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Wanda & Sully

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Wanda & Sully
Directed byMatt Williams
Produced byDia Taylor
Mike Fajgman
Written byScott Day
Joshua Marchant
Starring
  • Grant Young
  • Mieke Billing Smith
  • Mitchell James O'Neil
  • Darby Teesdale
  • Alex Langsam
  • Amy Leigh Raffe
  • Callum G. Gault
  • Leslie Lawrence
  • Paul Dawber
Music byGriffin Jennings
Edited byKade Neale
Production
company
Taymaynari Productions, Midnight Mindset Studios
Running time
90 minutes
CountryAustralia
LanguageEnglish

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Wanda & Sully is an upcoming Australian coming-of-age mystery comedy film about two high school students who investigate a conspiracy involving their students' representative council president. The film was directed by Matt Williams, written by Scott Day and Joshua Marchant, and produced by Dia Taylor for Taymaynari Productions and Midnight Mindset Studios.

Synopsis[edit]

Sully (Grant Young), a neurotic nerd and outsider, sees conspiracy theories around every corner. When the student president Jonathan (Darby Teesdale) spends school money frivolously, Sully is suspicious. He begins investigating Jonathan's affairs, discovering his involvement with ‘SoCom’, a social media app implemented school-wide. He drags Wanda (Mieke Billing-Smith) into the situation when she tries to run for school president, but cannot because Jonathan has the seat, despite evidence pointing to the fact that referendums can be held if students don't like the conduct of the class president. It soon becomes apparent that there's a conspiracy afoot.

Cast[edit]

  • Grant Young as Sullivan 'Sully' Zuber, a cynical outsider who sees conspiracy theories around every corner.
  • Mieke Billing-Smith as Wanda Guinevere, the opposite of Sully, a social butterfly and scholarly student who believes in the system.
  • Darby Teesdale as Jonathan Swift, the student representative council leader who represents the typical smiles and handshakes politician.
  • Mitchell James O'Neil as Mr. Redwood, head of the SRC and Sully's nemesis.
  • Callum G. Gault as Eugene Lemon, the school news anchor whose erratic behaviour makes him a meme among students.
  • Alexander Langsam as Jimmy, the milquetoast head of the school newspaper, which is taken over by Sully.
  • Amy Leigh Raffe as Lisa, the other SRC representative who is routinely ignored by Jonathan and Mr. Redwood.
  • Leslie Lawrence as Mrs. Joplin, a teacher who writes erotic fiction under the pseudonym 'Edith Akimbo'.
  • Paul Dawber as Mr. Hester, an unassuming café owner who gets caught up in the war between Sully and Mr. Redwood.

Dave Callan was originally meant to portray Mr. Redwood, and Day wrote the character with Callan in mind, but he could not enter Victoria to film his role due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Before finishing Everyone's a Robot, co-writer Scott Day wanted to develop a high school webseries. He wrote the first draft of Wanda & Sully in a week in August 2018 [2] while he was studying at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment in Docklands and, not confident in his screenwriting ability, approached his friend, animator Joshua Marchant from New Zealand, for constructive criticism. Unknown to Day at the time, Marchant was interested in writing experience as well and offered to rewrite the script. Day was thrilled with the result and felt they shared the same vision for the project. They collaborated on the screenplay via Google Docs.

Day tried to get Wanda & Sully made shortly after writing it in August 2018, but didn't have the funds or the connections necessary in order to make it a reality. When Marchant visited Australia in January 2020 and shortly after Day finished Everyone's a Robot, he persuaded Day to revisit Wanda & Sully. This led to Day connecting with Dia Taylor through some mutual acquaintances and approaching her to produce it as a webseries.

Pre-production[edit]

Pre-production started in May 2020 [3] and Day approached director Matt Williams with whom he attended Swinburne in 2019. From there, advertisements for auditions were posted on Facebook and StarNow [4] in order to get the right people to portray the right characters. Mieke Billing-Smith was friends with Executive Producer Nick Owens and, having starred in Neighbours, her audition tape impressed immediately. Although Day was reluctant to use StarNow, Grant Young was sourced from this website and immediately made an impression on Day and he was cast as soon as Smith and Young had a screen test to determine if they had onscreen chemistry. They were both cast on June 13th 2020 [5] Day also reportedly funded the production by working at a meat factory in Geelong, Victoria [6]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography on Wanda & Sully took place between December 2020 and February 2021. [7] The majority of the film was shot in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton at Brighton Secondary College and Fox in a Box Cafe in Victoria. Other locations include the Lara Woolworths underground car park and the SAE Institute in Docklands, Victoria.[8]

Post-production[edit]

This project was originally conceived as a webseries[9] before a decision was made in post-production to release it as a film.[10] Day reasoned that Wanda & Sully may find a wider audience as a film than as a webseries.

Influences[edit]

Scott Day has reportedly said that 'It’s a pastiche of Aaron Sorkin and Dan Harmon television shows in film form. It’s like if Alexander Payne’s Election and NBC’s Community had a love child, it was raised by David Fincher’s The Social Network and Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, its favourite movies was All the President’s Men and favourite TV shows were The West Wing and Community.' [11]

See also[edit]

  • Cinema of Australia
  • Everyone's a Robot

References[edit]

  1. "IMDb Trivia – Casting Mr. Redwood". Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  2. "IMDb Trivia – Writing process". Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  3. "Wanda & Sully Pre-production Beginning". Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  4. "Wanda & Sully StarNow". Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  5. "Wanda & Sully Official Casting Announcement". Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  6. "How Wanda & Sully was funded". Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  7. "Wanda & Sully Filming Announcement". Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  8. "IMDb Filming Locations". Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  9. "Wanda & Sully – MyIndieProductions Page". Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  10. "Twitter: Wanda & Sully is now going to be edited as a Feature Film". Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  11. "Spotlight on Film Maker Scott Day". Retrieved 17 June 2021.

External links[edit]


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