Writer/director and VCA student Darcy Tuppen recently returned to a small coastal village in remote Vanuatu, with a gun skeleton crew, where they spent three weeks filming for ‘The Land Will Eat You.’
Having spent time living in the community on two seperate occasions, Darcy had built friendships with the community members and he had made it it’s mission to capture the warmth and good-spirit of the people for screen.
The people who live in this community not only inspired this story, they helped to develop the script, facilitate the filming and collaborate as key cast and crew. The Australian crew were blown away by the support of the Ni-Vanuatu people and by their welcoming spirit.
This film seeks to explore cross cultural attitudes to authority, individualism vs collectivity, the complexities of modernisation on traditional indigenous culture and the value of a society where social networks of family and community are still present.
We’ve got some truly magical footage from this shoot, and we feel like we’re in a really strong place to capture the immensity of the environment and the stories and attitudes of the local people.
The Ni-Vanuatu actors in this film radiate charisma and energy on and off set, and they were passionate about sharing their world-view in front of a camera, from the children to the teenagers and to the community elders.
We, as a crew of Australians, owe a responsibility to these people to service their stories well. This has always been our priority, to approach the project from a foundation of exchange and respect.
This means firstly, making sure the film looks great, by hiring-
An Editor, a colourist, a sound designer and a composer.
Secondly, it means getting the Bislama subtitles right.
For this, we need to hire local people to do our translations for us.
Thirdly, it means bringing the film back to the community for a screening, and then, of course, applying for festivals across the globe.
It also means paying the people involved well- To leave them in a position that is better than before our crew arrived.