The Australian production company is building bridges in the US and preparing its first Oz feature.  
18 Dec 2012 - 4:54 PM  UPDATED 18 Dec 2012 - 4:54 PM

Garry Charny's Spotted Turquoise Films is building relationships with US producers with the aim of co-producing films in the US. As a starting point, his firm has invested in Guarding Charlie, a short film set during the Vietnam conflict which marks the writing and directing debut of Julie Richardson, a US producer whose credits include Collateral and the thrillers The Collector and The Collection.

Charny is keen to continue that relationship by investing in and co-producing Richardson's debut feature, Hollow Point, the story of two cops, male and female, who investigate the kidnapping of American heiress Patty Hearst and her subsequent involvement in a series of bank robberies.

Meanwhile, Spotted Turquoise Films' first Australian film, Wake Up Dead, a murder mystery starring Alex Russell and Luke Ford, is due to start shooting in Adelaide in mid-2013.

Charny, who produced Ray Lawrence's Jindabyne in his former role as head of April Films, launched the production company earlier this year after co-founding Boost Media, an international media and sales revenue generating consultancy.

He decided to invest in Guarding Charlie after meeting Richardson through a long-time US studio executive friend. The short was filmed in Los Angeles and at a farm about 100km from there over Thanksgiving.

Based on the experiences of retired Sergeant Major Franklin Dennis Jones, it's the saga of two marines who were asked to protect a North Vietnamese officer who had surrendered in 1968, an incident that triggered the Siege of Khe Sanh.

Spotted Turquoise is the biggest individual investor; Richardson also raised more than $20,000 from crowdfunding site Kickstarter. She enlisted the participation of some heavyweight crew including special effects guru Dave Watkins (Zero Dark Thirty, Wrath of the Titans, Gladiator) and script supervisor Susan Malerstein (The Green Mile, Nancy Drew, Gone in Sixty Seconds)

He hopes the short will be selected for next year's Cannes International Film Festival, which would increase its chances of securing distribution deals. Hollow Point is budgeted at $US17 million and is in development.

Charny has hired Nick Parsons (Dead Heart, TV's The Straits) to write a new draft of Wake Up Dead, which will mark the feature directing debut of Joel Kohn, who cut his teeth directing shorts and episodes of TV series. Russell will play a detective who investigates the death of a female student on campus, with Ford as a hard-bitten magazine editor who gets involved in the case. The female lead is yet to be announced.

The project is being supported by the South Australian Film Corp. and will be partly financed by the 40 per producer offset.