Jason Stevens has this week begun filming his second feature film in and around southern Sydney,following on from his 2018 debut film ‘Chasing Comets’.
Stevens wrote and produced his first semi autobiographical football based drama/comedy movie, and this time around is going another step further by also making his directing debut.
The new movie, titled ‘Finally Me’, is based on the coming of age premise of a fictional young greek girl Soula,growing up in middle America in the 1990’s who breaks away from her family traditions to become a cheerleader complete with conflict and bitchiness from her family and other students.
Stevens said he was excited to make his second feature and to be directing a project he began developing in 2010.
“Think – Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Bring it on.”Stevens said
“My background is Greek and so I was able to draw on so much humour from my own family and the Greek community.
“In many ways this film is a tribute to my Pappous and his Greek heritage. He came to Australia with zero in his pockets and a family to feed and worked so hard.
“I weaved his story into the film.”
One of the films lead actors is Cronulla’s Alea O’Shea who is making her feature film debut.
O’Shea is a 21 yr old actress and dancer who followed her brother’s footsteps into an agency and after only three commercials booked her first breakthrough role as Darcy in the Australian drama ‘Home and Away’.
Signing on for initially only 3 months, the character was extended and stayed on screens for over 3 years.
She is now represented by the X Division agency and can be seen in the Canadian Hallmark movie ‘Time For You To Come Home For Christmas’.
Alea said this is still technically her first feature film main role and it’s fantastic that its produced and filmed locally.
” I’ve been acting and dancing since I was 11,but I’ve only been taking it seriously for the last three years ” she said whilst on set at Burraneer Bay.
“I self taped my proper audition whilst in hotel quarantine,unbelievably not knowing it was a local Shire production, I’ve been dancing my whole life and I’m really up for the acting challenge.
“I play the part of Taylor White who is the antagonist to the films main character-she is the spoilt and entitled head cheerleader on the opposite team.”
O’Shea laughingly said she hopes people don’t think she is like that in real life
” You should ignore the bullying Taylor Whites of the world-believing in yourself is the most important thing ” she said
“After this movie I’m heading back to Canada to do some more film work”
Jason Stevens said the script is funny but like all good productions there is a positive message that is totally relevant.
Keeping it in the family is Jason’s wife Bec Stevens who once again is doing wardrobe and costume design.
“I grew up in the 90’s so I saw and wore the styles and pastel colours of the day.
” Also with the characters there are always ‘mean girls’ everywhere you go-so some things haven’t changed.”
Bec said it’s been great to support local businesses and buildings in the Shire.
“Amy Taylor fashion is doing all the clothes designing which is fantastic and Cheeky D Swim a Cronulla based swimwear label are doing all the costumes.”
Bec started the prop shopping six months ago,and had to work without going to Op Shops looking for 90’s products because of covid closures.
“Saucing 90’s fashion was very important and all shapes and colours had to be matched specifically to the sets” she said
Filming started last week and is due to wrap up in around a month before all the post production starts-the process of editing the raw footage,adding visual effects and sound and colour grading-so it all hopefully comes together as one colourful cohesive piece.