A thirty-minute short film with more love, sugar and firepower than most and a big beating heart.
Imagine you are in an elevator right now. Here is the pitch:
‘Max’s perfect, nine-year-old reality comes crashing down when he gets the wrong Pin Up Toy for Christmas – The Little Pin Up. The only way she can win Max’s affection is to go to war against the evil Snow Bunny, a Pin Up toy that threatens to enslave Max’s entire neighbourhood. The Little Pin Up is an action fairy tale for grown-ups – set in an alternative version of the 1950’s – about female empowerment, good versus evil, childhood nostalgia and both the power and corruption that comes from needing to be loved.’
If pressured to make a comparison, writer and director Kurt Horne will tell you that the story, tone and look of this film is a bit like a mash-up of Moonrise Kingdom, Toy Story, Some Like it Hot and Kill Bill 2.
Producer Leanne Campbell might tell you that it’s got a bit of Sucker Punch in it.
But really this film is aiming to be it’s own thing first and foremost. We have real Pin Up girls come to life who end up going to war with each other, yet not over a lover – yes, this film passes the ‘Bechdel test’! We have a world where ten years old, pre-internet children are left to their own devices and where the grown up’s are barely shown.
The film starts off like a fairy tale idyllic, only the plot will sneak up on you in such a way that at some point you will realise you have been thrust into a kinetic action film with characters that you really, really care about.
And most importantly, you will be craving more because this film is also a proof of concept for a feature-length version.
But that is our long-term goal, for now, let’s talk more about what we like to call our ‘big short film’.
Wow! Tell me about the actual production?
Like the lead character in our story, this film is little, a short film. But like her heart, it’s big, really big! It’s 30 minutes long and it encompasses 53 scenes across 31 locations. We have guns – lots of guns – and some even go bang, this is an action film after all! We have already locked in all of our 18 speaking roles, our heads of department (think of them as the key roles on a film) and most of our extensive crew.
So why Pin Up girls?
The real question is, why not?
Our Pin Up characters resemble the 50’s era girls that feature in art from the world’s greatest Pin Up painter: Gil Elvgren. Recognise the art above? Of course, you do, it’s etched into our modern consciousness, it will remain timeless and we intend to make a film that portrays The Pin Up Girl as the dynamic archetype that she truly is. Like a piece of Pin Up art hanging on the wall of a soldiers bunker in World War II, this film is about bringing joy, colour and excitement into a world that desperately needs it.
Since it reached its zenith in the 1940s, Pin Up art in all its shapes, forms and sub-genres has been in sync with war, history, propaganda, fashion, advertising and more. The Pin Up girl has a strong relationship to both men and women as both a sex symbol and as a symbol of ‘we can do it’ female empowerment. We intend to bring the Pin Up girl to life in a way that is both classic and modern, sexy but not cheap, glamorous and cunning, wise beyond her years, fun and exciting.
So who is this big short film for?
Like great tasteful Pin Up art, this film is really for everyone. But let’s put Pin Ups aside for a second (it’s hard, we know) and think about how the action and fantasy genre are so popular and accessible to everyone these days. Young adults from twelve up will love this film as much as grown-ups over thirty-five.
Where will it go when it is finished?
This is a fantasy action film aimed squarely at Sitges film festival in Catalonia next year. What’s that and where is it, you say? Sitges is the world’s largest genre (being Sci-Fi, fantasy, horror and action etc) film festival. Once in Sitges, it will enter into other genre and non – genre festivals in Australia and across the globe.
The long-term goal of The Little Pin Up is to use see it on the screen, by paid audience members as a 90 minute, mainstream release. This big short film is designed to also be an extended ‘proof of concept’ to pitch to future investors and producers for the longer version.
Who is on your team so far?
We have a massive team, and we would love to write about everyone, but here are some of our key roles and talent:
Key roles/heads of department
Kurt Horne – Producer/Director
Kurt Horne has studied film and media full time at Swinburne and part-time at the VCA film school and possesses a boundless love of all things cinema that have been explored through the production of several short films as well as being involved in co-producing and story development on a number of small productions.
So why this film?
The Little Pin Up allows Kurt to combine three of his major passions into one: Action cinema, Pin Up art and childhood nostalgia. He also gets to fulfil a lifelong dream of creating something unique on a scale that is bigger than average, a bog short film that will paint a complete fantasy world for audience, a world on a large scale that is rarely seen in a short film. IMDB Kurt
Leanne Campbell – Producer
Leanne Campbell started in the industry as an extra and at first hated it, then she found her passion behind the camera and has been learning and growing on the job ever since. She began a Bachelor of film at SAE, which she had to defer when her Grandfather died.
