On Tuesday, 15 January 2019, Salt Media & Entertainment hosted the red carpet premiere of the iconic Australian film, Storm Boy, in conjunction with the launch of Big Picture theatre – Singapore’s first cinema in the financial district. Asian-Australian director Shawn Seet, producer Matthew Street and breakout young star Finn Little graced their presence at the Storm Boy Red Carpet Premiere; held at Salt Media @ Capital Tower.
A retelling of the 1964 book by Colin Thiele stars Geoffrey Rush, Jai Courtney, as well as young co-actor Finn Little. The film starts with retired businessman Michael Kingley (Geoffrey Rush) attending his family company’s board meeting to vote on a proposal to lease land in the Pilbara region of Western Australia to a mining company. An unprecedented incident delayed the board meeting, allowing Kingley to spend time with his 17-year-old granddaughter Maddy (Morgana Davies).
Kingley proceeds to share his stories from growing in Coorong, South Australia – where he rescued three pelicans and formed a particularly close bond with one of the pelicans, Mr Percival. Also featured in Kingley’s “flashbacks” are his father Hideaway Tom (Jai Courtney) and Fingerbone Bill (Trevor Jamieson), an aboriginal man forced to live apart from his community.
Interview Session With Finn Little
After the Red Carpet Premiere screening of Storm Boy, we had the chance to have a quick chat with young star Finn Little, who shared his experiences working with the cast – and pelicans – of the movie.
How was it like working with the cast of Storm Boy?
Jai Courtney – working with him is great. He taught me a lot because he’s been doing this for a long time. So he did teach me a lot on set; he’s a really nice guy – same as everyone else. Everyone who worked on this put their heart and soul into it; you can definitely tell from the final product.
What is your favourite scene in the movie?
It would probably be the scene where Trevor is getting painted up. What happened [during filming] was he was telling the story, but the birds really weren’t interested. So they started walking off. And then he started dancing – the dance that he was doing was the dance of the pelican. As soon as he started doing it, these pelicans just turned around and were so connected to him. It was amazing – you couldn’t have scripted it.
How was it like working with birds?
Working with birds is very different. I’ve done a couple of different roles since then – [working with birds] is really unique. It’s a unique role, and it’s great to work with them. They are beautiful; they’re very big though. When I first met them, they were a little scary.
What’s next in your career?
I actually don’t have anything lined up now. I’ve gone on auditions for some stuff, and that’s it for now.
While I genuinely enjoyed watching Finn Little on the big screen, I have to admit that I felt somewhat short-changed; primarily due to the new angle that was attempted in this retelling of Storm Boy. What was supposed to be a touching film about the bond between Michael and Mr Percival lost much of its emotional connection with the audience due to the reminiscing angle that was adopted in this version of Storm Boy.
Furthermore, Fingerbone Bill was not explored as much as compared to the original film – it felt like the character was placed in Storm Boy just for the sake of relevance to the original storyline. Lastly, the film attempted to toss in current environmental issues into the film as well. Despite the attempt for significance with the moving times, this effort further dampened the emotional aspect of the film. Thus, while there were touching scenes in the movie, it fell flat due to the constant shifts to “present time” which prevented the emotions evoked to develop further.
Visuals courtesy of Ambience Entertainment.