Launceston to LA: a film lover’s journey

SPOOKY SCREENS: The Haunted or Hoax stars Sydney Kondruss, Isabel Kanaan and Natasha Negovanlis.
SPOOKY SCREENS: The Haunted or Hoax stars Sydney Kondruss, Isabel Kanaan and Natasha Negovanlis.

Natalie Forward has always had a passion for the film industry.

It’s a drive that has seen her hold a range of jobs in countries across the world.

Today, she’s based in Melbourne, and is preparing her company Tru Dot Films for the filming of an Australian psychological thriller.

Forward was “born and raised” in Launceston, and was a Scotch Oakburn College student until she jumped the Strait to continue her education at Deakin University in Melbourne.

She’s worked in LA, England, and recently Canada, where she led her company through the production of its first web series.

The first season of Haunted or Hoax spanned 30 episodes, and centered around an online portal that investigates rumored haunted buildings.

It was this week nominated in five categories in the NYC Webfest awards.

Part thriller, part comedy, and LGBTQ friendly, it was filmed in conjunction with Indigo7 Productions, and Forward said it was “quite popular”.

“It’s a really interesting platform for it because it’s web-based, people got quite behind it and positive about it. You get those real-time reactions to things, which is interesting. It’s like a mix between television and theatre,” Forward, who wrote the series, said.

“We’re trying to get a second (web) series off the ground at the moment, (and investigating turning it) into a television series.”

But Forward’s next challenge is set to take place on Australian soil.

At the end of next month, filming is scheduled to start for Living Space in Geelong, Victoria.

“It’s a crew of about 65 to 70 people from all over Australia,” Forward said, who will produce the film.

Natalie Forward

Natalie Forward

“We’ve got make-up artist Steven Boyle (special effects artist for The Hobbit, Star Wars: Episode II) on board and the production designer (Das Patterson) just came off The Dressmaker.

“Some of the cast have flown in from Sydney, and some from LA.”

While it has been a hard industry to crack into, Forward said the reward was worth the work.

“There’s no better feeling that when you can sit back and look at something you’ve produced or written,” she said.

And will we ever see her produce a feature film in her home state?

“I would absolutely love to film anything in Tasmania,” she said.

“The awesome thing about Tassie is it can look like so many other places.

“I think that’s what people (film crews) are starting to find.

“It’s definitely something that could take off down there.”