Murdoch graduate tackles bikie drama for first feature film

January 18, 2017

Stephen McCallum Perth filmmaker and Murdoch University graduate Stephen McCallum has embarked on his next big thing – his first feature film, thanks to a $750,000 grant aimed at uncovering, inspiring and developing local talent.

McCallum, along with writer Matt Nable and producers Jamie Hilton and Michael Pontin, are the recipients of the 2016 West Coast Visions grant, one of Screenwest’s largest funds, which will help bring bikie drama 1% to the screen.

“It’s a Shakespearean tale of loyalty, brotherhood and betrayal set in an outlaw motorcycle club, so it’s kind of like Macbeth on wheels,” Stephen said.

Stephen said he was proud to be filming his latest project in his hometown and started shooting in mid-November.

“I’m a proud West Australian filmmaker so I’m very excited to direct my first feature film in Perth,” he said.

One of Stephen’s highest profile works has been the marriage equality advertisement It’s Time, which was produced for advocacy organisation GetUp! The ad went viral in 2011 and has drawn 16 million views on YouTube.

He also worked as a director’s assistant on the Channel 9 series Gallipoli and his resume boasts a plethora of dramas, commercials and music videos.

Stephen said it was ironic he had forged a career in film since graduating from Murdoch University with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies in 2001, because it was not his ultimate goal.

“When I studied film at uni, I was the only one in my class who didn’t want to be a director. I only ever wanted to shoot experimental music videos. It’s funny that this career has ultimately found me and now I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” he said.

“Murdoch was a really good start in terms of me learning how to express myself visually, collaborating with a team and having the opportunity to explore and experiment to find your voice.”

This article was first printed in Murdoch University's alumni magazine, InTouch.

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