The Trailer About The Rise And Fall Of Air Studios Montserrat, The Recording Studio That Changed The World Has Just Dropped

On 1 September 2021, UNDER THE VOLCANO, the untold story about the studio that changed the world from an isolated island paradise will be available on digital release in Australia. Directed by Gracie Otto (The Last Impresario) and produced by Cody Greenwood, UNDER THE VOLCANO charts the rise and fall of AIR Studios Montserrat, the recording studio at the centre of the pop universe in the 1980s.

Built by Beatles’ producer Sir George Martin in 1979, AIR Studios Montserrat was a custom-built, state-of-the-art recording facility tucked away on a Caribbean paradise. In the shadow of an active volcano, the studio not only attracted the biggest musical talent on the planet but was the birthplace of mega-hits such as Money for Nothing and Every Breath You Take.

For a decade, AIR Montserrat formed the backdrop to monumental events in music history including the break-up of The Police, the reunion of The Rolling Stones, and the reinvigoration of Paul McCartney after the tragic murder of John Lennon. After a decade of hits, and at the peak of its popularity, the studio was destroyed when the island was hit by a series of devastating natural disasters.

Through personal accounts and backed by a blistering soundtrack, UNDER THE VOLCANO is the definitive account of Sir George Martin’s studio at the end of the world, a place that generated a perfect storm of talent, technology and isolation, ushering in music that would live on long after the last tape rolled.

UNDER THE VOLCANO is the electrifying story of a musical powerhouse and the secluded hit factory that produced some of the 70s and 80s most iconic records from the world’s most famous artists. Check out the trailer below:

The Verdict On Cruella: Is It Worth Your Time And Money??

Screenshot from Walt Disney Studios’ YouTube channel

Maleficent; that was the first thing that came to mind when I heard they were giving Cruella Deville her own live-action prequel/origin story. The unwatchable cinematic butchery that was Angelina Jolie’s “Maleficent” made it impossible for me not to dread what backward, hack story editing job Disney would perform on Cruella’s story in order to make her more likable, relatable, or some other totally inconsistent perception that has never been associated with the cruel fashion designer since her cinematic debut back in 1961. Cruella is an odd choice for an origins story and I never was her biggest fan, to begin with, but the unique setting piece and distinctive style gave this film an intriguing edge that I thought and hoped would work well.

At the young age of 12, Estelle suffers a horrid tragedy as she loses her home, her mother, and her school in one wicked night. After surviving off the streets for 4 years through thievery with her friends Jasper (Joel Fry) and Horace (Paul Walter Hauser), a grown-up Estelle (Emma Stone) finds herself stumbling into an opportunity to enter the fashion world and make an honest living working for the Baroness (Emma Thompson) as an up and coming fashion designer. As secrets become revealed, Estelle wishes to remake herself for this new life and get revenge on those who wronged her in the past. Now Estelle is making her big debut and becoming who she was destined to be; despite how many hearts and lives she has to ruin in the process.

Unlike Maleficent who lives in a fantasy world of dragons and magic, “Cruella” transports us to a very believable and, dare I say, understandable existence for the villainess-to-be to inhabit. We see her from the literal beginning all the way to her rise to power and fame. The fashion landscape provides a unique environmental structure to mold our hero/villain into the witch she will one day become, and I have to say, after watching this film I can actually see this young Estelle/Cruella turning into the bony, cackling witch from the original animated film down the line. “Cruella” constantly shifts our perception of the character; showing her violent, aggressive side as well as her lonely, ambitious side to make us neither fully support her but neither do we fully condemn her. In the grand scheme of grand schemers, Cruella’s evil ambitions are considerably smaller compared to the likes of Scar, Hades or Ursula. Therefore, this approach works well with Cruella’s backstory and makes it easier to connect with her.

They say the devil is in the details and there is no greater detailed devil than in the choice to have Emma Stone play the future, Ms. Deville. She is completely immersed in the character; diving fully into her personality, her eccentricities, and her outlandish presence. Stone plays Cruella like a living embodiment of damaged goods; longing to wish for a better life and yet twisting yourself into the deep end of the pool at the risk of drowning in the darkness you once stood against. We see signs of her worst behaviors bubbling to the surface as the film progresses, including towards Horace and Jasper, who become so much more 3 dimensional and personal to her backstory; it makes their inevitable devolution into hired goons in the future all the more tragic. As for our villain’s villain, Emma Thompson steals the show almost as much as Emma Stone does. She’s a perfectly cold, shrewd woman who rivals Cruella imperfectly in every way.

