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Podcast – Natalie Erika James: making debut feature Relic

Relic director Natalie Erika James discusses moving from short films to features, support from Hollywood, and advice.

Director Natalie Erika James on the set of feature film Relic

Natalie Erika James on the set of Relic

Find this episode of the Screen Australia Podcast on iTunes, SpotifyStitcher or Pocket Casts

The wheels were first set in motion for Natalie Erika James’ feature directorial debut Relic just after graduation from film school.

Producers Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw from Carver Films had seen James’ graduate short Tritch at VCA (Victorian College of the Arts) and asked about feature project ideas. The one that James gave them wasn’t Relic, but four years later when she began co-writing the horror feature they reconnected.

Other names have since joined the list of producers – including Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker, whose production company Nine Stories came on board. Meanwhile Anthony and Joe Russo (Avengers: Endgame) are listed as Executive Producers, and James says their independent production company AGBO “essentially co-financed with Screen Oz and Film Vic”.

After a world premiere at Sundance Film Festival in January 2020, the feature is now set to premiere exclusively in Australia on Stan from 10 July as a Stan Original Film.

Throughout the latest episode of the Screen Australia podcast, James talks through the development process and the evolution of Relic, including the significance of making the short film Creswick as a proof of concept for the feature. James also talks about an Indiewire article that helped her get traction in the US; what funding from Gender Matters: Brilliant Stories, Screen Australia and Film Victoria enabled them to do; and what she learned as a director’s attachment to Leigh Whannell on his 2018 feature Upgrade.

While discussing short films as a proof of concept, James also references Screen Australia’s Hot Shots Plus program. Please note this program has since closed, however filmmakers can apply to develop their feature idea through a proof of concept through the Generate and Premium Development funding strands. See here for more.

James co-wrote Relic with Christian White, and it stars Emily Mortimer and Bella Heathcote as a mother and daughter who travel back to the remote family home after the disappearance of widowed matriarch Edna (played by Robyn Nevin). When Edna returns she seems changed, and her daughter and granddaughter start to question if what they thought were symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are actually something else entirely.

For feedback about this episode, please email [email protected]

*Language warning: this episode contains some mature language*

Subscribe to Screen Australia Podcast on iTunes, SpotifyStitcher or Pocket Casts

Audio Transcript

[00:00:05] Caris Bizzaca Welcome to the Screen Australia podcast. I'm Caris Bizzaca, a journalist with Screen Australia's online publication Screen News. On this episode of the podcast, we're joined by Natalie Erika James, the director and co-writer of the psychological horror film Relic, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and which Australians can see on Stan from July 10. Relic marks Natalie's feature film debut and she talks through the development of the idea; how she made a short film as a proof of concept and the benefits that brought; how Jake Gyllenhaal and the Russo brothers got involved and some of the things she learnt from the feature filmmaking process. Remember, you can subscribe to the Screen Australia podcast through iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify. Or if you subscribe to the fortnightly Screen Australia newsletter, we'll send you all the latest episodes, as well as any updates from the local screen industry. For feedback about this episode, please email [email protected]. Now here's the chat with Relic director and co-writer Natalie Erika James.

[00:01:11] Caris Bizzaca So Natalie welcome to the Screen Australia podcast.

[00:01:14] Natalie Erika James Thanks for having me.

[00:01:15] Caris Bizzaca And a bit of background first, Relic is your first feature but what are some of the other projects that you've worked on over the years, particularly shorts and things like that?

[00:01:28] Natalie Erika James Yeah, prior to shooting Relic, I'd really only done a bunch of short films, music videos and commercials as well. So I worked in advertising for a little bit. I had one short that was Screen Australia funded called Drum Wave, which we shot a couple of years ago. But everything else was, all the shorts were kind of done off my own back and as you do, you know, pulling favours from friends, that kind of thing.

[00:01:53] Caris Bizzaca And so Relic being your debut feature, for anyone that maybe isn't familiar with the story, in a nutshell, what's it about?

[00:02:02] Natalie Erika James Yeah, sure. Relic is a psychological horror film about essentially a family in which the grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer's and a manifestation of that Alzheimer's is kind of invading the family home. So, you know, the plot follows a family in which the grandmother goes missing. And so the mother and granddaughter have to go to her remote town to search for her. And she comes back a few days later, but she comes back a bit changed. So it's about trying to figure out whether something supernatural is going on or if it's merely the Alzheimer's.

