Wootton, who now produces films, has been nominated for best feature film at the 26th annual WA Screen Awards (WASA) for his first full-length effort, Twisted Minds.
A former Safety Bay Senior High School student, Wootton said just being nominated for a WASA could open doors for himself, co-producer James Pentecost and the film, which stars veteran Australian actor John Howard and has already had a release run in Malaysia.
‘Even the big budget local films struggle to get a run and I’m only looking for a limited distribution, so having a WASA on my CV will open doors to people taking me seriously and doors that are usually shut to independent producers,’ Wootton explained.
‘Currently the door is a little ajar but it’s getting opened and a WASA nomination will help.’
Wootton said he had worked on about ‘100 short films over the past seven or eight years’ before taking on his first feature with Twisted Minds, which was shot entirely in Rockingham and its surrounds.
Unabashedly parochial when it comes to Rockingham, Wootton said he wanted to see arts grow in the region as it provides filmmakers with a multitude of set locations.
‘I don’t ever want to leave the area because I’m passionate about the region’s arts and want to develop the industry here in Rockingham as we’ve got everything a filmmaker needs all within an hour drive,’ he said.
While working as a hydraulics refurbisher he would follow a regular formula to get every job done and was guaranteed a wage, which is far from the case producing films.
‘About 90 per cent of producing I have had to learn myself by making mistakes and not repeating those mistakes again,’ he said.
‘I run the show as a producer, working with the writer, director, actors, hiring everyone, raising funding, insurance, budgeting; if things go wrong I get the call and often I have to pull money from my own pocket.
‘It’s so encompassing but it is definitely worth it when you see the finished product.
‘I’m not in this for the money, I want to make art and for people to enjoy that art.’
While waiting for the WASA ceremony on July 14, Wootton is working on gaining a local distribution for Twisted Minds.