Director: Gale Edwards
Writer: Julie Kincade
Co-starring: Sebastian Gregory (as Kevin), William Zappa (as Edwin), Tammy Macintosh (as Grace) and Colin Friels (as Mayor Riddick)
Genre: Comedy, Musical
Filming: Filmed in Brisbane, from February 15th 2010 to the end of March 2010.
Budget: AU $8m
Box Office: Took AU$44,204 on it’s opening weekend in Australia, showing on 77 screens.
Runtime: 91 mins
Kevin Flack (Sebastian Gregory) has a dream – to play lead guitar in a famous rock and roll band. But being a Rock God in the sleepy seaside town of Montague isn’t easy. And neither is living at home with your mum and dad and your idiot younger brother.
Kevin longs to break free while his father – Edwin Flack (William Zappa) – is proud of his Montague heritage and for the past twenty years has been totally obsessed with his one love – the town’s Municipal Marching Band.
Today, the Band faces a crisis. The Montague Council is preparing to demolish the community hall, the band’s long time home. As the band prepares for the upcoming regional championships, Edwin is hit by a bus and Kevin is forced to take over as musical director.
At the same time, the local Mayor (Colin Friels) convinces the Council to close down the Band in order to make way for a tourist development project. But Kevin strikes a deal and the Mayor agrees that if the Band win first prize in the competition then their future is assured.
With the help of Mandy (Isabel Lucas) – the Mayor’s daughter – Kevin must get the Band on his side, rearrange an iconic rock song for brass and totally overhaul their dated routine…
All in four short weeks….
And of course, his father must never find out.
Australia – March 17th 2011
DVD (Aus) – August 31st 2011
• Isabel dances in this film. It was originally thought she would be singing in it too, but this was not in the final theatrical version.
• Isabel’s Home & Away co-star Mark Furze (who played Ric) has a role in this film.
• Features original music, as well as existing, recognisable work ranging from indie rock, dance and band music, to opera and piano concertos.
• The cast learnt to play musical instruments well enough to perform in their scenes.
• Isabel had to perform in dance numbers, and says that she had never danced properly like that before, but used to help out her mum who ran dance workshops for kids with disabilities.
• Tony Bartuccio choreographed the solo dance scene Isabel performs in the film.
• Isabel plays a dance teacher.
» Isabel Lucas – “It’s all about love and music. It’s a drama-comedy/musical. There’s all this brass brand music and there’s a lot of dance sequences, too.”
» Isabel Lucas – “What attracted me was working with someone like Gale Edwards. She’s got so much amazing experience. I was intrigued … It’s a classic generational tale of love, really. There’s not many of those around.”
» Gale Edwards (director) – “It’s a story about the power of music to divide and reconcile people. It deals with the question of what it is to be an artist, with love and values such as loyalty and honesty, and the pursuit of your dreams. It’s very charming and archetypal. I set out to create a modern day fairy story, deliberately steering from Australian naturalism. I pushed the design, the colour, and the performances so there is a heightened reality in the style of the movie, but it’s not a caricature and it’s never pushed into the ridiculous. I hope it’s totally moving and amusing.”
» Chris Fitchett (producer) – “Isabel is obviously a star and Sebastian is a rising star. We are very lucky to have an all-Australian cast.”
» Sebastian Gregory – “Apparently I had met her before, on the audition circuit, but I didn’t remember her! I had completely forgotten her. We live around the corner from each other now. We hang out. I know who she is now.” (on Isabel Lucas)
» Sebastian Gregory – “I’ve seen a bunch of stuff from it, but not the whole film. I see it as a great stepping stone. With Isabel in it, it’s going to appeal to the American market. It’s also a film that, I think, will play well to the whole family so that’s going to help.”
Mandy: “What’s the plan? You’re far too smart to not have a plan…”
Kevin: “I am?! I am!”
Mandy: “What happens if you lose, Kevin?”
• FilmInk: “There are no complaints about the performances. Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen) is well cast as Mandy, Kevin’s heart’s desire and daughter of the mayor (Colin Friels, who brings more than a dash of irony and flair to his role).”
• MindFood.com: “His mission, aided by the lovely Isabel Lucas, is to get the band on his side, rearrange an iconic rock song for brass and totally overhaul their dated routine without his father finding out and in time for the annual regional championships. Charming and light this feel-good flick is a nice anecdote to the string of heart-wrenching Australian-made films of recent years. ”
• UrbanCinefile.com.au: “Sebastian Gregory is well cast, but some of his dialogue lets him down and Isabel Lucas is put through the hoops as eye candy, including a beautiful but terribly clichéd private dance scene, observed by Kevin – but intended to elicit audience oooh and aaahs.”
• The West Australian: “It’s only when Kevin strikes up a romance with music-store sexpot Mandy (Isabel Lucas) that the film shows signs of life, though Lucas’ character has almost nothing to do other than dance to the music and look good. A Heartbeat Away could be a rousing, entertaining inter- generation tale of a father and son uniting through the power of music. But it’s buried in cliches, caricatures, quirks and plot holes.”
Isabel did not do any promotion for A Heartbeat Away, except for a couple of interviews for Australian newspapers. One of those interviews was published in various regional newspaper supplements around Australia, with Isabel on the cover of a couple of them.
• Isabel Lucas Online‘s Press page (related: 2011 interviews)
• News & Updates for A Heartbeat Away at Isabel Lucas Online