Hugo Morgan of Scone to present his award-winning debut feature “Collect Your Roadkill” at the Belmore Hotel on Sunday December 19th | Hunter Valley News
After completing Grade 12, many Australian students traditionally enjoy a well-deserved summer break before moving on to college or work.
Hugo Morgan of Scone, however, decided to use the four-month “transition phase” of his life to fulfill his dream of making a feature film alongside his fellow students.
“We were coming out of high school and we knew we were going to have four months free,” he said.
“Once everyone goes to college they go to their separate places, they get jobs they leave and life sort of picks up, but there’s that kind of intermittent period that we wanted to capitalize on. . “
The result was Morgan’s first feature film Collect your Roadkill, a “unique contemporary Australian film, combining the theme of coming of age with music and road trip scenery”.
The film stars Jim (Kit Murphy), an aspiring musician, who crosses paths with Syd, a rebel runaway, as the two set off on a trip through NSW country.
The film has been screened at more than 10 film festivals and in July 2021 won the award for best feature film at the Berlin Independent Film Festival.
Following the film’s Australian premiere in Sydney on Thursday, December 16, Morgan will return to his hometown of Scone for a screening of Collect your Roadkill at the Belmore Hotel on Sunday December 19.
Morgan said he and co-director Alessio Mazza have long been interested in directing a feature film, but still need to get creative in adapting their story ideas to let us benefit from this. that was available to them.
“All the story ideas we had were a lot more important than what we actually had the capacity to put on screen, so we kind of looked at what we had available to us,” he said. declared.
“We had this beautiful environment of Scone and Upper Hunter, we knew I had my car and we had our good friend on board who is a musician and myself as a musician, so we decided to make one. musical roadtrip and filming most of it at Scone. ”
Morgan and Mazza used the prize money for her 2016 victory at the Muswellbrook Blue Heeler Film Festival, along with personal savings and an investment from their parents to fund the shooting of the 26-day film.
Morgan said they had to overcome a number of significant challenges during production, including torrential rain just before filming began.
“It had been so sparse and dry and we kind of wrote the whole movie around it and it rained a whole bunch just before we started filming and the scenery got really green,” he said.
“It was great for the community but we had to change our script.”
Another challenge came when one of the main characters broke their ankles in the middle of filming, forcing the crew to re-film several scenes and make other changes to the script.
“I mean even feeding that number of people and bringing in all the extras is a huge logistical challenge in and of itself,” Morgan said.
“We’ve been together for 26 days filming and working and with that comes challenges in managing personal relationships and managing people and unit morale.
“It was a lot of things to focus on when there were so many challenges. It was a great learning experience, but it’s great to look back in hindsight.”
Morgan said that while Blue Heeler’s earnings certainly helped the production of Collect your Roadkill, he thinks that he and Mazza would have found a way to make the movie, regardless of the obstacles.
“We were very determined (to make the movie),” Morgan said.
“I don’t think money was the most important factor, we would have found a way around it or we would have found a way to cut costs even more.
“It was going to happen and we weren’t going to let it happen.”
Morgan said the most important thing he received from his victory at Blue Heeler was the validation he received for his filmmaking skills on various entries to the festival.
“I can say that some of the entries, especially my victory in 2016, were a big morale boost for us,” Morgan said.
“In terms of validating our skills and our recognition, it was very rewarding and kind of helped us continue and allowed us to have great aspirations by getting that recognition from the start.
“I don’t know how much it could have changed without it, but I know it was a huge help to us in pursuing what we wanted to do and pursuing our filmmaking goals.”
“Having people like Blue Heeler backing us up was really a lot to give us the confidence to move forward and get started on a project of this magnitude. “
Morgan said he was incredibly proud of the entire team behind the film and what they accomplished.
“It really gives me a lot of pride to know what our team has done and the quality we have done with so few resources,” he said.
“Short films can become very ‘me-centric’, very individual.
“But as far as this functionality and its magnitude goes, it is beyond your personal control and is dictated by so many other people and so many other creative efforts and circumstances that you can be the one directing and guiding it, but it takes over, a full body and belongs to all who work and are there.
With the film due to screen at Scone on Sunday, Morgan said he was excited to share the finished product with the Scone community who were instrumental in making his dream come true.
“It’s really exciting to show it where we filmed it and we can all come together with the fact that it’s made in Scone and we can see our city on the big screen,” Morgan said.
“Now that we’ve made this decision and it’s taken so long and it’s taken us to so many places, to bring it back and show it where we filmed it all and where it was. inspired, and I “I have certainly grown and lived in this community so much, it’s really exciting to bring it back and I hope everyone will be excited.”
Collect your Roadkill will screen at the Belmore Hotel in Scone at 8 p.m. on Sunday, December 19.