Also, winning an International Film Festival Award for my pilot script ' Arrival'. Also filming my film trailer for 'Arrival'.

What do you consider most important about filming?
As boring as it may seem, Film and TV Occupational Health, and Safety. Also Film and TV law, following this, being kind to all crew, and hard-working to make the best film or web series possible.

Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?
There are again so many. When talking about camera shots, Close Up (CU), Long and medium shots, and for my last film both bird's eye and worm's view shots. Lighting is a large film technique and editing too. With editing you can completely change the audience's perspective of a character's situation or even the entire story, and sway an audience's thoughts, or feelings too.

How would you rate / What is your opinion about current filmmaking?
It is changing so rapidly with special effects, animation, new cameras, and other equipment being available. It is forever changing, and evolving. I like it, and I know that I need to keep up with the changes too. Also with the previous writer's strike, I hope that actors are now looked after with the better pay that they deserve, and no AI at all. I look forward to also increasing my animation knowledge.

What can disappoint you in a movie?
Many things. Not liking, being able to relate, or or being drawn to the characters or the storyline at all. If the storyline doesn't make sense. If the film is too unnecessarily long or drags out longer than it needs to do. Perhaps even if the camera work is not as it should be, or the focus is on the cinematography, and the storyline is lost in the process. The film can then lose its appeal. Also if the actors are not maybe suitable for the role. If a sequel is filmed when it is not as good a film as the original. That can disappoint too. Also if I read a review of the film, only to go and watch it, and find it doesn't match the synopsis I'd hoped for.

Who supports you in your film career?
My husband, fellow crew I've studied and worked with, friends, and most of my family. Also, other film contacts I've met whilst networking, or met socially including through Socal media, and Film previews. The film trailer 'Arrival' Directed and Written by Sacha Douglas is available on request too.