Images from the Melbourne-made sci-fi EXIT.

exit03Having established the general ineptness of Australian movie marketing, it’s kind of exciting when a film does something right in getting us interested in the film. I’m talking here about the forthcoming sci-fi film Exit. The film’s writer Martyn Pedler (a local media jack-of-all-trades) has posted some images from the production of Exit on his website. This is a great move, taking a page out of the whole ‘production diary’ phenomenon exemplified by the Lord of the Rings website and currently what Edgar Wright is doing with Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World video diaries or the similar stuff that the crew of the Greg Mottola-helmed Paul are doing. Letting the audience in on the production process, if done correctly, is really effective at creates a sense of connection between the audience and the film and can help immeasurably with word-of-mouth.

So now that the images are out there, let the judging begin!

exit01This is a pretty image but it’s a bit disappointing that they chose to go for the sterile and symmetrical imagery, transforming Melbourne into a non-descript ‘AnyCity, USA’. No real plot to gain from this image either. Here is Pedler’s film description:

Imagine an immense, complicated maze.

There are a handful of people inside, trying to make their way to the exit. There’s no way to tell if they’ve walked this twist or turn before, or circled back on their own footsteps. These lost souls meet. Share maps. Make conversation. They must rest, just for a day or two, building shelter up against the walls. Months pass. Years pass. Children are born into the maze, and in time, these children have children, and so on. They grow weary, and in time they all forget.

Soon enough, no one is looking for the exit at all.

Man, if this was the pitch to a Hollywood producer, I’m sure Pedler would get laughed out of the room. Cryptic but hardly captivating. Give us the movie, not the underlying philosophy! This is like selling The Matrix with Baudrillard quotes when the audience is really just interested in seeing some sweet guns and kung-fu.

exit02Here, the girl is given a companion and judging from the art-directed mess surrounding them I guess they are either trying to find clues to escape the Matrix or they are assembling a first-year architecture portfolio. For argument’s sake let’s say it’s the latter.

exit05Aieee! Look at that makeup! Our intrepid architecture student apparently has an OctoMom complex or she has a part-time job as a high-class hooker to subsidise her mounting HECS debt. The first scenario would be fun, but the second is more likely.

exit09Hmm. Don’t know what to say about this image which is out of left-field. A group of impoverished hipsters and a Steve Price lookalike (right in the middle there) gather in what might be a community centre meeting room. It looks like an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting except the candles in the foreground and the new age scrawlings on the window might give us a clue as to what the film is about. I’m guessing that our intrepid architecture student/high class hooker has hit rock bottom and decided to attend a Scientology recruitment session.

exit20Now this is an image I really like. A rooftop from which we see a city that is recognisably Melbourne instead of the slick, generic city we often get in movies such as The Bank. I’m guessing this is the scene where our architecture student has seen the folly of becoming a Scientologist prostitute afteran intervention from her friend after which she rediscovers her first real love: high-rise skyscrapers. You go girl!

Verdict: A few pretty pictures with some questionable art direction. Won’t be sold until we ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THIS FILM IS ABOUT.

See the rest of the photos from the production of Exit here.

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