The use of fashion, both as a weapon as and as cinematic eye candy was the most impressive and surprising aspect of the whole film. Cruella’s style is perfectly embodied in the costume designs. They feel like living, flowing works of art; warped into numerous unique styles that even make trails of garbage dangling from a dump truck look fashionable. The few areas of weakness I felt needed enhancing fell with Cruella’s evil nature (this is a Disney film after all so naturally much will be held back) and also the soundtrack. “Cruella” is a 2 hour 60 and 70’s jukebox; blasting oldies from those eras almost every 10 minutes. Unlike “Guardians of the Galax” which used its soundtrack as a part of the film’s narrative, “Cruella” just bombards you with so many songs the movie cannot feel like it can’t breathe on its own. It’s like we get it, we know what era we’re in; just let the movie be and give the natural sounds some breathing room.

Overall, “Cruella” is a considerable improvement after the disastrous approach they took to Sleeping Beauty with “Maleficent.” Emma Stone and Emma Thompson are beyond incredible. Their performances truly break them both into new territories and the unique blending of trauma, adventure, heist themes, and fashion themes work surprisingly well together. The music can be a bit overbearing and I do wish Disney would take a bigger chance on keeping their villains’ roots black as their hearts but this is a grand step in the right direction. “Cruella” isn’t exactly what I thought it would be but it’s definitely something I want more of.

I give “Cruella” 3 stars out of 4 stars.

One On One With A Professional Stuntwoman: Introducing Jackie Murray

Jackie Murray is an accomplished martial artist, gymnast, dancer, and business owner. In the film and television industry, she is a successful and dedicated assistant director, production manager, stuntwoman, and actress.

Jackie was born and raised in a Martial Arts family and gained much experience training in locations all across the world including Hong Kong, China, the U.S.A, and her home, Australia. Her primary style is Kung Fu, and she is trained in Karate, Wu Shu, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Tai Chi, including the traditional weaponry of these arts. She is also a proficient Gymnast and is an accredited Level 1 Gymnastics Australia coach.

For many years, Jackie has held ownership over her family’s Martial Arts studio, which she herself expanded to include tuition in Dance, Gymnastics, and Parkour. She is an extremely successful Master, who in 2011, was inducted into the ISKA’s (International Sport Karate Association) Hall Of Fame twice and awarded the title: ‘Female Instructor of the Year’.

Having entered the Film and TV Industry as a child actress, Jackie’s passion for both the Performing Arts and Martial Arts led to her unite the two when she began to pursue Stunts. Here, her skills truly flourished and she showed not only promise as a Stuntwoman but through much experience and training, expanded herself to undertake roles as an Assistant Director -Production Manager and also Safety Assist(WHS).

Jackie has been involved in the Film and TV Industry since childhood, appearing in several commercials and short films. Over the last 10 years, she has gained notable successes as a Stuntwoman for tackling high-risk jobs including multiple full-body burns. She has also gained multiple acting roles in which she has been able to align both her Acting Persona and Stunt Persona to complete both dialogues-heavy and physical roles.

FilmCentral magazine recently caught up with Jackie to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself?

I am a company owner x 4; an actress, stuntwoman, first Assistant Director, Assistant Stunt Coordinator, and Film and TV Safety Supervisor.

What are some of the most known projects you have worked on?

Marvel, The Kingsman, The Bold & the Beautiful, Home & Away, Mavrix, Love you like that, Wyrmwood, The Moth Effect, (Gold with Zac Effron)

-What are your role/s in the film industry?

Stunt woman, Assistant Stunt Coordinator, 1st AD, Actress, Producer, and Safety Supervisor.

What do you like most about what you do?

The Variety of roles I can do.

How dangerous is a stunt job?

Stunt always will have danger attached to the job but with all the safety precautions and training and equipment we now have access to makes our job so much safer to do.

What training and qualifications are required?

There are many qualifications and lots of training that must be done to work within the stunt field. There is also a grading system that must be met and a panel of people run under the MEAA that approve you and your application to become a stunt performer.

There is also a number of levels that you work your way up. When you first get accepted into the stunt world you are known as a SAP and then you apply to work your way up the ranks. See the stages below :

-SAP (Stunt actor provisional)
– Stunt Actor
-Safety Supervisor
– Assistant Stunt Coordinator
_ Stunt Coordinator

Is there an age limit to stunt work?

Too young or too old? Yes, starting age of 18 yrs. However, you can you a younger specialist in a field and request a dispensation from the MEAA Stunt Panel.

Did you find it difficult to work as a stunt woman in a male-driven environment?

Yes, when I first started they were getting the male stuntmen to dress as a woman to do the stunts even when there was a Female stuntwoman available. Times have changed a lot now and there are so many stunt women working within the industry and it’s great to see.

What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

There is so much out there in the way of learning… I have a rule that I live by and that is to learn at least one new thing a day. One thing I love is that directors are becoming more accepting of Stunt Coordinators and Stunt Professionals helping out with the actions scenes and having more say in the direction of action scenes and how to shoot and edit them or now more and more we are seeing 2nd unit Action director credits.

What are some of the difficulties of the entertainment business?

The long hours we do and trying to also have a family and children and the travel.

What are the different sorts of stunts?

Wow, there are so many to list and we would need this full magazine to list them all…….. But here a few of the most common used regularly:

-Basic Trip and Falls
– Driving Sequences from basic driving to precision driving to racing, crashing, rolling, and exploding cars.
– Car knockdowns
– Jerk backs
– High Falls
– Fire both on our bodies and explosive fires
– Gun & weapons
-Water & Boat
– Motor Bikes
– Animals
And I could keep going and going…

What is involved in performing a stunt?

Stunts can be very basic to doing things that we think are never possible. What’s involved in a stunt no matter how basic still holds risk and the stunt person and all involved need to be well trained and highly skilled to make it look amazing in a safe way.

So training is a must also making sure preparation of what’s involved is fully thought out and rehearsed over and over to rule out all the risk and show all the possibilities in making a stunt look and work to its full potential in keeping stunt safe but as real as possible so the viewers watching the stunt feel like they are there when it’s happening.

What do you do when you’re not filming?

Okay, so here is yet another long answer that I may need pages for (laughs).

When I am not on set filming which is not very often, I am a mother of 3 amazing children (So cleaning, cooking, school, shopping, and all mother and taxi duties). I am a wife so basically add that to mother of 4. I own 4 companies so working on all the paperwork and everything it takes to run a business with 25 staff. I find time to train and I also prep scripts and do script breakdowns for Safety reports and 1st AD scheduling along with Assist stunt coordinating doing stunt breakdowns and budgeting etc…

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I have met so many famous actors and would take forever to list them all but some of my favourite for many different reasons are Zac Effron, Rebel Wilson, John Jarrod, Hugh Jackman, Hugh Sheridan, David Wenham, and Susie Porter.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you? Me.

The Chilling Trailer for Port Arthur Massacre Movie ‘Nitram’ Has Just Dropped

Photo Credit: Madman Films

Madman Entertainment has just released the official trailer for NITRAM and it looks quite chilling..

NITRAM depicts the events leading up to one of the darkest chapters in Australian history in an attempt to understand why and how this atrocity occurred. Directed by Justin Kurzel (True History of the Kelly Gang, Snowtown) and written by Shaun Grant (Penguin Bloom, Snowtown), the feature film stars Caleb Landry Jones (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Get Out), Essie Davis (The Babadook, Game of Thrones), Judy Davis (My Brilliant Career, The Dressmaker) and Anthony LaPaglia (Lantana, Balibo).

In a statement, the filmmakers commented: “NITRAM was written as a response to the proliferation of regular mass shootings across the world and is an exploration of the issues and events that led to this atrocity, rather than a re-enactment of it, to bring the gun control debate to the fore and to try to ensure history does not repeat itself.”

NITRAM is the first Australian film to compete at Cannes for the Palme D’Or in a decade. NITRAM marks Kurzel’s third feature film to screen at Cannes and his second in competition. The film will have its Australian premiere at Melbourne International Film Festival this August, and a national cinema release soon afterwards. A Good Thing Productions film in conjunction with Stan, NITRAM is produced by GoodThing Productions’ Nick Batzias and Virginia Whitwell (2040, The Australian Dream), alongside Kurzel and Grant.

