When an accountant travelling an outback highway takes pity on a hitchhiker, it becomes quickly apparent that all is not as is seems. The journey this unlikely pair embark upon begins to reveal secrets and sinister motives in this independent Australian thriller.
With a crew of two and actors three, this small team, headed by director Joel Champ, put Blacktop Stranger into production. January and February of 2016 was spent writing the script and having Joel Rademaker complete the sound design before actors Mat Huff, Beau Jones, and Colin Dixon were called to hit the road for two weeks of filming.
Week one was spent filming around the Dalby area before moving to Chinchilla for the second half of their trip. Much of the filming was done along the Warrego Highway, making use of its endless array of locations with a “unique decollated feel”. Mat Hough related how they had come out west from their Noosa homes in search of a “dry, arid environment”. Instead, what greeted them was an abundance for flora and fauna, resulting in some brilliant scenery for their shots.
Although the end result was something the entire team was proud of, there were certain factors that required on-the-go learning and some reflection after the fact. With much of the film taking place inside a moving car, difficulties with sound recording arose, as well as the discomfort of the heat and cramped space.
As with most artistic endeavors, money is required to make things happen. Nick Neild provided the funding for Blacktop Stranger. Mr Neild decided to support and fund the film due to his love of theater and screen productions and belief that arts endeavors should be nurtured and supported.
Blacktop Stranger premiered on Friday March 10 in Noosa. Members of the Chinchilla community, including Isabelle Jurss who had a role in the film, came along to support the night. They are hoping to organize a screening in Chinchilla in the near future.