The Short

Frame 137′ is a short film based on the Comic of the same name published in early 1992 and created by James O’Barr, who created ‘The Crow’ Graphic Novels, which were adapted into the original Cult classic with Brandon Lee.

After discovering the vivid world of ‘Frame 137’ Australian filmmaker Judd Tilyard spent several years imagining the details of the world, and breaking down the logistics of doing it on a budget he could raise, before he ultimately approached James O’Barr and with his permission commenced production on a short film adaptation.

Frame 137 was shot in 2009 over 3 days in Queensland, Australia for a cost of $10,000. It features a complex practical fight sequence, with elaborate stunt and wire work.  These sequences were all performed by the film’s 10 year old star – in addition to fire breathing, a full body and a naked face burn. After the trailer was released Judd recruited Launch Studios and began working with them to integrate several key Visual FX into the story.

The intention of the short was to not only introduce the world of Frame 137 but also to demonstrate the tone of the feature. As such the film underwent an extremely lengthy post production process both in refining the story and the world presented as well as ensuring that the technical details of the film were not compromised by the lack of funds or time available to the level of productions with which it is aiming to compete.

Check out the Behind the Scenes and the various production blogs to find out more about how the comic was brought to life in the short, which will be available online soon. You can also learn more about the cast and crew


The Synopsis

10 year old assassin Jonny Z awaits his mark, watching quietly from the corner of Rico’s underground tech saloon, ‘Mainframe’. It’s business as usual with the Rags and the Bolts eyeing each other up, but neither gang ready to start anything.

 

But the stakes are changed when Jonny realises there’s a Grey in the bar. Without pause Jonny dry sucks some meds he palms the patch of a nearby Bolt, marks himself with it and then slips up to the bar, clumsily picking the pocket of the Rag there and triggering an inevitable fight between the two gangs. Jonny at the centre of the action cuts through the ranks of the Raggedy Boys to get to their O1, a mean piece of machinery by the name of Jax, who is chaperoning the deadly Grey.

Moments later the dust settling in the wake of the Grey’s defeat, Jonny’s original target enters. Leo the Leopard, a pimped up K-dealer specialising in baby flesh, Leo has a pair of goons beside him, A-Boys the best security money can buy. Leo heads to the back room for privacy, that will make Jonny’s hit that much easier, as long as he doesn’t let his emotions get the best of him.


The Script

Tilyard wrote the script in collaboration with O’Barr and it originally stretched for more than 30 pages.  Budget and the resultant time limitations meant it had to be cut down extensively and and ultimately 17 pages were shot over the three-day production.

View Script

NOTE: Link contains spoilers.

The Storyboard

Tilyard used simple drawings and stick figures to prepare, helping him to visualise the complex camera work and blocking that the film demanded.

View Storyboard

NOTE: Link contains spoilers.

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