Synopsis

NITRAM (Caleb Landry-Jones) lives with his mother (Judy Davis) and father (Anthony LaPaglia) in suburban Australia in the Mid 1990s. He lives a life of isolation and frustration at never being able to fit in. That is until he unexpectedly finds a close friend in a reclusive heiress, Helen (Essie Davis). However, when that friendship meets its tragic end, and NITRAM’s loneliness and anger grow, he begins a slow descent into a nightmare that culminates in the most nihilistic and heinous of acts. You can watch the trailer below:

 

The Verdict On Mortal Kombat: Is It Worth Your Time And Money??

Photo Credit: Screenshot from IGN’s YouTube Video

It’s hard not to talk about the “Mortal Kombat” franchise without discussing the original film from 1995, and of course, video game films in general. For the most part, “Mortal Kombat” was one of the exceedingly few examples of a video game movie that was critically and financially successful. But video game films quickly became viewed as disasters waiting to happen and after numerous bankrupting failures (Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter, Monster Hunter, House of the Dead, etc.), not to mention the unwatchable mess that is “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation”, it seemed unlikely “Mortal Kombat” would ever be anything more than an ultra-violent video game series. Come 2021 and Warner Bros surprised everyone with a bloody, brutal, dark and gritty new take on the franchise that hopes to turn things around and top the original in every way possible.

MMA fighter Cole Young (Lewis Tan) is an ordinary man who lives an ordinary life fighting ordinary people. Until he is attacked by an ice-wielding super warrior; Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim) because of a strange dragon tattoo. He learns from his new friends Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee) and Jax Briggs (Mehcad Brooks) that tattoo means he is chosen to fight the forces of evil in an epic tournament called ‘Mortal Kombat’ that will decide the fate of the world. Under the tutelage of Raiden, god of thunder (Tadanobu Asano), he must train alongside other gifted warriors like Liu Kang (Ludi Lin), Kung Lao (Max Huang), and rogue mercenary Kano (Josh Lawson) in order to stop Shang Tsung (Chin Han) from invading the realm of Earth and defeating Earth’s champions before they even have a chance to compete in the tournament.

I’ve long wanted to see the director take another bloody stab at remaking Mortal Kombat for a new audience and age and one thing I can safely say right off the bat is: they definitely got the gore right. Many fans criticized the first film for watering down the blood and violence; keeping it PG-13 rated neutered the fatalities and many of the game’s central elements felt stripped away. However, one thing the original film kept that this new one seemed to ditch was the set piece of a tournament. This time around, the tournament is preempted by multiple surprise attacks and blindside fights where the villains try and kill Earth’s champions before the tournament can begin; leading to a chaotic narrative that tries to not feel like it’s all over the place but essentially still is.

The film feels like it’s jumping around too much to keep things focused and cohesive. Even in a video game series about fighting and slicing people in half with buzz saw hats, there is a story to follow. There’s creative effort to include as many characters and signature attacks and finishing moves as possible, so that is why is struck me as odd to invent a tragically boring character like Cole Young who fails to feel interesting on any level and performs like a generic self-audience-insert character made just so we can have someone explain all the exposition to. Josh Lawson and Tadanobu Asano feel like the only actors truly trying here; offering new sides to their characters and fulfilling their roles with enough energy and accuracy that most of the cast cannot deliver.

 Aside from stellar action sequences, updated effects and better costumes, the only real leg up this new take over the original is their new takes on Sub-Zero and Scorpion. Their vividly explored backstories, histories, and hatred for each other were beautifully handled this time around. They became much more than silent fan service ninjas. They felt like real, dangerously intense warriors whose powers were masterfully brought to life with stunning effects that blur the line between practical and CGI. Overall, “Mortal Kombat” offers some interesting new takes and styles that certainly deliver on flashy kills and updated effects and costumes. However, its lack of the tournament as a backdrop and the chaotic nature of the story makes the film feel like a random jointed haze of excellent fights and rushed expositions. I feel this new take on the franchise has the chance to grow into something bigger and better, but at this time, “Mortal Kombat 2021” still hasn’t cleared many of the hurdles the first film handled so well so many years ago.

I give “Mortal Kombat (2021)” 2 ½ stars out of 4 stars.

The Verdict On The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It – Is It Worth Your Time And Money??

