Pilot of his own destiny

Sandy Bay director Joel Gray with actors Sean Walsh, Jesse Moorfoot and Chris Reid.
Pilot of his own destiny
Sandy Bay director Joel Gray with actors Sean Walsh, Jesse Moorfoot and Chris Reid.

A TEENAGE dream of creating his own TV show has become a reality for Marmion student Joel Gray.

The 21-year-old recently released the pilot episode of Sandy Bay online, a comedy centred on the colourful characters of a local surf club.

Gray came up with the idea when he was 16 and shared it with friends one night.

�We didn�t sleep, we stayed up talking about ideas for the show and before we knew it the sun was coming up,� he said.

�Then it became a running joke we had of this TV show that was going to make us all rich.�

The idea remained just that for several years until Gray and a couple of his friends penned a script, which they sent to TV networks.

It was rejected and the script lay untouched for another year but when Gray finally decided to act on it, he found he had plenty of support.

�I was surprised with the response when I initially put the project up online,� he said.

�I put out a casting call and had 100 actors wanting to audition for it.�

Despite no formal film training, Gray took on the roles of writer, director and producer, learning what he could from websites and assisted by a friend who helped to write the original script.

�We had to put on a persona that we knew what we were doing but we really didn�t,� he said.

Gray said though the unpaid cast and crew were extremely helpful and provided advice, they also respected his role.

�The crew was really good; they all had more experience than me but listened to what I said and no one was questioning me as director,� he said.

Sandy Bay was shot in February over six days at locations including the Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club, Sacred Heart College and Sorrento Beach.

�It started out as a dream; I never thought an actual episode would ever get produced,� Gray said.

The episode is available online and Gray�s wish now is to be able to create a full season, meaning between studying for a masters degree in civil engineering, he is busy networking with people in the industry and trying to garner some interest.

�Whenever I�m not studying I�m writing or thinking and planning,� he said.

�Hopefully I will be able to take it further; I have an overarching story for the first season and have written the second episode. I want to see more episodes get made (and) my main aim is to get people watching it.�

To view the pilot of Sandy Bay, visit tinyurl.com/osubmhd.