[00:02:42] Caris Bizzaca And how did the concept for this story come about in the first place?

[00:02:48] Natalie Erika James Yeah, it came about specifically on a trip I took to Japan to visit my grandmother. And on this particular trip, it was the first time she couldn't remember who I was, which obviously, you know, I felt really guilty about not having gone to see her more frequently and in combination with those feelings, the fact that she lived in this quite creepy old Japanese house that I was really scared of as a kid growing up because I used to spend all my summers there. And so I think staying in that house and observing all these changes that she'd gone through, those two things kind of coalesced and that was really the starting point.

[00:03:30] Caris Bizzaca Yeah. Okay. And so this was one of the 45 projects that received development funding through Gender Matters: Brilliant Stories. Was that the first kind of development funding you'd applied for? And what did that funding enable you to do with this project?

[00:03:48] Natalie Erika James Yeah, I think I had gone for some, I think I'd applied for Hot Shots previously, so it was probably the second thing I'd gone for… applied unsuccessfully by the way.

[00:04:01] Caris Bizzaca Hot Shots was the short film fund?

[00:04:07] Natalie Erika James Where you know, you get funding for your short as well as a first draft for a feature. So, I luckily had some producers on board, Carver Films, who I'd met kind of just after film school. They saw my graduate short at VCA and they were kind of like, oh, do you have any feature projects? And at the time I really had nothing but wanting to work with them I was like, ‘yeah, sure, I've got I've got ideas’ and kind of handed in this treatment to them that they very rightfully passed on. But then four years later, I was starting to write Relic and we reconnected so it was great to have them to guide the process. But, yeah, we went for Gender Matters funding together, and it allowed us, I think we already had the first draft, but it allowed us to write the second draft and gain momentum for the project in general.

[00:04:59] Caris Bizzaca Yeah. And Carver Films, the two producers that are involved with Carver Films are Anna McLeish…?

[00:05:07] Natalie Erika James Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw.

[00:05:08] Caris Bizzaca And you then got Gender Matters: Brilliant Stories. What were the next steps after that in developing this project?

[00:05:17] Natalie Erika James Yeah I guess we, I mean to give you a sense of the timeline, I would have started writing it at the end of 2014 with Christian White, we started writing the first full length feature in earnest in 2015 I would say. And then by the time we shot it, it was late 2018. So that's probably, you know, at least three to four years of development and yeah, I think a lot of it was going between Screen Australia and Film Victoria for rounds of funding. We also worked with a script editor in that process as well. And then I think it was at one of the Cannes Film Festival markets that Carver started taking the project out and gauging initial interest which was really positive. And then because we made a short film called Creswick as a proof of concept, it actually worked really well for us in the sense that we were able to take it out to genre festivals and I guess it allowed us to get a bit of attention on the project. That was around the time when I signed with US representation as well and I think that really opened a door to a whole bunch of other potential producing partners and financiers as well. So, yeah, from there, if you want me to get into specifics, Nine Stories, which is Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker's company. They came on board I would say late development. We probably did like one or two drafts with them. They were awesome because they responded to the script in a way that felt very consistent with what we wanted to make. And a lot of companies that we talked to were very keen to push the horror element of it. And were more about like, let's put more horror set pieces in here, whereas they, I think, really appreciated the more psychological drama element of it as well. So, yeah, and they were really great with casting as well, because obviously they have their own relationships in the US so that was really useful. And then the Russo brothers’ company AGBO came on board once…. I think we had Aussie funding as well around that time. So they essentially co-financed with Screen Aus and Film VIC.

[00:07:48] Caris Bizzaca Okay, great. And so just to get a bit of a sense of that timeline, so you had the short film. You said it went to a bunch of genre festivals. I heard there was also an article in Indiewire that really helped with.

[00:08:03] Natalie Erika James Oh yeah. You have done your research. Yeah, that's right. There was an Indiewire article that was the top five shorts to watch at Fantasia Film Festival and I started getting just random people contacting me from that [which was] probably something to do with the American or North American publication. So that was a great bridge.

[00:08:26] Caris Bizzaca Okay. So when you said people were starting to get in contact after that point, is that when Jake Gyllenhaal's production company reached out?