Screenshot from Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube video

Horror franchises have a very limited shelf life. Stories of boogeymen killers like Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers lose their lethal luster after so many sequels. Eventually, they become joke characters relying on outrageous gimmicks or twists to make them relevant again or at the very least somewhat entertaining. One thing that definitely doesn’t hold up though is the horror itself: the scares and the fear these films are meant to generate. One rare exception is “The Conjuring” series; exploded from one single film into a full-blown trilogy and several spinoffs with sequels of their own (Annabelle, Curse of La Llorona). The real-life paranormal investigators of Ed and Lorraine Warren have brought many true scary stories to the silver screen and this may possibly be the last so let’s hope “The Devil made me do it” really does it.

Set in the 1980s, Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) perform an exorcism on a young boy to save him from a demon. Unfortunately, the demon finds another body in a nearby family friend Arne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor), and forces him to commit a heinous act that catapults the case to national news. Now, Arne is on trial for what he did while he was possessed and is targeted for a death sentence. Ed and Lorraine have to investigate the origins of this demon, find its source and convince a court of law to accept the existence of demons in order to save Arne from a terrible fate. What Ed and Lorraine will find will shock them to their core and directly contribute towards many lives hanging in the balance of this case.

Despite the summary, very little of this film actually takes place or deals with any courtroom drama. Those expecting a similar setup as “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” will be sorely mistaken as this plays out much more like an expected sequel to “The Conjuring” than anything else. “The Devil made me do it” is by no means a softball horror film, in comparison to its previous installments, it does feel a bit lighter on the scares and ventures off into more average/generic territories than anything groundbreaking. The big significance here is the popularity of the case and this possibly being the last installment in the “Conjuring” films. If this is your first time seeing one of these films, it’ll feel fresh and freaky but if you’re a seasoned veteran it’s probably going to come across as something you’ve kind of already seen before.

The scares this time involve aspects outside of the haunted house setting, which is a welcome change and provides a unique bit of mystery for the Warrens to solve alongside local police and investigators. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga always provide a touching, endearing portrayal of the real-life paranormal investigators; maintaining a dynamic that is endearing and touching in even the darkest of times. There is a stellar and downright terrifying opening sequence with an exorcism that truly captivates the audience; unfortunately, the film never manages to reach that high point again at any time. Even when the mystery is what’s going on is fully unraveled, it doesn’t feel particularly interesting or impressive compared to past films.

This also happens to be the first “Conjuring” film creator James Wan did not direct and I can’t help but feel that directly contributed to the average quality of this film. Wan understands true terror and how to package that in a way that consumes its viewers and forces them to keep watching no matter how horrific or intense things get. He grounds his characters and their terrifying experiences in ways that new director Michael Chaves simply does not understand. The scares don’t feel as impactful when they happen and most of them can be perceived much easier than before. If this is the last entry in the film series then it’s regrettable to go out on such a mediocre note.

Overall, “The Devil made me do it” doesn’t do anything particularly bad or shameful but it just doesn’t break any new ground or raise the stakes any higher. The cast is solid, the drama is compelling but the new director’s inexperience is evident and it makes the audience realize that the first two films are high notes that this film cannot ever really reach no matter how hard it tries. It’s not bad for a watch but not much more than that.

I give “The Conjuring: the devil made me do it” 2 stars out of 4 stars.

Rising Star To Watch Out For In 2021: Introducing Kathy Luu

Kathy Luu is an actor, director, photographer, and writer. Born in Sydney to Vietnamese refugee parents, she studied law and film at UNSW, before becoming an actor. Creating innovative short content videos and visuals for social media is part of Kathy’s creative practice. She is inspired by work that is bold, funny, unique, playful, and crazily creative. Her film The Real Zombie Housewives has won international awards for its originality and comedy.

She can be last seen acting in the NBC comedy The Good Place, and domestically soon to be released, the first Asian-Australian lead rom-com, Rhapsody of Love as the lead and associate producer. She is currently in post-production for her web series Zombie Therapy as director, co-producer, and actor.

FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Kathy to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself?

They say we carry the unlived lives and dreams of our parents. My parents, though factory workers by day in their early years of living in Australia, were at heart romantics, poets, artists, philosophers, dreamers, and great humanists. This explains my love for the arts and also why I did not finish law school! So love, art, beauty, creativity, movement, care for humanity, delight, and freedom (when I remember!) is who I am in more core essence – to express and live that in my daily life and through my art is what I am about in a paragraph.

