Indefinite way to tell a story

Nina Deasley is an actress, known for Little Sparrows (2010), Indefinite (2014) and The Burning Kiss.
Nina Deasley is an actress, known for Little Sparrows (2010), Indefinite (2014) and The Burning Kiss.

The Gosnells actor has followed the success of unscripted 2010 film Little Sparrows with another ad-libbed offering, Indefinite, now in post-production.

For Little Sparrows, the drama of three sisters preparing for one last Christmas with their sick mother, director Yu-Hsiu Camille Chen gathered her actors and told them the story.

She let them discuss their relationships and family history before pushing them in front of the cameras.

Deasley recounted arriving at one set, outside a hospital.

‘I remember it quite clearly because it was my birthday,’ she said.

‘The director said, ‘you are going to see your mother and you are the oldest sister, the strongest, and you don’t want to cry in front of her. Cry now before you go in.’

‘She walked away, the sound guy got in the car, the cameras started rolling and I had to go with it.’

Deasley said the experience forced her to inhabit a character as never before, creating nuance, habits and interactions without the help of a script.

‘Many people told me after watching the film that it was very real, almost documentary-like,’ she said.

Deasley had to shoot from the hip again recently while filming Indefinite, the story of a woman driving to Kalgoorlie to start a mining job.

She was given a scene: stop and refuel, and after pulling back on to the road, discover two male asylum seekers hidden in her car, and this was where the briefing ended.

She and the other two actors, who had not even met ahead of time, controlled together the way the story unfolded.

‘We all felt that this was a unique way to approach film and keep it fresh,’ she said.

‘The trick is to know your own story inside and out, and why you make the decisions that you do.’

The team hope that the ABC or SBS will pick up Indefinite.

Deasley will keep working on other projects while juggling full-time office work. She goes home each night to read scripts and build showreels, and will soon move to Los Angeles to chase her dream of acting for a living.

‘It doesn’t feel like work at all,’ she said.

‘It’s something I’ve always wanted, and I know if I can make Little Sparrows, I can make anything happen.’