BEYOND THE SEA
When life changes its course, do they choose
to give up on love or become closer?
Hua, a middle-aged woman, reflects on what has transpired in her life with Lee. At first, she is alone, then falls in love with Lee. They live a happy life together until one day she receives a phone call by accident that changes everything.
Meet The Team
Rah Sharma is a multi-award-winning cinematographer. Under his company, Nighthawk Productions, Rah specialises in both commercial and arthouse filmmaking. Through years of experience, Rah has built up his remarkable portfolio. Rah has the insane ability to turn any plain space into a work of art. He is good at telling the story with his camera and lights on set, and creating unique visuals.
Mark Parry has 14 years of experience as a video editor in Sydney. Boasting a portfolio of work at some of Sydney’s most prestigious advertising agencies, Mark has worked consistently across some of the world’s biggest brands, such as McDonald’s, Volkswagen, Gatorade, Audi, Telstra and many more. With a meticulous eye for detail and a natural sense of rhythm and pacing, Mark always delivers a premium standard of work. He is a strong believer that although we all get stuck in the daily grind, it’s important to remember why we pursue our chosen path - because there is nothing else we would rather do.
James Vader is a composer for film and television who creates dynamic orchestral and electronic music. James’s compositions focus on narrative and character development which he achieves through writing memorable musical themes, leitmotifs and engaging sonic textures.
James grew up surrounded by music. He studied film and literature at the University of Sydney and was a cinema projectionist for fifteen years. This unique experience has given him a deep understanding and intuition for placing music with pictures and imagery.
Daniel Pardy is a freelance film colourist from Sydney, Australia. With over a decade of experience in the film industry, he has had the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects, from high end commercials through to the Oscar winning Mad Max: Fury Road, directed by George Miller.
Jenny J Jiao
Jenny J Jiao has a BA in English literature. Her strong interest in child psychology inspired her to study how to help them reach their full potential. In line with this practice, she also advised parents how to deal with their child’s problems.
As a diligent mother and an educator with hundreds of consultation cases behind her, Jenny summarised her thoughts into a practical book "My First Parenting Book" in Chinese, published in 2013. This was followed by an English book "Mum and Dad, Please Listen to Me" published in 2014. These publications actualised her first of many life aspirations.
Inspired by Eric Fromm’s book "The Art of Loving", Jenny is on the path of exploring the true meaning of love in relationships. This interest coincided with her dream to tell a love story using visual medium. She started writing screenplays in 2013, and has recently completed her first short film "Beyond the Sea."
The film is based on her own life during a ten-year period that she was in a loving relationship. She is currently working on a feature film screenplay.
Nicholas, born in England, is a versatile, multi-award-winning actor. Nicholas studied classical singing, first at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and then at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, Holland. He moved to Melbourne in 2007 and started acting in Independent Theatre, most notably; Guy Burgess in An Englishman Abroad by Alan Bennett, which earned him two best-actor awards, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd for Altona Theatre, and a touring production of Porcelain by Chay Yew, directed by Beng Oh which was nominated for a Green Room award.
Notable film roles include Nazi Officer in Hiding Places by Darren Vukasinovic (Bronze Palm Award at the Mexico International Film Festival 2014), Narrator in Toby and the Runaway Kite by Dana Stockton (best animated film and best voice over at the Los Angeles New Wave International Film Festival 2013) and more recently the Duke in Magicby G.K. Chesterton and adapted for screen by Elvis Joseph due for release later this year on Amazon and iTunes. Nicholas is represented by Storm Actors, Sydney and by McLean-Williams Management, London.
Writer’s Q & A
Q. Where did the concept come from as a writer?
A. My interest in love and relationships was inspired by Eric Fromm’s book “the Art of Loving”. Over the years I have combined this interest with a study from a more psychological approach, and have formed my thoughts on this subject.
One of my dreams was to write a love story with visual medium. In 2019, I completed a short film screenplay “Beyond the Sea”.
The story expresses my understanding of love and life. Life is ordinary, but love makes it extraordinary. Life is simple, but love endows it with romance. Sometimes life changes its course unexpectedly. During difficult times, love means to offer unconditional support.
The message I want to convey through the film is that we cherish what we have at present and support our loved ones.
Q. You lost your beloved not long ago. It must be difficult to write emotionally.
A. Yes, it is extremely difficult telling a story taken from my real-life events. While writing, I felt I was reliving our past. People said I was brave to do so. This film is a fond memory of my life. I have presented not only my findings of the meaning of love in a relationship, but also completed my dream of telling a love story with visual medium.
Q. The film is inspired by your life, yet, how did you create the story?
A. My late husband and I loved opera and concerts, as depicted in a number of scenes. The voice-over poems are our poems written at the special times. He wrote the poem ‘Love’ on his last birthday. I wrote the poem ‘Farewell’ when he passed away.
I enjoyed the creative writing to tell a story more than real life. The challenge was to condense a relationship into 15 minutes.
The fictional elements were created to support the real-life events within the story, not only to tell my personal loss, but also to showcase a story theme that everyone could relate to.
I believe that love originates from the spiritual and physical needs of human beings. Then love grows and matures, and in the end, it may stop or disappear for some reason. Life goes on; we move on.
Q. How did you develop the character in the story?
A. Overall, the story is often emotional and sad, so I balanced the character’s personalities with funny and cheerful events.
I didn’t portray Lee as a very masculine captain, on the contrary, I tried to show that Lee is a family man. He knows how to compromise in a cultural relationship. Besides, Lee wants to face the difficult times by himself and doesn’t expect Hua to accompany him.
What the Director say
I wanted the audience to experience the couple’s joy and sorrow, so that they would appreciate, and cherish their own relationships and families.
There were many challenges in making this film, from finding the actors and the crew to getting involved in the details of the production.
I was lucky to find a professional actor Nicholas Barker-Pendree to play the character Lee. He understood the story and portrayed the character very well.
Another challenge was to find a creative cinematographer who could visualize the story on big screen. Through working with the DP, we were able to combine our artistic concepts to achieve an aesthetic result.
I purchased the props, designed the scene setting, and matched the outfits. I tried to select the colours that best suited the mood of each scene. To express the different cultures, I included a Chinese painting and a yacht oil painting.
Working with the cast and crew was very rewarding. Everyone became involved with the story, and showed their passion for film making.
The experience I gained working on this film will help me with writing a feature film.
Behind the Scenes