[00:08:38] Natalie Erika James No, that was when more like representation, you know, you start getting calls from like managers and potential agents. So you do the rounds of having meetings with everyone and it kind of feels vaguely like dating. It's like, how can you know from one meeting?! But it was great. I’m so happy with the agents that I signed with who are still my agents today. And they're just, like our tastes are so aligned and that sense of people who are really going to fight for you [and] I think that's pretty rare.

[00:09:12] Caris Bizzaca And then with, because you did said the Russo brothers. And so for anyone that is listening who doesn't know who they are, they made this little film called Avengers: Endgame as well as a bunch of other Marvel movies and other credits. So Anthony and Joe Russo. But you said that they came on board after Jake Gyllenhaal's production company. Was it through connection with that? And then what role do they play as executive producers on Relic?

[00:09:45] Natalie Erika James It was after Nine Stories came on board that AGBO films (which is the Russo brother’s company) that they jumped on to finance the film. It's quite funny because you go to LA and you do all these, they call them general meetings.

[00:10:01] Caris Bizzaca Are they the water bottle meetings?

[00:10:04] Natalie Erika James Like the water bottles meetings. Essentially, just like talking generally with people and building rapport for future projects, that kind of thing. So I thought going into the meeting that it was a general meeting. And they weren't aware, they thought Relic was already financed, when in fact it was a potential kind of pitch meeting. And maybe that worked in my favour because I was just kind of talking generally about the film in a very conversational tone and it was nothing to do with you know the feeling of like, ‘oh, please fund my film’. So they were really great. It was like a very quick turnaround in terms of how they made an offer and it was kind of green lit from there essentially which is pretty incredible. In terms of their involvement, I think the script was far advanced enough that they didn't really do any drafts with us or anything like that. But they sent over an exec who was on set with us for the duration of the shoot. And you have a bit of reservation about that sort of thing - you kind of feel like they're sending over like a minder or spy or something like that. But we really lucked out in that - I'm sure all that stuff happens, but for us, he was just a lovely guy who everyone got along with and he was just there as support really. There was never any interruption to anything on set. So I feel quite lucky in that sense. But essentially, they would have been like watching rushes in the first week and just making sure things were like running smoothly and then their involvement was really probably more pronounced in post. So as a director, you get your however many weeks it is - seven to 10 weeks - by yourself and with the editor, and then you start to get producer's notes and that kind of thing. But I have so much respect for those guys. I think that it's amazing to have EPs who are directors themselves because often their notes come with potential solutions, which is not something that you always get. You know, sometimes it's just people presenting you with problems and then they just kind of go ‘make it more, you know, make it funnier’ or whatever it is. Whereas, yeah, these guys really just know their craft so well. And it was more about helping you achieve what you wanted to say. So in that way it was a long process but I think overall they brought so much to it. And I think in making that company, it was their intention to nurture emerging voices. And I think to their credit they 100% did that.

[00:12:52] Caris Bizzaca Yeah, great. And, you know, talking about learning from other directors and things like that, you were director's attachment, as far as I know, on Leigh Whannell's 2018 feature Upgrade. What were some of the things that you learnt on that project that maybe you were able to bring to Relic? 

[00:13:15] Natalie Erika James Good question. I loved being on that set, it was great. Leigh was really generous with his time as well and was really open with me about the experience and the challenges, all that kind of thing. I felt like the biggest thing I learnt was more, for me it wasn't as much the hard skills of like actually giving notes to an actor or the shots or anything like that. It was more in getting a sense of the scope of a project like that and the pressures that are on the director and the expectations. And so having that experience I think, was invaluable because it prepared me to know what to expect for my own shoot. I also felt like Upgrade was perfect for me because it had so many of the genre elements that Relic has in terms of like a set build and prosthetics and VFX and all that kind of thing. So I definitely learnt a lot about the process behind those things, and especially on that kind of scale, what's involved. And happily, like a lot of the crew that were on Upgrade I got on with and were able to use on Relic as well. So our stunt coordinator was the same and our prosthetics guy's the same so that was all really useful.

[00:14:39] Caris Bizzaca And when you said scope, like it helped you with the scope of approaching Relic, do you ever feel like it seems that the trajectory for feature filmmakers is short films to then a feature, but depending on the length of your short film, that can be quite a jump. Is that kind of what you meant by scope, being able to see that?