Her short film ‘Love In Motion” available via VOD, was her first time as writer, director and producer and she has never wanted to do anything else but make films since.
So why this film?
I love making films that move you emotionally, are different from the run of the mill film ideas and in this case is a film that has decent roles for a lot of women because they are real characters in their own right and not just wives or girlfriends. Plus we have a mix of ages and ethnicities! Were tried to get a black or indigenous character but none of the actresses we called for audition ever showed. Maybe on our next project, fingers crossed!
The other reason is Kurt, his respect for women creatives is exceptional!
John Fox – Armourer/stunts/safety
John Fox is Australia’s top screen armourer – and one of the most sort-after in the world. John has provided weapons, ammunition, stunt and safety training for most films shot in Australia that involve firearms. From the US TV series The Pacific to home-grown classics like Chopper and Ned Kelly – if there is a weapon on the screen, John has most likely provided it along with safety and training. IMDB John
Valentina Serebrennikova – Production designer
Valentina is a highly educated and skilled professional in Production Designer, Art Director, Costume Designer and Art Department all-rounder, working across film, theatre, television, music videos and advertising with over a decades experience.
Johnny Sacco – Cinematographer
After studying a double degree in Film & Television production and Audio engineering John decided to jump straight into a broadcast internship, first starting off as a camera operator and then later becoming a technical director, under Fremantle media. During this time he also freelanced, making videos for clients such as GQ Magazine, Australia Fashion Guide, Australia Post, UON, TOC, all the while he continued to pursue his passion in narrative films, entering numerous festivals.
After a few years in broadcast John Sacco moved out of broadcast to work for Risk1710 Productions and Global Cleaning Solutions Group, now known as Electrical Home Aid pty LTD (Godfreys) for four years and now is a full time Freelance Cinematographer & Editor based out of melbourne. His roles include editing and producing numerous tvc material, product videos, internal training videos and digital content. John is fascinated by the endless ways in which a filmmaker is in control of the narrative.
Gerard Mack – Composer/Sound designer
Gerard Mack is a composer, performer, conductor, and sound designer. He studied undergraduate music at Melbourne University and went on to complete a Post-Graduate in Composition majoring in film and TV. He has been composing music for independent film, TV, and media since 1999 and has held lecturing and teaching positions in music, sound for film.
Gerard’s past films have achieved international release and have been selected for local and international film festivals including, TropFest, MIFF. In 2009 he achieved top sixteen in the TropScore music composition category for ‘The Beast’.
He has worked on TV broadcast including Rove Live, Good Chef/Bad Chef, XFactor, and The Block. Gerard is now presently a freelance sound recordist for GTV9; A Current Affair, 60mins, THE TODAY SHOW, He works regularly as a sound recordist for TVCs, web presentations, corporate videos, many production companies for short and feature film and the audio director for the AFC live streamed MMA events.
In 2016 Gerard won the Gold Award at the Prestigious Film Awards in LA for Best Original Score for the feature film ‘Revenge of the Gweilo’. He has also received a number of nominations for other scores he has composed in international film festivals, including an Honorable Mention at the 2017 Indie Gathering awards.
He was also a jury member for the AACTA/AFI film awards in 2015, 2016, 2017 for the feature film documentary and light entertainment categories. As well as the ATOM awards and the MARTINI film awards in the sound and music categories in 2019.
In 2019 he traveled to Spain as the scholarship holder at GEMs, where he studied under famed Hollywood composer Christopher Young (Pet Cemetery, Sword Fish, Entrapment, Spider Man 3, Nightmare on Elm Street)
Giacinta Squires – The Little Pin Up (lead/title role)
Giacinta is a graduate of Federation University Arts Academy, where she had the pleasure of working with director Tamara Searle on Agamemnon (Kassandra), Kim Durban on the Victorian Premier of Margaret of Anjou (Prince Edward) and Kirsten von Bibra on Blue Stockings (Tess) amongst others. With a passion for both drama and comedy, Giacinta is interested in exploring the many facets of performance. Giacinta has trained in Stage, Screen, Combat, Voice and Dance and is currently represented by Profile Creative. IMDB Jacinta
About her Character: The Little Pin Up.
The Little Pin Up is a real life Pin Up ‘Toy’ that appears human in every way. She possesses a boundless confidence and optimism that shines though her child-like innocence; as well as the demeanour of a young girl or even a child, yet there is a deep wisdom, empathy and a kind heart that is expressed through her big, watery eyes – an important detail, since she can’t talk. All of her communication is in the eyes.