How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

My first acting gig was when I was 6 years old – cast as Dorothy in The Wizard of OZ in the primary school play. My first adult acting gig was in a music video with a very talented Australian director Luke Eve, who has become a great friend.

What do you like most about acting?

Acting is so much an exploration of being human. Getting to experience something new through the characters – the process of transformation and embodiment is something else. Getting to work and create with other people and the ability to tell new stories. Filmmaking and movies are a way for people to see and experience something new. Like any art or experience, a moment of new truth or beauty in a movie can shift the way you see yourself and thus the world. Movies can be a very positive force.

How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a TV series? And which one do you prefer?

I don’t feel it is that different – same delicious cake, different packaging. If I have a delicious cake to sink my teeth into, I don’t mind what the packaging is like. Sometimes the cake needs to be made and eaten fast, and other times you get to slow down a bit and enjoy the unexpected custard and surprise layer that is in the cake. I just try to make sure that I enjoy whatever cake I am eating!

What are your strong points as an actor?

Anything involving going deep is my strength, as well as going sideways and very silly. I have no fear in going deep into a scene, nor making a fool of myself for a laugh. I’m also very good at falling over.

What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

The same difficulties you’d probably find in other areas of life! But they don’t have to be. Any difficulty presents an opportunity for strengthening or renewal of our character. Difficulty changes a person – I do what I can to let it change me in a positive way and it becomes a blessing. Plus, once you are forged between fire and iron, you bring something else to who you are and your work that hasn’t been there before. What a gift! ‘Waiting’ is a big difficulty for a lot of people in this business I feel. For me waiting changed me significantly and allowed me to discover all these other skills and potentials I had inside me.

What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

As an actor, finding your character I feel is key and also one of the most challenging and satisfying experiences. If you can find the movement and essence of your character this adds an incredible life and world to the life of a script. As a director, having a very clear vision and mood – the translation and execution of the script into a tangible form – so what you produce is as good or better than what you and the scriptwriter imagined.

What do you do when you’re not filming?

I enjoy life as much as I can. I am one for celebrating simple pleasures, as well as great ideas. Creativity, love, care, and being happy is my lifestyle. I direct, I photograph, I write, I make art, I explore human consciousness with my cup of coffee. I take great pleasure in people. I find people so rich with beauty, stories, and interesting things. So I spend a lot of time alone and spend a lot of time with people. I’d love to spend more time in nature.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

Getting my first US TV job (The Good Place) was very memorable. But right now Rhapsody of Love has been one of my favourite projects to work on – I got to work and play with so many amazingly beautiful people, and it is also the first time I got to lead a film – and that has been one of the most satisfying experiences.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far and what have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

Joy Hopwood, the director/producer for Rhapsody of Love has been one of the most interesting people I have met. Her tenacity and passion are on another level. Our producer, Ana Tiwary has both extraordinary kindness and as well as strength and vision- she is amazing at what she does. Jeneffa Soldatic, another amazing director and dramaturg has such a beautiful way of guiding actors into deep and open places and has done this for me. All these women have been so true to themselves, and I have seen the ripple positive effects it has on all those around them. It has shown me what one person can do.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

Firstly, it would have to be an animation or a stop motion animation. I pretty much would like Rudolph the rednosed reindeer from the 80s Christmas stop motion to play me. If he’s unavailable then Emmett from The Lego Movie. And if he happens to be on the 6th Lego movie, then probably Emilia Clarke would be wonderful.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

This morning I woke up thinking, “Let’s just live and love the heck out of life”. That’s my plan for now.

Rising Star To Watch Out For In 2021: Introducing Damien Sato

Damien recently starred in the feature film ‘Rhapsody of Love’ with co-star Kathy Luu, in Australia’s first rom-com featuring two Asian leads. The film has gained wide interest and has been submitted to various film festivals including the prestigious Gold Coast Film Festival. He has also been involved with various productions including ‘Innocent Killer’ which won best feature film at the International Film & Entertainment Festival of Australia.

Damien is known as a multi-talented actor with a broad range of skills including but not limited to: languages (Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese), martial arts (krav maga, weapons, boxing), presenting, and hosting.

He has also studied at various established institutions such as the Actor’s Centre of Australia, NIDA and Screenwise, Actors Pulse, and several of Australia’s top directors and casting directors. With a firm drive for constant self-improvement and growth, he is relentless in becoming a better actor and just an overall better human being. FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Damien to discuss his journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself?

