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Aussie film boasts first lead CGI monster

AAP logoAAP 10/08/2016 Danielle McGrane

A new Australian film will be the first to feature a CGI character in one of the lead roles.

Red Billabong, written and directed by Luke Sparke, showcases a CGI monster who terrorises two brothers played by Dan Ewing (Home and Away) and Tim Pocock (Dance Academy).

"I can't recall a fully realised computer-generated character as a lead in an Australian film before," Sparke said.

"I don't think it's been attempted."

Actor Ben Chisholm, who plays bad guy BJ in the movie, says it's not a horror movie despite the presence of the monster.

"It's like Scooby Doo meets Die Hard," Chisholm told AAP.

"It's an action thriller that has comedy and some slight horror, and I play the comic relief."

The brothers in the film inherit a property after their grandfather dies, but it's inhabited by this monster.

While this bogeyman is an impressive CGI-creation, the actors did have some props to work with.

"On set we had an arm, we had the back, we had the legs and those were the practical parts that we did use on it," Chisholm said.

But when the audience gets a full glimpse of the monster in all his glory, the actor says they won't be disappointed.

"He makes Big Foot look like a pussy," he said.

Filming on Red Billabong started two years ago in the hinterlands of the Gold Coast around Beaudesert.

The landscape itself was enough to help the actors bring some real fear to their roles.

"Night time was terrifying," Chisholm said.

As the sun went down, the mist began to rise, the cobwebs appeared between the stalks of sugar cane and steam began to rise from the water.

"Even when we were walking from where we were filming up to our base we were going `Man, I swear I'm going to get stabbed, or something is going to come out and kill me between here and there' - you felt really scared," Chisholm said.

The film, which boasts a strong Aussie cast including Ewing, Pocock, Chisholm, Sophie Don and John Reynolds, has its red carpet premiere in Sydney on Wednesday night.

As far as Chisholm is concerned, audiences can expect something a bit different to the usual home-grown movie.

"It's an escape from reality and not your normal type of Australian film," he said.

"It's like a Marvel/DC type movie where people can go in there, turn their brains off, eat their popcorn and just enjoy the roller coaster and the ride. That's what really set it apart from other Australian films.

"You can just turn off and enjoy it."

*Red Billabong opens in Australian cinemas on August 25

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