MAKING the long journey from Stevens Lane in Marrickville, horror-comedy short film Alfred J. Hemlock will make its Hollywood debut at the Dances with Films festival on June 1.
IT was a case of third time lucky for the cast and crew of the short film, Alfred J. Hemlock, when they were shooting in Stevens Lane in Marrickville.
Produced and written by Melissa Lyons and her husband Edward, who also directed the horror-comedy short, the story is about Emily (Renaye Loryman) whose boyfriend (Christian Charisou) dumps her from his car after an argument and walking home through a back lane, she encounters the mysterious and terrifying Alfred J. Hemlock (Tristan Mckinnon).
Filmed in 2015, Edward said that just a single filming location should have been easy but it turned out to be "the most difficult" film they have ever worked on.
He said their first attempt was wrecked by torrential rain which blew out the lights and shut down production.
Their second attempt didn't fare much better with more bad weather and a technical hitch meaning they ended up with almost no useable footage.
"I was ready to throw myself under a bus, it was pretty devastating," he said.
"In the end the first two attempts were a bit like an elaborate dress rehearsal.
"In fact, I think the film we've got now wouldn't have been anywhere near as good without everything we went through."
The rain also led to a memorable and atmospheric shot of the Hemlock character skipping down the alley while wielding an axe.
"I was shouting 'just shoot it' because I was worried for the first time that the rain would stop," he laughed.
Post production has taken some time, but fortunately the film's visual effects were completed just in time for it to premier at the Bermuda International Film Festival earlier this month and in two weeks, it will also screen at the prestigious Dances With Films festival in Hollywood.
Edward says the US screening will also be the first time the three-person cast will see the finished product.
"It's been a long wait for them but I think it will be worth it."