I would consider myself somewhere between a mad scientist and a Zen monk. I like to experiment with optimising my biology i.e. performance, whilst also remaining relatively unattached to anything worldly.

How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

I got started after seeing an advertisement for talent, with the key phrase “no experience necessary”. I was very shy and awkward in front of the camera, so it was a perfect career choice!

What do you like most about acting?

I consider acting a “meta career”, meaning that it is a career that involves learning about all other careers. I mean you could be playing a doctor or lawyer one day, and a serial killer the next (not like being a serial killer is a real career). Basically, you get to delve into the lives of many people and learn what it’s like to be someone else.

How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a TV series?

Well, I haven’t really acted in a TV series so I wouldn’t really know. I guess I’d prefer to act in a movie since you don’t get locked into playing one type of character.

What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them?

Being inside my head. It’s all about being in the moment, and you can’t really be in the moment if you are thinking about the moment. I just really let go of the outcome or trying to act, and just be. Often, just listening produces the best acting.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

The whole thing has been a giant blur of goodness. I would say the best times I’ve had were being paid to travel the world whilst being able to work with awesome people.

What are your strong points as an actor?

I’m a very analytical person, which tends to keep me in my head, however, at the same time, it allows for me to break down and understand characters with great depth.

What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

That every director has their own style and processes – It’s up to the actor to adapt to them, just as much as it is for the director to adapt to actors.

What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

What’s not difficult? Seriously, there are too many to list (uncertain career path, don’t know when your next paycheque will be, dealing with egomaniacs, etc.), however, it’s the challenges that make it such a rewarding career path.

What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

Really believing you are the character. Audiences can tell when you are being inauthentic or trying to act as if you are the character.

What do you do when you’re not filming?

Keeping my other assets working sharp, i.e. body, mind, and relationships. As an actor, you are the product, so you have to take care of all areas of your life to keep yourself going strong.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Actors are an odd bunch, there’s always an interesting story behind each of them. No one really stands out when I think about it.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

Someone devilishly handsome and charming… so myself (laughs). Kidding (or am I?). Truth be told, it would have to be Henry Golding, because lots of people say I look like him. It would be a good chance for people to say he looks like me!

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

Keep doing what I’m doing – putting myself out there and growing. I would love to have broken out to the U.S or international markets.

If there is anything else or interesting you can tell us

I plan to be single at this moment, there are simply too many things to do in life!

Meet The Woman Behind The Latest Issue Of FilmCentral Magazine: The Amazing Lili Liu

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A classically trained musician who happens to have a flair for theatrics is a killer combination. This combination resides in Lili Liu, an upcoming actress from Melbourne who plays an exciting role as the confident and ambitious young woman, Pinyuan Xue in her upcoming musical drama “Life as a Summer Flower,” which was originally written by her good friend, Xiaolin Shen.

Produced by Liu Entertainment (L Enter Pty Ltd), and starring Lili Liu, the musical comedy is centered during the Liang period of Wei Jing and Northern and Southern Dynasties (220-589) in ancient China. The family-oriented narrative of this series focuses on a heroine called Pingyuan Xue who originally hails from a peasant family but later emerges as a warrior who is determined to find her true love. After being overcome with a powerful vision, she becomes a legendary female warrior, meeting the Emperor whom she falls in love with, but then she eventually discovers she’s just being used for a different motive which leads her to go on a journey of discovering herself. While the series is supposed to be a musical comedy, at the heart of it is a message of determination and hope.

FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Lili Liu to discuss her journey in the entertainment industry and her latest project and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

I’m a classically trained musician. I did my piano recital in Sydney Opera House and many other concert venues. But I have always wanted to write my own songs and share my love for storytelling. When my good friend Xiaolin Shen showed me her novel Life as a Summer Flower, I immediately felt I need to turn the story into a musical drama. It’s a story people need to see!

What do you like most about acting?

To become the other person. To think, act, and see the world from another person’s perspective allows me to see the world differently. When I act, I can give the voice to that character, that soul. To help that soul to express herself, to bring that soul to physical life is what I enjoy the most.

Can you tell us about your recent role in your drama series?

Pinyuan Xue is a very confident, independent, and ambitious young woman. She almost never doubts her own ability. She has lots of challenges in her life. She faced many setbacks. But she seems always to have the power to rise from the ashes, like a phoenix reborn from the ashes. I’m learning a lot from her, her brightness, positivity, and her ability to turn her vision into reality are very admirable.

