Magazine article Metro Magazine

Capturing Romance: Jim Lounsbury and Behren Schulz on Love Is Now

Magazine article Metro Magazine

Capturing Romance: Jim Lounsbury and Behren Schulz on Love Is Now

Article excerpt

Aussie 'summer romance' drama Love Is Now (2014) starring Eamon Farren as grief-stricken photographer Dean, who cycles through the New South Wales Flarvest Trail alongside free-spirited love interest Audrey, played by Claire van der Boom--is unique in terms of both its method of filming and its local distribution strategy. I speak to writer/director Jim Lounsbury and producer Behren Schulz about their film.

Oliver Pfeiffer: What did you want to explore with Love Is Now?

Jim Lounsbury: Over the course of the last decade, I've worked on a number of projects and this is one of those stories that just kept coming back. It's a love story that has elements of psychological drama. The lead character, Dean, is going through grief after having lost his father, and [the film] is about how he processes that grief and how that transfers to his relationships, which is sometimes destructive. I've always been fascinated by that idea of how human beings deal with grief, the extremity of human emotion and at what point does the human psyche break.

Filmed predominately along the New South Wales Harvest Trail, Love Is Now also depicts an Australia that audiences aren't used to seeing on screen. What do you think you bring to the film, as an American-born filmmaker?

JL: The way to look at that is [through] my reaction to my own country, having been away from it [since 1999]: when you move overseas, you see your own country, the people and where you came from in a different light--you get that unique sense of perspective. You remember all those visceral things that you felt the first time you came, and some of those things are the things that Australians take for granted.

I know Wim Wenders came out here [for] a film project and put together a series of photographs of the Australian outback to capture this bleakness and this interesting outsider perspective. (1) He saw it in a different way, and it's the same when I look at an Australian landscape: I see it [as] something different than someone who grew up from that area.

Do you think local filmmakers could capitalise on their landscapes more?

JL: It's a beautiful country [...] I don't know if Australians romanticise their country as much as they could. I think there are such extraordinarily beautiful landscapes, and I wanted to make sure I captured some of that grandeur that I feel when I'm driving across Australia.

Rogue [Greg McLean, 2007] showed some really spectacular Australian landscapes. It's like [the filmmakers] Qforgot about those obligatory aerial shots and [instead] really captured the magic of the outback. But I think there's less of those films than there could be that lean on the Australian landscape as a backdrop for a story.

I've always loved filmmakers like Terrence Malick. [His 1973 film] Badlands uses the landscape as a metaphor for what the characters were going through, and in some ways I wanted to do that with the Australian landscape as well. Sometimes it does take a foreign eye to look at it and realise, 'This is extraordinary.'

One of the most significant aspects of Love Is Now is how it forged commercial partnerships early on in the film's production. How did your partnership with Nikon come about?

Behren Schulz: When we had a finished script, we were looking at a number of ways to fund the film and we didn't really have a track record with any of the screen agencies, so we were thinking outside the box. We knew we had a script that could do with the support of a particular brand and, at the very least, that it would require approval to use that product in the film, so we approached Nikon to see if they had an interest in the story. What came out of discussions was not so much Nikon's interest in being involved in any product in the film; instead, their interest was in using their product to make the film! This surprised us, and initially we were tentatively reserved that it was even possible. …

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