AFI-Award winner stars in student film

A chance encounter with a Logie Award and AFI Award-winning actor in a pub in outback Queensland led a group of first year Griffith Film School students to create a short film that is now making waves at festivals throughout the State.

The group met Gyton Grantley, who is best known for his portrayal of Carl Williams in Underbelly, during the opening party of the Winton Outback Film Festival and when he heard about their films he offered to work with them.

19-year-old Richard Mildren says it was too good an opportunity to let slip by, so the small group came together to write, cast, crew and shoot the film, At the End, in the next 24 hours.

“We were a little awestruck at first but then we realised all the possibilities and within a couple of hours the ideas were flying,” he recalls.

“We caught up again over breakfast and cut the script down, before we pulled together a 15 person crew from among our friends and then shot the entire film in just two hours.

“To then hear Gyton say at the end of the shoot that we were one of the best crews he’d worked with in a really long time was an incredible boost.”

According to Richard, At the End is a post-apocalyptic story of a man down to his last bullet, who has reached the point of giving up when a scream interrupts him.

“Here he is given one more reason to go on, so he makes a quick decision to be a hero once more,” he explains.

During filming in outback Queensland.
During filming in outback Queensland.

Richard worked as Editor and Director of Photography for the film, with Caitlyn O’Brien as Producer; Luke Angelo-Roberts as Co-Director and Original Script/Concept; Branden Wittchen as Co-Director and Writer; and also Jarred Lammiman (from UNSW) as Sound Recordist and Sound Design.

At the End has been selected for the Vision Splendid Winton Outback Film Festival, The Capricorn Film Festival and Port Shorts Film Festival. The team now has their sights on Flickerfest, the Byron Bay International Film Festival and a range of international festivals.

Richard, who established his business Missing Reel Films at just 15 years of age, says he’s been interested in film since he was seven.

“I would make little stop-motion films with Lego and clay as well experimenting with video — I took any speech assignment I had in class and attempted to convince the teachers to let me make a film instead!”

Producer Caitlyn, had a lightbulb moment at a similar age when she realised she could be the one who made the movies. She admits pursuing filmmaking was also to “avoid getting a 9 to 5 desk job!”

Co-Director and Writer Branden says his film journey was ignited from travel diaries and guitar/bass performance videos, before he interrupted his surveying career in the mining industry to pursue his passion. He already has more than half a dozen short films to his name and continues to review films online.

Luke Angelo-Roberts, who is credited with the original concept for At the End, says his love of film started while he was a junior athlete training at the Pro 1 International Tennis Academy on the Gold Coast.

Each of the crew has just completed their first year of a Bachelor of Film and Screen Media Production at Griffith Film School.

Jarred Lammiman from University of New South Wales was also a part of the core production team for At the End and is continuing topursue his love of filmmaking following years of training as an actor.