Raw, confronting, and unapologetically real; just a few words to describe Adelaide girl Teresa Palmer, and hubby Mark Webber’s first collaborative endeavour into independent filmmaking. On Sunday night, family, friends and media were invited to the Australian Premiere of The Ever After, an intimate screening held at The Mercury Theatre on Morphett Street.
The premier, which was hosted by Adelaide PR company Girl About Town, was a classy and sophisticated, yet down to earth event, perfectly mirroring the tone of the film itself. Forgoing the overhyped and over publicised Hollywood style of premiers, the debut screening of The Ever After was humble and unpretentious, and the feel good vibes that follow a project so heavily laboured with love were physically tangible in the air as guests waited to view the film, bubbly (or vino) in hand.
The Ever After, which was created and produced completely independent from any studio involvement or investment, is a dark and untouched look at living with mental illness, and the way it can impact upon two people in a relationship. Teresa and Mark’s characters, Ava and Thomas, struggle to stay connected amid the pressures of a contemporary life and marriage: temptation, loss of identity and self, and communication breakdown. Through devices such as narrative plot and dialogue, thoughtful and beautiful camera work, and a purposeful score, we as the audience watch Ava and Thomas fail to manage their individual mental and physical desires, and challenge themselves to regain control and clarity over their lives, minds and relationship. Violent, and wrong in some parts, the film also touches on the dark nature in which sex can be used to manipulate one another, as opposed to the way the film industry often glorifies sexual intimacy, and objectifies women in particular. Pushing the conventional boundaries of what a marriage really looks like, The Ever After delivers a new perspective on relationships and mental illness that is both complex and confronting, and in some ways, beautifully light and poignant.
It’s a rare circumstance in which the actual film itself isn’t the most interesting and memorable thing the audience takes home with them once the lights come up, and the screen turns to black. In the case of The Ever After, it’s the story of Teresa and Mark, and the way in which they created the film that shines the brightest. If it wasn’t enough for these two, who in real life are married, and parents to their adorable one year old bub Bodhi, to give the performances of their lives as Ava and Thomas, can you believe that they also wrote, directed, produced, financed and distributed the whole bloody thing all on their own? I know, it’s just disgusting right?
Teresa and Mark’s warmth and passion can be seen and felt in every aspect of film, and their genuine and grounded natures as people add real authenticity to the roles they played. The project, which is obviously very intimate, and close to the hearts of everyone involved, is grounded firmly in reality, and when speaking of the inspiration behind her character Ava, Teresa touched on her real life influences and experiences.
"We wrote characters that are very similar to ourselves in many ways, so that’s why it has a really organic feel to it. I have someone in my life who is very close to me who has mental illness. I’ve been immersed in that world for a long time, and I just kind of delved into those experiences and had to lean into it, and be brave and vulnerable."
In the spirit of true independent film making, The Ever After was shot with, as Teresa joked, absolutely no budget. Shooting on friend’s properties and in their homes, and with multiple family members, who were present at the premier, featuring as extras on the big screen, everything from the lighting and music, to the wardrobe and makeup, or lack their of, was put together entirely by Mark, Teresa, and their friends and family. Teresa described the experience as exciting and enthralling, and spoke of the couples desire to present a final product that was truly independent of Hollywood, and the ideals the industry promotes.
"It just felt like a little family doing the movie, and we banded together with one another and made this film that we’re all so proud of. We believe we have responsibility to show our true selves, and strip back all the stuff that’s been sugar coated over the years, and that’s why we make independent films."
In conclusion, if there is one film that you simply must see right now, it would be The Ever After. Bold, complex, confronting and raw, The Ever After is a shining example of exceptional talent (and might we proudly add, Radelaide talent) and a clear vision cutting through all the unnecessary and over-produced bullshit, and delivering a powerful message that is both relevant, and captivating #mindblown. The best part is that there isn’t a couple more deserving of the success that is undoubtedly to come than Mark Webber and Teresa Palmer. Funny, warm and down to earth, this is the couple you want to be, or want to go on a sickeningly adorable double date with. Whilst also completely irrelevant, Teresa Palmer is an absolute babe. I challenge you to finish watching The Ever After and not have a new girl crush.
To support independent filmmaking and Mark and Teresa, and get your paws on The Ever After, head to theeveraftermovie.com and purchase your completely HD and instantly streamable copy for just $10!