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Interview

Romi Trower p3

Writer-director of What if it Works? Romi Trower mentions a couple of her favorite books…

“Before you set the date it seems more impossible,” Romi Trower said of making What if it Works?. But once she had a date set for filming, everyone came on board. “Somehow it comes together,” she said.
In pre-production, she had to find locations and get the crew. She scouted for locations around Melbourne and approached the owners of flats in backstreets where the characters Adrian and Grace would live. She just knocked on the doors of apartments, spoke to residents and tried to convince them to let her film in their homes. They said ok. One day, one of the residents had a hangover and had just had a breakup . He lived where the character Grace lived and the director just worked around him.
She shot the film in July and August, 2015, over five and a half weeks. She was eight days into filming and her back gave way and within hours she was having surgery. The surgeon said to take six weeks off. Eight days later and she was back on the set. “It’s going to make the next one really easy,” she said.
But she said she’d believed in the film and loved the characters. “I was in the zone and nobody was going to stop me.”
The movie won best Australian independent film at the Gold Coast Film Festival. “We’re doing the festival run at the moment,” she said. It has been selected for the Female Eye Film Festival in Canada in June.
She and producer Tristram Miall hoped for a capital city release in September or October. Ms Trower had another feature script and a tv series concept in very early days.
As far as favorite books went, Remi Trower liked Under the Almond Tree by Laura McVeigh. It’s the story of 15 year old Samar and her family who are fleeing 1990s Kabul, across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Express. This is during the Afghanistan conflict involving the Russians and later the Taliban.
She also liked Marching Powder, a book she read while backpacking. It’s the true story of Thomas McFadden, an English drug trafficker in the San Pedro prison in Bolivia. The author Rusty Young bribed guards to spend three months in the prison, sharing a cell with McFadden and writing his story and about the world of the jail.

– See What if it Works? on Facebook @whatifitworksmovie.
– copyright Simon Sandall.