Australian Film’s First Screening Wins First Full Feature Mobile Film Award in San Diego

Susy Botello
Jun 19, 2019 · 4 min read

Would you like to take a true story, perhaps something sensational in the news that happened in another country, and re-tell that story as a film? Our guest for the SBP Podcast Episode 61 did just that.

Ross Perkins with producer Kimberley Hart win Best Feature Film Award during International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego, April 28, 2019. Photo credit: Art Essence Photography

Ross Perkins is an actor turned filmmaker. He wrote a screenplay based on a true story. The film was a feature film. He then shot it with his iPhone. He filmed it in his parents house, as the principal location, and then, after spending about a year editing it himself — he submitted “Mad House” to the International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego, where he and his producer, Kimberly Hart attended. He flew back home to Australia with a trophy and the “Best Feature Film” award.

Download and listen to the Episode 61 on your own time, anywhere.

The film had never been screened before, anywhere. Imagine that. His first screening wins and he was present to accept the award. Are you inspired yet?

Ross Perkins studied acting in theater and mentioned how lucky he was to have encountered good teachers who taught him, not only acting, but writing and directing. Because in Australia, the opportunities for filmmakers are limited, according to Ross, he feels the mobile phone allows anyone to make films.

He emphasizes how helpful Kim was to him during his production because she designed the main set, the house. Which happened to be the house Ross grew up in as the youngest of six children. He recalled a moment before the first scene they filmed on the first day of production. The actors began to arrive on set. As a director, he was a bit nervous. So he asked Kim, how he could get the actors to do what he wanted them to do in the scene. Her response was, “You just have to trust them.” Ross said, that simple statement felt like a a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders. It worked, and it still works.

IMFF 2019 Mobile Feature Filmmaker Ross Perkins (center) with Mad House producer Kim Hart (left) and Mobile Feature Filmmaker Steve Peterson (right). Photo: Susy Botello
Ross Perkins (right) with Kim Hart (center) during IMFF 2019 Meet and Greet at Marina Village. Photo: Susy Botello

Ross says he is in the “rejection business,” as a filmmaker. He cannot let it get to him, “the numbers game.” He was grateful that his film was accepted to IMFF 2019 and the film festival in San Diego was the premier screening. Receiving the Best Feature Film award was a very good moment for him above the film festival experience of having a film accepted into a film festival.

Ross had not watched the film in about six months and had never seen it in front of an audience. He recalls the experience of sitting in the back of the room as his film screened during the festival. He could see the reactions of the audience as it played. Mad House is a harsh film to watch. Partly because it is so realistically performed.

Mad House won Best Feature Mobile Film Award during the International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego. The film was just over 1hr. 23min. and it was shot with an iPhone 6S.

The story is about a home invasion with “junkies” holding a family hostage. As he watched the audience wince during the right moments was an exceptional experience for him. And that is an experience most filmmakers want to have after completing their film. Ross shares how they pulled off some harsh scenes for the right effect.

SBP Podcast: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones.

Watch the trailer for Mad House:

Watch the Red Carpet Extravaganza! during IMFF 2019 with Ross Perkins and Kimberley Hart:

Listen to Episode 45 with Ross Perkins for in-depth details about the film “Mad House” with Ross Perkins:

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Storytelling through film and video with your smartphone.