It's the end of the world as we know it and Zak Hilditch feels fine. The Perth director has started work on his first full-length feature, the apocalyptic thriller These Final Hours, and is delighted he's getting the chance to film on home soil.
"It's good to tell a story with some Perth icons and landmarks in it," Hilditch said during a break in shooting in Girrawheen last week. "We're heading to Roleystone (this) week and we've even got Perth Ice Arena in Malaga. It looks very post-apocalyptic."
These Final Hours centres on a self-obsessed young man who makes his way to the party-to-end-
all-parties on the last day on Earth but on his way, he ends up saving the life of a young girl who is searching for her father.
It stars Wolf Creek's Nathan Phillips and local youngster Angourie Rice in the lead roles, along with Dan Henshall (Snowtown), Lynette Curran (The Boys, Somersault) and Sarah Snook (Not Suitable for Children).
Hilditch said the film, which was funded through the State Government's West Coast Visions initiative, was a companion piece to his award-winning short film Transmission.
"I really like films like 12 Monkeys and 28 Days Later that are more focused on the people dealing with the event rather than the event itself," he said. "It's one of those films that's a little personal story blanketed by the big thing that's going on."
Rice, who won the prestigious best actor award at the St Kilda Film Festival in Melbourne this year for her role in Transmission, said she was loving being back on a movie set after spending a year in Germany with her family, telling producers it was "like getting to eat chocolate every day".
These Final Hours will wrap in three weeks and is expected to premiere at next year's Melbourne International Film Festival. Hilditch hopes it will then screen at WA's fast-growing film festival CinefestOz in Busselton.
It is one of a number of much-anticipated projects under way in WA, including Robert Connolly's ambitious adaptation of The Turning and the crime thriller Son of A Gun, directed by Julius Avery and starring Ewan McGregor, which begins production early next year.