Jennifer Kerry Wu – Snow Bunny (villain/second lead)
Jennifer has over a decades experience acting on film and stage as well as extensive actors training. Jennifer is also bringing all of her training and acting skills and experience to the role of acting coach for The Little Pin Up in order to help develop the films extensive rehearsal, blocking, team building and character development exercises. IMDB Jennifer
About her Character: Snow Bunny.
Snow Bunny is pure evil! Her evil is always hidden underneath the charms and allure of a constant (and very fake) pin up girl smile and her amazing, womanly beauty. Anyone, male or female, would have to work pretty hard NOT to be instantly seduced by her, and she knows how to use her power to her advantage. She is a Pin Up toy that appears human in every way and she desires nothing more that to enslave as many other children and Pin Up toys as possible.
Harley McNaughton – Max (lead child)
Harley is a bright young star with incredible screen charisma and boundless energy. He has stared in a series of short film as well as work in TV commercials, we cannot wait for Harley to light up the screen together with the chemistry that he shares with his co-star, actress Giacinta Squires.
About his Character: Max.
Max instantly presents as a child who is highly independent, immersed in his own interests and doesn’t need the approval of other children or his parents in order to live a fulfilling childhood. He possesses a strong personality, he is a little adult in the making, and yet there is also all of the inevitable frailty and innocence of any ten year old, even though he can be good at pretending to be more tough or guarded than he actually is.
Elijah Ignasiak – Rover (second lead child)
Elijah is a passionate young actor and prides himself on bringing a great performance to the table. He has so far appeared on numerous TV shows, short films and commercials and will get to play an exciting and dynamic role in The Little Pin Up that will require him to act around other child actors as well as holding his own with mature age actresses.
About his character: Rover.
Rover is the kid who is defined by those around him, left on his own his personality is pretty weak, his friends and his family are everything, and this is where he shines – especially when he is around his best friend Max. That’s when he really comes to life. Although he appears as being a little tough, stocky and larger than the other kids, he is all soft and gooey on the inside.
How The Funds Will Be Used
Our first financial target is $25,000 just to get us into production.
Gun and blank ammo hire, on set stunts and safety, amazing retro 50’s Pin Up hair, make up, costumes and props, tank hire (really!), VW Beatle hire, a tractor, extensive sets, a street lined with retro cars and a richer than usual colour palette. A gunfight in a house, an after-Christmas party filled with treats and crowd scenes, a massive Pin Up girl and child cast and much, much more.
This little film really is a BIG little film!
Below is a nice simple pie chart that has all the colour of a piece of classic Pin Up art. Most of our resource will go to our art department (props and costumes etc) our armoury and of course the most overlooked thing in film: sound and post-production. We have everything laid out. We also have a timeline below. There are many more financial factors too like insurance and marketing, oh, and we intend to feed our cast and crew so well on set that they won’t ever want to leave!
THE LITTLE PIN UP TIMELINE
In August of 2019, producers Kurt Horne and Leanne Campbell set up KLea production with the intent of making The Little Pin Up, and have been immersed in its pre-production ever since. From auditioning to doing ‘chemistry tests’ with our various actors to commissioning artwork, to location scouting, storyboarding, budgeting, adding new team members, finding and creating new contacts, we have been go, go, go all the way up until this campaign – even during lockdown! Things have only sped up for us during this period of Covid-19 with regular production meetings held on Zoom– it’s amazing what can get done in social isolation!
So here we are, finally sharing some of the hard labour to the world on Pozible, did we mention that we are still deep in pre-production? The funds from this campaign will propel us into the really fun stuff – creating and sourcing items, like our 19 amazing fifties costumes for the both our Pin Up and child cast (yes, lots of hair gel for the boys!) constructing and sourcing our props and set dressing and of course – our principal photography in November.
So what happens with our finished film? The aim of this film is to enter it into the Sitges film festival in Catalonia. What’s that, you say? Sitges is the world’s biggest genre film festival, think fantasy, sci-fi and horror etc and of course, this is an action fantasy film and Sitges is the perfect place to start with our application in June 2021 for a Sitges premiere in October. Once approved, we will then enter into other film festivals as well both genre and non-genre, in Australia and abroad.
But it doesn’t end there! This short film will be used as a proof of concept for a ninety-minute, feature-length version of the same story, yes this big little film will eventually turn into its ultimate purpose: to be a big, big film! The major themes of the short film such as good versus evil and love will be further explored in the feature, as well as other themes that are just below the surface of the short such as rejection, gratitude and childhood pains – and so much more. And of course, there will be a lot more action in the feature film, a lot more action!
How can you get involved right now?
We need people to share and donate to our fundraising campaign!