TIME'S LIKE THESE
So why Locust, why me, and why now?
Well… Locust is a film that I never would have imagined wanting to make as a first-time feature. You see, I am coming from the horror space, and as an ex-rapper who is gay, my fear is that if this film’s subject matter came across as volatile in our current day and age of optics and ‘cancel culture’, it may look as if I am, God forbid, trying to push an agenda, or worse, capitalise on a culture I have no connection to. But if I’m being honest, it is those same concerns that really formulate the convictions in WHY this is the story I am compelled to tell.
You see, I am driven by those connections in cinema where characters experience growth when they meet their counterpoint in someone they’d never expect. As such, I wilfully choose to place myself at the center of any bullseye that may be triggered from a narrative dedicated to a Cisgender Ex-Con who’s inciting incident is accepting a job driving a Transgender Female Escort from client to client. On a surface level, I’m sure the staunchest mouthpieces of the LGBTQIA community to which I belong may view Locust as not-progressive-enough, while more mainstream audiences find themselves confronted on a level they did not expect.
But what I’m simply focusing on is this fallible side of the human condition that, I believe, defines us all. The vast majority of us don’t wear capes, so in order to know where we’re headed in this collective search for understanding, compassion and validation is to know where we’ve been and to accept where we are, especially in times like these. Esra and Sam reflect the spaces we all share in our own individuality, no matter how different things may look on paper. This is why their story connects. They are still waters running deep.
And this is why I, Noel Vinson, am the one to trust in telling this story. On a global scale, the output I produce is meant to push envelopes instead of agendas and build a dependable fanbase out of continuously viable and saleable projects. As a citizen of both America and Australia, it is my intention to shoot the majority of Locust’s iconically L.A. story in Australia at Adelaide Studios with the Adelaide surrounds playing for Southern California. Remaining scenes and pick-ups that require the proper locations will be shot in Los Angeles once the Australian portion wraps.
The reasoning behind this is because I have thus far built my film career in Australia, winning a few awards with my genre Shorts and Web Series, and as such, I intend to exploit the tax incentives Australia offers to Productions that shoot in the country, such as the federal Producer Offset which offers a tax rebate of up to 40% back on Australian spends of over A$500K, South Australia’s Grant of up to 10% of a qualified film’s South Australian spend, and even a 10% tax rebate for all Post-Production done in New South Wales.
Lastly, I would like to point out that Locust is the first instalment of a spiritual trilogy, which will build upon the body of work I have created over the last five years and evince a tangibility to Dissenter Stage’s currently bullish development slate. So, with those stakes in mind, it is my sincere hope to surround myself with those who have proven track records. Those who believe in this vision and want to see it come to life for themselves, because they believe in Sam, Esra, and even myself, as much as I do.