What attracted you to working on The Hunter?
Daniel Nettheim and I were in the same year at AFTRS and have stayed friends ever since. I was attached to the project many moons ago and watched with anticipation as the script changed from the novel into the film.
How did you keep the dramatic threads while maintain the thriller tension through the film?
Quite a lot of dialogue was cut out, so the balance was always about keeping the key emotion and information beats. Too much of either and everything seemed to slow down and the tension was lost, too little and the audience were left with too many unanswered questions. One key change was to compress the number of trips MARTIN - as played by Dafoe - took up the mountain. It helped a lot to cement his relationship with the boy and held our attention whilst he was in the Tasmanian bush more effectively.
There is a decent amount of CGI in the film how was that managed and did it get in the way of the storytelling?
There are lots of 'hidden' effects, that we did mock ups during the edit, for Efilm to complete after the lock off. We did not however see the completely finished tiger scenes from Fuel until after picture lock off. That meant we were really acting on faith in terms of the effect it would have on the film and the audience. We used an After Effect 'cartoon' tiger created by Ben Brick Hodge, our 'post' 1st assistant to give us a rough idea and it was an area we kept coming back to as the discussion between the 'less is more' and the 'we want to see it' went back and forth. I hope we found the right compromise, in part by making the animal quite still at first so as to let the viewers soak it in and really playing it for the maximum emotion at the end.
You edited in Sydney while the crew where shooting in Tasmania. Did this create any issues when communicating with the director or crew about the coverage?
David Gross at Definition set up a remote workflow based around the ipad and the H264 codec which looks great on the ipad screen. The uploads were so quick that Vincent Sheehan often saw the sunk rushes before I did, as I tended to wait until Sophie Dick, our 1st Assistant during the shoot, had broken up the slates for me. I was also able to send daily rough cuts and Daniel, Vincent and I would chat as soon as anything came up. Some pick ups were possible, but as usual, time was the master that kept slipping away from our fingers...
What was our favourite moment or experience on the film?
It was great to work with Daniel again. We were able to live out our dreams of film school and reconnect during a very stimulating project.