[00:15:03] Natalie Erika James Yeah, I think so. And I think there's certain, I guess, structures that are in place on a feature film that you don't get on a short film because the crews are much smaller. There's not as much budget. Of course there's not as much budget.

[00:15:21] Caris Bizzaca People are doubling up on roles and things. Because you edited some of yours right?

[00:15:25] Natalie Erika James Exactly. Yeah. So, you know, you are forced to wear multiple hats, whereas yeah, I guess I mean scope in terms of just how certain things are done. Like there's just processes. Like traditionally you have a table read and you don't necessarily do that for a short film. So just going through those kind of, they sound quite banal, but the practical side of things made me know what to expect. And I think as well, working with EPs (Executive Producers), because he also had, you know, it was a Goalpost Pictures film but he also had Blumhouse there as well. And they flew [and EP] in, during preproduction, to kind of check in as well as like Universal too. So in a sense, like those kinds of pressures, which I don't think are hard skills that you have as a filmmaker but it's certainly a part of the job. So that's kind of what I felt like I had an insight into that was really useful.

[00:16:35] Caris Bizzaca Yeah, definitely. And, you know, I'm keen to talk about with Relic, particularly the sound design and the score, because they seem to play such a huge part, particularly in genre films. And when it came to your role as a director and working with a sound designer and also the composer, how does that collaboration work? You know, does one come before the other? And how much you kind of giving them an idea of what you're after?

[00:17:04] Natalie Erika James Yeah, we started, we had a composer in LA and a sound designer in Sydney, but they worked I would say quite closely together in that they both individually recorded sounds and had a master sort of library to work from but they also shared that library as well. So it wasn't like we had the picture and they just started from there. We definitely in preproduction were already kind of playing around with certain sounds. And I think we pinpointed specific things that we knew were going to be very unique or needed to have a very specific kind of effect. I guess like the presence of the house that, you know, that seems to breathe, that sound was something that we found very early.

[00:17:53] Caris Bizzaca The creaking and everything.

[00:17:55] Natalie Erika James Right, right, yeah. So that was just Rob, my sound designer in a double storey house just freaking himself out in the middle of the night.

[00:18:03] Caris Bizzaca I was going to say that library of sounds would be very creepy to just go through and listen

[00:18:09] Natalie Erika James Totally. Kind of wonderful. And like one of the sounds that is used in the film, it's in the scene where Edna makes Kay look under the bed and her head's kind of turning and there's like a screeching nails on chalkboard noise. That was just a sound I found on my iPhone in my memos that was like labelled 'creepy sound'.  Apparently that's the type of person I am. But I had no memory of recording [it] and I just found it and we were like, oh, great, perfect. So it's a pretty loose process, I would say. But it's great because they used the same library, when we pulled it all into the sound mix it was all very cohesive.

[00:18:56] Caris Bizzaca And you're obviously mentioning some of the characters there with Kay and Edna and Sam and obviously pulled together a great cast with the three kind of key cast. So it's Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote and Robyn Nevin. At what point did the cast get involved and how did you find that experience, working with the actors on set?

[00:19:20] Natalie Erika James So the casting process is probably, it would have been after AGBO came on board as financiers and essentially when we knew that everything was going to go ahead and so we would have started that then. They were all so incredible. I felt very lucky in that they all really trusted me or they really seemed to be on board with what the film was trying to do. I don't think any of them really thought about the fact that it was a horror film too much. And I really appreciated that their approach to it was just, it was just like more about the drama and the emotional kind of through line of each character. They all got along really well as well. I mean, it's so emotionally taxing to shoot a horror film because there are such extreme kind of scenes in there. I think Bella had to cry for about three or four days straight. So she definitely had to dredge up some personal shit. We are all joking that we'd have to go and do a comedy after the film just because it was so emotionally taxing at times. But yeah, I feel quite lucky.

[00:20:42] Caris Bizzaca And the other thing being you said how a horror film can be quite taxing on the cast, so as a director, how does that impact the way that the set is and the tone of the set? Do you find that you're trying to bring levity or are you trying to keep the set within that maybe ‘less-light’ tone?

