The West

WA film man s reel opportunity

In just four days, Alex von Hofmann went from being a burgeoning Perth filmmaker to a director's attachment on a highly anticipated international TV series.

Last week the East Victoria Park creative received a call to say he had been hand-picked by famed director David Petrarca to fly to Malaysia and shadow the TV heavyweight as he films new Netflix show Marco Polo.

The only catch? Von Hofmann had to pack his bags and jet out that same weekend.

But having been a fan of Petrarca's work on series such as Game of Thrones, True Blood and Dawson's Creek, not to mention Netflix's track record of producing hit shows such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, it was an easy decision for the 32-year-old.

"It's going to be massive for my career and my development," von Hofmann told Access All Areas before he flew out.

"(Petrarca) made it really clear to me that when he was young and starting off in his career he had a similar opportunity to shadow an experienced director and it had a huge impact on his career and shaped him as a director. He was saying that I will likely have the same experience, and that's what I am really hoping for."

The opportunity came von Hofmann's way after he was selected as a finalist for ScreenWest's Elevate70 program, which gives one writer/director the chance to receive funding for a short film.

Though he won't be back in Perth for six weeks, the filmmaker said he would continue work on his script, Tide, while in Malaysia in a bid to win the $70,000 boost.

"It could be the short that will project me into feature films so the idea is to make a really high-quality short that is on track with the kind of films I want to make," von Hofman explained.

"For the past couple of years I have been writing feature films. I am currently working on my fourth script and while none of them has been produced, I feel like you have to go through the act of writing a few scripts until you get your chops up."

Von Hofmann has previously found success with his short film Tinglewood, which screened at 35 film festivals, won four WA Screen Awards and was nominated for an Australian Film Institute award several years ago, and he is hoping to find the same widespread acclaim when he makes his big feature- film debut.

"I am quite keen on making my first feature here and then having it get into a big festival or having an international release of some sort," von Hofmann said.

"Eventually I would like to try working overseas."

The West Australian

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