Professional Profile - July 2012
The hilarious Aussie short THE OP SHOP is wowing audiences and critics both here and overseas with the seven min film just taking out the award for Best Comedy at the prestigious Las Vegas Film Festival. For director LEE ROGERS this latest achievement is especially significant given that Las Vegas is also his birthplace.
THE OP SHOP is Rogers’ latest ‘baby’ and takes us to an average suburban opportunity/charity store where a ‘mysterious’ donation sends the elderly and naiÌˆve sales clerks on a journey of self discovery. Light hearted and definitely hilarious, THE OP SHOP features veteran actor Joy Westmore (best known as Officer Barry in the iconic Australian TV series Prisoner)
Prior to this, THE OP SHOP has taken home a whole swag of accolades, and has screened at some of the most prestigious local and international film festivals. In January this year it made its Australian debut at Flickerfest, while it launched internationally and was shortlisted as a finalist in April 2012 at Aspen Shortsfest. It has gone on to screen at the Florida Film Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival, the St Kilda Film Festival, the Palm Springs International Shortfest (voted an Audience Favourite) and the Mexico International Film Festival where it also took home the Best Comedy gong.
March 2012 saw it take out the Audience Award at the Young at Heart Film Festival. Rogers is particularly proud of this achievement:
“I find there's generally a lack of elderly characters represented in film & TV programs. And that often the projects there are for elderly characters are very serious or death related. So I guess I just liked the idea of creating a whimsical comedy for three spirited elderly ladies. It was great to see the film play at this "seniors" festival and reinforce my belief that you are only as young as you think you are, and that just because you’ve grown older doesn’t mean you’ve lost your funny bone!”
ABOUT LEE ROGERS
Born in Las Vegas, raised in Sydney, Rogers began his working life as an apprentice electronics technician, but discovered his passion lay in making film & TV content, not in fixing TV’s. He started making corporate videos, then music videos and a whole heap of TV commercials. Then in 1996 he wrote, directed, produced and starred in the seminal indie feature Dust Off the Wings. This film helped usher in the digital revolution, as it was the first feature shot on the world’s first widescreen digital camera. “Dust” was released nationally in Australia on 52 screens and Southern Star launched & sold the film internationally at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.
Still working internationally, Rogers has more recently been directing the iconic Australian TV shows Home & Away and Neighbours. He also has two feature films in development. LEE ROGERS is married to Australian singing superstar Kate Ceberano.
THE OP SHOP was written by Christopher Gist and Produced byLEE ROGERS, Christopher Gist and Paul Kooperman. It was filmed in one16 hour day in a total of just 120 takes. This year broadcast rights to the film were sold to Australian network SBS Television.