[00:21:06] Natalie Erika James For me, generally speaking, I prefer a much more, I just prefer a fun laid-back set. Not in the sense that we're not being productive but that everyone's getting along and everyone's cracking jokes. And it's just a little bit more of a positive atmosphere. Certainly for the big scenes where they're having to be in a certain emotional state, we made a conscious effort to make sure the crew were respectful. We had some scenes where just by the nature of the sets, we were able to kind of, I suppose, keep it… like not a closed set, but just at least like a smaller presence in the room [with the crew]. So, yeah, I think those things are really important. And I mean, all three of them have such an amazing sense of humour that I think overall there were certainly lots of jokes on set. But I think there's a difference when you're doing those scenes that require them to stay in a certain state.

[00:22:07] Caris Bizzaca And we were talking about the short film that led to Relic a bit earlier, Creswick. How significant do you think it was in creating a short film as a proof of concept for then the feature?

[00:22:26] Natalie Erika James Yeah for me I think there is real value in it. It just, it acts as a calling card for you in a way that, especially when people… like for financiers, they can really see your vision for it. They can see the tone and the craft behind it. And it just means that, I feel like they're just more likely to take that chance because they can see, the physical evidence of it. So I think it's really worthwhile. Like, I would definitely encourage people to do it. And the other thing I would recommend is that you have your, almost like the first draft of your feature down before you make it, because I think what can happen is you have a short film and then you expand it into a feature. But then inevitably, in the process of expanding it, you start to go down different avenues and you might find that the short isn't as much of an accurate kind of representation of the feature as you thought it would be. I mean, that's just what worked for me, that we kind of already had that first draft of Relic down and we knew what we wanted to make, whereas, you know, Drum Wave is kind of the opposite. We made the short film and then now we've written the feature. And certainly I feel like, you know, the feature has expanded and grown in a certain way that is quite separate to what the short was. So I think it would have been more worthwhile if we'd done it the other way around.

[00:24:02] Caris Bizzaca And I was thinking about some other Australian creatives who have made shorts that then became a proof of concept for a feature, you know Jennifer Kent with Monster which became The Babadook. And then you had Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling made Cargo, which then made into the feature Cargo and then with yours. And I was thinking how they're all in that genre or horror space. And I just wondered if you had any thoughts on why it maybe works in horror, maybe because it travels really well overseas or…?

[00:24:38] Natalie Erika James Yeah that could definitely be it. I mean I think there's such a trend of people making really succinct horror shorts that are almost like punchline horror films. You know, it's like it always ends on a scare and you're kind of looking out for that. And it's like one visual gag or motif that is the whole film. And I feel like there's such a trend of big studios kind of chasing those things because, you know, horror can be really profitable. So, maybe there's something in that that they kind of, it has a certain commercial quality and maybe that's why it can be successful to make a short. I think it can be really dangerous as well to try and develop something further when it's something that doesn't necessarily need to be a feature film. But, you know, that's probably another discussion.

[00:25:33] Caris Bizzaca Yeah. Well it worked in all those three cases.

[00:25:37] Natalie Erika James Yes, yeah 10%.

[00:25:39] Caris Bizzaca And can you also tell me a little bit about, because obviously this premiered at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year in 2020, and what that experience was like taking it to a festival like Sundance.

[00:25:54] Natalie Erika James Yeah, I mean such a trip as you'd expect. You know, I feel like a lot of festivals I've been to in the past, you generally have time to meet other filmmakers and see a lot of films. This was not like that at all. It was a lot of press. I think we did two solid days of press where they essentially make you go up and down the main street of Park City and you're kind of herded into these photo studios and you just stand there, smiling and kind of going, ‘what the f***’s going on?!’ And doing these really manic rushed interviews. So, yeah, there's certainly an atmosphere. I mean, it's so cool as well at the same time, just such a surreal rush of emotion. And for me at least, Sundance has been a dream of mine since like my late teens so yeah it definitely has a surreal quality. I was so nervous about screening the film because we hadn't really screened it to a bigger audience than ten or fifteen people in post. So going from that to like five hundred was a massive step up and yeah, I'm not the type of person who can watch their own work without kind of picking up on the mistakes. So it was a little bit painful for me, I'm not going to lie, actually sitting through the film. But it was awesome that the response was so positive and I think the best part about the whole experience was having people come up to me afterwards and share their own experiences with Alzheimer's or losing loved ones, and they seem to really connect with it and it made me feel like I kind of had achieved what I set out to do with the film. So I think that was the most gratifying part of the whole experience.

