In an unabashed love note to ’80s vampire genre flicks such as Near Dark and The Lost Boys, new Aussie webseries Nightwalkers follows the adventures of vampire-slaying sisters Sam and Charlie Corey, who are attempting to stop an ancient artefact falling into the hands of a Vampire Master, which would deliver their kind untold power and unleash a vampire apocalypse upon the suburbs of Western Sydney.
Aussie filmmaker and self-proclaimed genre film devotee Adrian Castro, along with makeup artist-turned-actor Taylor Davis, gave Supanova fans in Brisbane an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the ambitious project.
Funded by the Digital First Comedy Initiative offered by Screen NSW and the ABC in a bid to find new content creators from Western Sydney, the Nightwalkers webseries originally began life “as a screenplay for a film version” about 10 years ago, and when they originally applied for the initiative’s funding they reworked the concept into a series.
Whilst they faced some serious competition for the program’s funding with about 75 projects vying for three coveted spots, Castro admits that they “snookered them by asking when was the last time they saw an Australian vampire series? They couldn’t answer that, so they picked it”.
With a total of six episodes running for about ten minutes each, production on the bold series necessitated the application a good deal of guerrilla film-making techniques, including calling upon a number of reliable and core crew who were able to donate the use of their own camera and lighting equipment to the cause.
Castro, who has been working in film for over 20 years, “is a one-man show” who has taught himself special effects, sound editing and worked across all departments on the series.
Budgetary constraints aside, Castro and Davis have clearly been able to turn their limitations into their strengths, even luring zombie film veteran Ken Foree onto the production. Foree, a star of George R Romero’s iconic 1978 feature, Dawn of the Dead, has been a long term horror actor, and his involvement in the project caused Castro to “fanboy like crazy, because it was a dream come true”.
Both Castro and Davis hope that there is much more in store for their new franchise, and are hopeful that positive audience reception will lead to them being able to work more within their fictional world. “Five years from now, I’m hoping to have at least three more seasons of Nightwalkers,” Castro admitted.
“Hopefully we can tell some of our other [stories] as well,” Davis added. “As long as we can develop this one, either as a feature film or Netflix, we’re keen to make it happen.”
For now, audiences can access the first season of Nightwalkers on ABC iView or via ABC Comedy’s YouTube channel.
Lead image: Adrian Castro and Taylor Davis at Supanova 2019 – Brisbane. Photo by Ewan Ly.