Written and photographed by her husband David Parker, the film was produced by their
own company, Cascade Films, as was their first, highly successful film, Malcolm. "I
like the combination of writer/cinematographer," says Parker, "it means that
when I visualise something I have written, I can actually go out and find locations that
suit it, and light it just as I want to."
"there's nothing in there I want to change"
As with Malcolm, Tass and Parker provided 30% of the A$2.3 million budget themselves.
The balance came from the Film Finance Corporation.
Tass is "really pleased with the end result...there's nothing in there I want to
change. Which is amazing. But I had a brilliant team of actors and crew, plus we had
"We are stretching the character, not the acting
In particular, Tass is happy with the results of what she calls
"experimentation" with the actors. "What worked is that we have stretched
the characters to the maximum possible, away from the norm, so they're still believable
but you get the most comedy out of it. We are stretching the character, not the acting
Shot in Melbourne, The Big Steal is the story of Danny (Ben Mendelsohn), an 18 year old
who finally plucks up the courage to ask beautiful Joanna (Claudia Karvan) on a date, in a
Jaguar he buys from an over-zealous but under-honest second hand car dealer, Gordon Farkas
(Bisley says he based Farkas on someone in the film industry, "but I think I would
have a writ slapped on me if I said who...")
The car breaks down, and so apparently, does the budding romance. Danny sets about
repairing the damage to both, with funny and frantic results.
"entertaining... fast paced.."
Tim White is again co-producer with Tass and Parker; his job was to keep the film on
budget, and act as sounding board. The film came in on budget, despite expensive all night
shoots for nearly four weeks, and the use of five Jaguars.
White says the film is a comedy "aimed at a very broad base audience. I think
quite obviously there's a teenage market there, but I'd like to think that the story is
entertaining enough, fast paced enough, to appeal to a more mature audience."