Trapped in lockdown during the second wave of COVID-19, Devonport actor Sophie Mcrae started to let her creative juices flow.
She found comfort in writing and so from the depths of a near two month lockdown emerged Homesick.
The five minute production is being put on for the Melbourne Fringe festival, but for the first time people from across Australia will be able to tune in digitally.
In other news:
Homesick is Mcrae's baby. She wrote, produced and starred in the short film which explores what it's like to find yourself in the big city after growing up in a country town.
Mcrae said the digital nature of Fringe this year allowed her team to get creative with how they portrayed the story.
"[Normally] you wouldn't do a short five minute performance with a very elaborate set but being digital we could, kind of, have more freedom to do whatever we want," she said.
The entire production team for Homesick are from country towns across Australia.
Mcrae is from Devonport while director, editor and sound designer Eilish Boyd is from Stratford and cinematographer, editor and sound designer Gaden Sousa is from Armidale
Mcrae said she was particularly excited for people in her home town to get the chance to watch the film.
She said the entire team was excited for people in their home towns to be able to see the work.
"Especially because the show is about being homesick for Tasmania, for Devonport," Mcrae said.
"Devonport as a word isn't necessarily referenced, but there is lots of references in there to being up at Cradle Mountain or eating Tasmanian cheese. Things that are very much symbolic of what home means to me.
"My whole team ... are all from country towns across Australia. So bringing that kind of energy about what being homesick means when you are living in a big city coming from a small town, in a year like 2020 has been has been really, really special."
Filming of the production almost didn't take place due to the second wave of COVID-19 in Victoria. Mcrae said restrictions eased just in time for the team to start shooting.
She said thanks to a grant from Melbourne Fringe they were able to hire some equipment to improve the production quality.
"We were really, really lucky that restrictions got eased just enough about a week before we started shooting," Mcrae said.
"We hired some pretty fantastic equipment to create and develop this vision I had into something quite beautiful. It was so, so wonderful to be able to work with a team that so, so trust each others ability.
"We've been able to collaborate and surprise and be exciting and creative about the whole process together."
The whole five minute film was shot in one take, which brought about some interesting challenges for the crew. Mcrae said if a plane flew over head or a car sped down the street they would have to start all over again.
Boyd said the film reminded her that she wasn't alone.
"In a year where there is fear in the air, borders closed and plenty of time to sit with your thoughts, it's no surprise there are bellies aching for family Sunday roasts," she said.
"In its own heart-warming and uplifting way, Homesick reminds me I'm not alone in these thoughts. It is the comfort you need while you can't share a drink with Dad."
While Sousa said it explored the sad truth of the pandemic.
"[It] is an invitation to the sad truth of the pandemic; that so many of us are alone or have felt alone," he said.
"But it does it in such a way that it isn't depressing, in fact our aim is for it to be affirming, heart-warming and uplifting."
Mcrae said people tuning in could expect to experience a range of emotions.
"They can expect to be feel a bit nostalgic for home, they can expect to crave comfort food and they can expect to hopefully have some nice memories of growing up," she said.
"They might feel a bit teary or a bit happy but I think we said in the blurb we recommend tuning in with the ones you love, wine and cheese."
The show opened on Friday night with tickets available at www.melbournefringe.com.au/event/homesick.
Sign up to one of our newsletters: