My Name is Grace: Shire of Kalamunda lens itself to new film

Shooting of a scene from My Name is Grace in Gooseberry Hill.  Picture: Stephanie Chamberlain
Shooting of a scene from My Name is Grace in Gooseberry Hill. Picture: Stephanie Chamberlain

KARRAGULLEN resident Jade Chamberlain has just finished writing, directing and producing her own film, set in the Shire of Kalamunda, called My Name is Grace.

The 19-year-old filmmaker said she chose the Perth Hills for her film because she had lived in various locations in the Hills and loved the area.

“It is a visually stimulating and beautiful part of Perth, so I wanted to use it in the film,” she said.

Chamberlain said the plot focused on a retired couple living in the Hills in the 1970s.

“I love the ’70s as an era. I’m really drawn to it – the clothing, the style and the cars all speak to me and hold a kind of fascination for me,” the filmmaker said.

In the plot, an eight-year-old child discovers a secret her neighbours have been hiding and the couple are forced to question the morality of their life.

My Name Is Grace is now in post-production and Chamberlain predicts it will take about four weeks to finish editing the 20-minute short.

Chamberlain is studying at ECU in the Film and Video course.

Much of the film was shot in Lesmurdie and Gooseberry Hill, with some of it set in Karragullen and Pinjarra.

The young filmmaker has also completed courses at the Film and Television Institute, the Sydney Film School, National Institute of Dramatic Art and Western Australian Performing Arts.

The crew auditioned more than 50 actors for the six roles in the movie over a two-day casting session.

The filming was completed in five days. Chamberlain said she had also started a small production company called Build My Reel that helped create original show reel scenes from scratch, including scripts and shooting with a small crew on location.

As the writer/director, she said she intended to enter the film in international film festivals.

“WA is a very isolated city,” Chamberlain said.

“I could see that most actors in Perth were relying on sending show reels off to directors and there was little scope in suitable scripts, especially for scripts that were short for one or two characters.”

She said acclaimed cinematographer Simon Akkerman, who has more than 40 years experience in the film industry at an |international level, was the |cinematographer for the short film.

Chamberlain said she was lucky to get assistance from Aerial Cinematography Solutions which was pivotal in bringing her vision to life on film, including the use of drone and green screen technology.

The film also incorporated the assistance of students and industry professionals from Tafe, Murdoch University and ECU.

“It is great to see students from different institutions coming together and forming lasting connections,” Chamberlain said.

At the completion of the project Chamberlain said she “hoped my story could help inspire other young women determined to also follow there dreams and passions in an isolated city”.

Visit the Facebook page mynameisgrace.