[00:27:51] Caris Bizzaca Yeah, because when The Babadook was releasing a number of years ago, similarly it has kind of like a psychological horror aspect to it, and Jennifer Kent also mentioned that people when they came up, it was almost like it had been a therapeutic experience for them. So the kind of feedback that you're getting is different from a typical horror.

[00:28:13] Natalie Erika James Yeah definitely. And there's people literally wiping tears away and with still tears in their eyes. And you're like, ‘oh f*** what have I done?’ But also, you know, you've gone through this cathartic experience together or something so yeah it was great.

[00:28:28] Caris Bizzaca And you mentioned the press aspect of it. I've heard actors refer to the press part of filmmaking as the part that maybe no one prepares you for and how relentless it can be. And how have you found that experience of these kind of back-to-back interviews, the amount of press that you do with a feature?

[00:28:52] Natalie Erika James Good question. I feel like that's it - it's very much part of the job and it's lovely to talk to people about the film as well and you kind of are just grateful for the opportunity. And if it gets any attention, that's awesome for the film, it's altogether positive. I think what can be a little bit trying is maybe it's in the repetition and particularly when it's something that's so personal, you just don't want like the importance of it to be diluted by the fact that you have to rephrase it so many times. But, the questions come up because they're good questions. So it's like you completely understand, but I'm sure there's a fatigue that comes along with it as well.

[00:29:44] Caris Bizzaca Yeah there's only so many times that you can answer how you came up with the idea.

[00:29:48] Natalie Erika James Right. But you know, it's true. So what are you supposed to do, like, make up another story?

[00:29:58] Caris Bizzaca And so now the feature is going to Stan in Australia, releasing on Stan. How do you feel about it going on one of the streamers here and having access to that level of audience?

[00:30:11] Natalie Erika James Kind of amazing. And Stan have been so great to work with as well since they jumped on. It's kind of staggering to think about the reach of that audience, which is something I'm really happy about. I feel like, you know, pre Coronavirus, obviously there was a hope to kind of release it theatrically and that would have been the traditional run and probably there's like a bit of a traditionalist in me that kind of hopes for that cinema experience at some point. But I think all things considered, yeah, this is like an amazing opportunity. And it's kind of like best case scenario given the state of the world, so I'm pretty stoked.

[00:30:57] Caris Bizzaca And in terms of advice, what advice would you have for any directors in Australia, particularly directors who might be developing their own an idea for a feature, what kind of advice would you have for them?

[00:31:11] Natalie Erika James I think probably the most valuable thing that I or advice that I was given, was to always... I guess it's something along the lines of making sure you're climbing the right ladder, because I think when you're (and I don't mean that in like a corporate sense), but just in that making sure that everything you're doing is like contributing to where you want to go. I remember when I was at film school, I used to AD a lot for my friends, and when I left school, I was like, okay, I've got to pay rent. Maybe I'll be in an AD for a while, see how that goes. And my lecturer was kind of like, ‘well, I can give you some advice and pointers on how to do that, but do you still want to be a director?’ And I was like, ‘well, yeah’. And she was like, ‘well then, you should direct’. So it sounds really simple, but I really took that to heart and I've certainly done a lot of roles that aren't directing and, you know, worked as a PA (producer’s assistant) or a PM (production manager) or a production coordinator or a director's assistant, you know, have done the gamut of film roles over the years to pay rent, but have always done it in a way in which I can still do those passion projects and still keep directing. And I think, you know, looking back, that's probably how I was able to progress to doing a feature because I had the work to show for it.

[00:32:38] Caris Bizzaca Yeah, definitely. And in terms of next projects, you said that you're developing another of your shorts into a feature?

[00:32:48] Natalie Erika James Yes so this was the project that was funded through Hot Shots. It's a folk horror set in Japan called Drum Wave. And very much like in the vein of the classic The Wicker Man or Rosemary's Baby and dealing with, I guess, like fear of motherhood and loss of your self or identity through motherhood.

[00:33:16] Caris Bizzaca Yeah. Great. Well, thanks for joining us on the podcast today. I really appreciate you talking to us all about Relic.

[00:33:22] Natalie Erika James No problem. It was fun. Thanks for having me.

[00:33:26] Caris Bizzaca That was Natalie Erika James, the director and co-writer of Relic, which is streaming on Stan from July 10. For all the latest updates from the local screen industry, remember to subscribe to the fortnightly Screen Australia newsletter, and you can support Australian content by buying it, renting it and streaming it at home. Thanks for listening.