Growing up with two mums inspired Tom Wilson’s feature film, The Greenhouse.
The former Jervis Bay local and Nowra Christian School student has recently wrapped up shooting the film, along with producer and former Bomaderry High School student Lizzie Cater.
The film is set in the Jervis Bay region and is a celebration of the South Coast, family diversity, taking risks and once-in-a-lifetime love.
“I wanted to write a film about the diversity of family, and show family dynamics in a positive way but also keep it about normal, human emotions,” Tom said.
“Being raised in a small town with two mums was an enlightening and curious upbringing and I wanted to portray that.”
Both Tom’s mums visited the set during production and watched as pieces of their history unfolded.
“It was pretty surreal, you have characters saying things that my family has been through or said,” Tom said.
“It was hard to make and hard to write but rewarding. My mums were really proud and they both cried a lot – it was super emotional.”
Tom, 25, and Lizzie, 32, met during their childhood. Their mums were best friends and the pair developed a sibling-like relationship.
Lizzie said she “wanted to be an actor a million years ago” and Tom began began films at the tender age of 12.
The two started making films together three years ago and stepped into familiar territory.
“What’s great is that we also have this shorthand kind of relationship happening,” Lizzie said.
“We’re two sides of the same coin.”
Tom began writing The Greenhouse in 2016. After an ‘intense period of incubation’ during his master degree, filming began on the project in March this year.
Despite battling one of the wettest months on record, they managed to finish the film thanks to the generosity of locals.
‘We had a lot of the cast accommodated in houses in the area for free, local mums bringing us baked goods, restaurants shouting us meals, it was just amazingly beautiful and it saved our lives,” Lizzie said.
The film will be finished by October and plans for a local screening are in place. Tom and Lizzie are also hoping to see it hit festival screens and indie cinemas across the world.
Their dream doesn’t end there however. The pair hope to start their own production company and support other marginalised people in the industry.
“It’s especially hard for women and gay people so we want to really make a presence in the industry in Australia,” Tom said.
Tom Wilson – Film writer
Lizzie Cater – Producer
Daniel Bolt – Cinematographer
Ellen Stanistreet – Costume designer
Camilla Ah Kin – Main mum