What sort of person is going to relate to this character?

Everyone who begins with a humble beginning, and fights their way to achieve their dreams can relate to Pinyuan Xue. The scriptwriter Xiaolin Shen told me Pinyuan Xue is her ideal character. She is also my ideal. I hope I can be more and more like her.

How is this character like you? Different?

We both have big dreams and visions in life. We both do our best to achieve them. However, Pinyuan is more confident. She is almost always certain, and she doesn’t have many doubts. I have much more fear and doubts. I enjoy being her in the show, she taught me how to face challenges and fear, and how to win the battle fair and square.

Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?

I would like to think I’m the most suitable person for the role. I love this role. The role of Pinyuan Xue and her story really inspires me. It’s a story I have to tell. It took the scriptwriter Xiaolin Shen many years to write the story and develop the characters. I feel very blessed for the trust Xiaolin placed in me, and I will do my best to deliver a performance that even in many years’ time, I can still be proud of. Hopefully, the audience will feel inspired and entertained too.

What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?

Singing the monologues and act at the same time. Because it’s a musical, there are many dialogues we need to sing. When I sing and act alongside others, it’s much easier. There is a scene that I need to sing a monologue, like a self-reflection song by myself, I found it takes a lot of skills to make it natural and impactful. That’s something I’m working on at the moment.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

There are a lot of interesting people in my life. Lately, I’ve been thinking about my homestay mum a lot. When I come to Australia for high school, I had an Australian homestay mum, Daphne. Daphne encouraged me to be independent, self-reliant, and to pursue my piano dream! I stayed with her for two years and a half. She drove me to all piano lessons, introduced me to Thai food and Spaghetti Carbonara… Her love and support made the pursuit of my dream a much easier journey. I’m very grateful to her!

How active are you on social media?

Not very active… I try to keep my distance from social media. I use it mainly for work. I prefer spending time with real people. In-person.

What are your plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I want to inspire people to follow their passion and their highest calling. I believe when each of us finds and does what we truly love doing, the world will be a much happier place, we can all fulfill our missions here on earth. I have always been attracted to music, art, and storytelling, everything that beautifies the world, that allows me to express myself creatively. I will continue to create new works in the future. Both music and screen productions. I feel very alive when I’m in the creative process of bringing an idea to life. The creative energy is what drives me every day. My current plan is to do all I can, with my team to create Life as a Summer Flower one that we are truly proud of. Art and music have great powers to break barriers and enhance understanding between people – that’s what I want to do through music and storytelling, to open people’s hearts and create channels for understanding.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Howl’s Moving Castle by Hayao Miyazaki. “They say that the best blaze burns the brightest when circumstances are at their worst.” This is one of my favourite movie quotes of all time.

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Helping others. I consider people helping each other, be kind and compassionate to each other to be the most beautiful act.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Start a family and have at least two children.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d….”

If I had no fear, I’d sit down and write out my life story. Then, I could understand how I have come to be who I am and where there is next for me to go with my career. I reflect on the events of my life often, and I would like to put them into a narrative structure.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself?

I always whole heartily go after what I want. I don’t have a backup plan. So when things don’t go the way I want, I can feel hurt and disappointed. But I like to stay this way. Because in order for me to go beyond myself, I need to give whatever I do my devotion, my 200% focus. As Rumi said “You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens”, I consider any setback or heartbreak on the way are opportunities for me to upgrade myself. So, I wouldn’t change that ‘flaw’ of myself.

“Life as a Summer Flower,” the musical series will be filming in Bendigo in July, so be sure to follow this space to find out more details about this amazing project.

Nicole Kidman Leads an All-Star Cast In The Trailer For Hulu Miniseries Nine Perfect Strangers

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Nicole Kidman is back on the small screen in Hulu miniseries Nine Perfect Strangers – and it looks very intriguing indeed.

Nine Perfect Strangers is an upcoming drama streaming television miniseries based on the 2018 novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty. The series is created by David E. Kelley and John Henry Butterworth that is supposed to be slated to be released on August 18, 2021, on Hulu.

Here’s the synopsis of the movie:

“Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty (Melissa McCarthy), the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House, Masha (Nicole Kidman). Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer—or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.”

Check out the official trailer below: