Film Details

Abbie is a short film that combines live action with animation, funded by Metro Screen in association with Screen Australia.

Written and directed by Erin Good. Produced by Taylor Litton-Strain.

Monday, December 27, 2010

End of the Year for "ABBIE"

Erin and I have had a really busy couple of months since finishing the final deliverables of “Abbie” for Metro Screen. Here’s a quick update on some of the things we’ve been up to:

On the 11th Nov: I jetted over to NZ to watch my first short film “Driven” screen at the Show Me Shorts Film festival.

On the 29th Nov: Erin and I spoke on the Metro Screen panel at the AFTRS foundation industry day. It was great to meet everyone who came in for a private interview with us afterwards.

On the 4th Dec: We had our cast, crew, friends and family screening of “Abbie” at the Tap Gallery on Oxford Street. The night was such a reward after all the hard work that went into “Abbie.” Thank you to everyone for coming and showing your support!

On the 5th Dec: We were very excited to hear that our fabulous editor, Fiona Strain won a prestigious ASE award for her work on the television series “Whatever! The Science of Teens.” She was also nominated for in the short film category for “Driven.”

On the 16th Dec: We began work on the trailer for “Abbie” – we hope to have this available for public use early 2011. We’ll update the blog again when it’s ready!

During all this time, Erin has been busily sending screeners to short film festivals all across the globe, so fingers crossed we can have a confirmed international premier for “Abbie” by mid 2011.

Don’t stress if you can’t wait that long to see the film again! Metro Screen is still to announce their screening of “Abbie” at the Chauvel Cinema – predicted to be in mid January. Keep checking the blog for more details.

Until then, Merry Christmas! & Happy New Year!

- Taylor

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Abbie is complete and whilst Tay is getting together all the deliverables to be handed over to Metro Screen this week, my mind has very quickly switched to the best part of making a film, the screening! We plan to have the screening followed by an afterparty in about a months time and we'll be inviting cast and crew, friends, investors and industry cohorts. If you're interested in coming please contact us.

- Erin

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The finishing line is in sight!

The deadlines are encroaching! Animation has been composited, credits locked off, sound mix booked and the sound design and music are close to fully developed. The next to be booked in is the grade, of which I haven't thought about it a while, so the other day I watched the edit (for about the zillionth time) with the grade in mind. It was very exciting to revisit my initial ideas with an almost complete film and as each element develops in post my ideas and hopes for the film become increasingly tangible.

I can't wait to see it complete!

- Erin.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lots of Exciting News - Animation

Animation has taken us through an interesting couple of weeks. We were so excited when Mark finished the Stop Motion paper man, who looked so great and was loved by our test audiences when we added him into the cut.

Irene has now finished the 2D animation for the credits, it looks really lovely, some examples of her tests for it can be seen on the Animation Page. We have now handed that over to Chris to composite.

Chris has already composited the Paper Man, which looks fantastic! Chris has now also agreed to work on the 3D Animation we’re sure he’ll do just as perfect a job as he’s been doing with his compositing.

Everything going to plan, we hope to have all the animation done to hand over to Geri and Chris within the next couple of weeks.

- Taylor.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lots of Exciting News – Sound

Over the past few weeks, Erin and I have been very busy as we bring “Abbie” closer to it’s finish. Since our last post we have had several more rough-cut screenings before locking off the cut apart from the animation.

We were both very pleased that both Tony Vaccher and Geri Green liked the cut enough to attach themselves to Abbie. Yay! Tony to do the sound mix and Geri to be our Music Composer. Since that time we’ve had several sound meetings with Xavier and Geri, both of whom have had some really exciting ideas.

- Taylor

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sound Screening

On Wednesday evening we had our first sound screening with myself, Erin, Fiona (our editor) and Xavier (our sound designer) the evening was a really great opportunity for us to evaluate how much work we really have ahead of us, and it's a lot! Xavier is now going away to create a test scene of sound design and music composition so we can better determine how much time we need to spend in the sound design process. Realising all the possibilities we have with sound made the evening exciting yet simultaneously daunting. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I am so grateful for the amazing ability Erin and I have harnessed by bringing both Xavier & Fiona on board on the project.

- Taylor.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

1st Screening

Yesterday Erin and I had our first rough cut screening with our Editor Fiona Strain, our Executive Producer from Metro Screen David Opitz and a special guest Ian Brown from AFTRS.

The day went really well: David said it reaffirmed that he had made the right decision in choosing to give "Abbie" funding and Ian said it was a charming, sweet film, very slick. Aside from niceties, we had some really good constructive comments which are going to help us move forward in terms of refining the cut and the pace.

Bring on sound!
- Taylor.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

2nd and final shoot day complete

We wrapped for the final time last night and I am so happy with what we have! Our actors, Jacinta and Franc were fantastic and the marvelous production design was certainly the talking point amongst extras.

Thank you so much to everyone involved, I couldn't have asked for a better team!

- Erin

Saturday, July 3, 2010

1st Day Down, 1 More To Go

We concluded the first day of shooting for "Abbie" at 8.30pm yesterday night, amidst mixed feelings of exhaustion and exhilaration. I reviewed the rushes with the Editor and they look amazing! Time to start Day 2!

- Taylor.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Supporting Actor

We now have our supporting actor - Franc Violi who will be playing the role of The Boss! We had a number of people audition for the part many of whom were great but no one really stood out as being perfect for the role. We eventually came across Franc's showreel and called him in for an audition straight away. He impressed us immensely and we were very excited to cast him, so congratulations and welcome Franc.

Monday, May 31, 2010

We have Props!

Alison from our Art Department was recently working on a film which was shot in an abandoned building and she came across a room full of all these amazing props - perfect for our shoot! So we promptly organised to rescue them before the building was demolished. Even though there was a predicted cyclone, we braved the weather and recruited family and loved ones to help move.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Abbie is Cast

Congratulations to Jacinta Acevski our final decision for the lead character, Abbie. Auditions were a long and difficult process and many thanks has to go to all the girls who came along. It was a fun couple of days and ended up being a really hard decision making the final pick.

We are really excited to see what Jacinta will bring to the role and are looking forward to start rehearsals. For more information on Jacinta, go to our CAST page.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


With over 120 applicants for the role of Abbie I'm looking forward to castings which begin on the 3rd of May. We will have our perfect Abbie very soon.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Film Synopsis

In a dystopian corporate world idealistic Abbie embarks on the first day of her new job with nervous delight. Her excitement however is quickly thwarted by the cold intolerance of The Boss and a failed attempt to make friends. As she becomes increasingly overwhelmed by this rigid world Abbie falls into despair, but when a fantasy land opens a new door she makes her escape.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Director's Statement

Abbie is a silent experimental film, with no dialogue or synchronised sound that combines live action and animation. It will be stylised with influences from Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’, Věra Chytilová’s ‘Daisies’, Billy Wilder’s ‘The Apartment’ and Jan Svankmajer’s ‘Alice’. The location, set design, props, sound design, animation and grade will be an eclectic combination of different eras, out of place sounds and contrasting colour pallets to create a dystopian world.
Everything from set design and wardrobe, to acting and movement will be exaggerated to construct a visual representation of ideas about escapism, bureaucracy, fitting in, patriarchal structures, and growing up and maintaining your identity. The characters are not real people with human depth and developed backgrounds, but are caricatures of these ideas. This is explored through the eyes of Abbie in a naïve, playful and light-hearted manner.

Ideally actors will have a strong theatre background, and both actors and extras will need to be expressive with their bodies to achieve the caricature style of the characters. We will also approach dance schools for extras that are not only expressive with their bodies, but also familiar with choreography and moving as a group. Choreography will be used to create the robotic army of office workers and express in an exaggerated manner the monotony of the office world. The exaggeration of movement and facial expressions, wardrobe and set design will be used not only to create a dystopian world, but also to bring humour and lightness to the film.

Whilst the film contains mismatching and contrasting elements, as a whole, it can be divided into three different aesthetics: the office world, Abbie and the animated world. These aesthetics will differ both visually and within the sound design and score. Abbie’s movement and look will greatly differ to those of the office workers illustrating that she doesn’t fit in. The animated world will use naïve, childlike art and the most vibrant colours (to be seen in the film) to represent Abbie’s youth and the idea of escapism. While sound design will be used to contrast Abbie and the office world, it will also be used to show an affinity between Abbie and the animated world.

Creative Concept

The Set

The office will look like a cross between a school, typing pool and an office with rows of desks facing the same way, blank walls excluding an obnoxiously large photo of the CEO poised like the Pope with a cigar in his mouth. The items in the office will be from various time periods to create a dystopian office world and sound design will be used to support this. For example, all the computers in the office will be large nineties cream PCs, but typewriter noises will be used in the sound design. There will also be modern props such as the desks, photocopier and other office equipment. Office personnel will wear grey suits, and the few women will have their hair tied in tight buns. The women’s suits will be “unfeminine” and have eighties shoulder pads.

Character Movement

Movement of the employees will be choreographed so they move in rigid unison, similar to the factory workers in Metropolis. Abbie too, will be a caricature with her rosy cherub cheeks, big bright eyes and extremely childish persona, illustrated through her exaggerated movements and how she interacts with objects and people. She’s a cross between the vegemite kids in the old vegemite TV ads and a playful puppy.


The office colours will be dull using predominately cream and grey and an almost painful glare from the florescencent lights. This will be contrasted with the bright colours of Abbie, particularly her red clothing, and the childlike animation will be brighter still.

Sound Design and Score

The sound design will be dense and the minimal dialogue will be inaudible. What is said in the few lines of dialogue is irrelevant, and everything that needs to known will be evident visually, from Abbie’s attempts at making friends, the rejection she faces and the cold intolerance of The Boss. The sound design will be dominated by industrial factory sounds of machines disguised by the overpowering sound of a type writing pool. The lunch bell will be a factory whistle and when the employees rise for lunch they will sound like a marching army. These harsh noises will be contrasted with sweet, whimsical score and sound design when the focus is on Abbie, and her paper man. Abbie’s sounds will be inspired by old cartoons with lots of ‘dings’ and ‘sparkles’. The sound design and score will be integrated with rhythmic sound design constructed to be almost musical.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Funding granted

Yesterday I received a call from Metroscreen and they said that my application has been accepted into the First Breaks scheme, which means they provide us with funding, resources and support to make our film.

For any first time or new filmmakers it's a great way to get a foot in the door First Break