We’ve both always loved the coming-of-age genre. It lends itself to beautiful realness, via the vulnerability and energy of its burgeoning characters. Younger viewers can relish in the mirror, while older audiences can insert their own first loves and teenage tears into the narrative and reflect on these times that helped shape who they are.
The premise of About an Age developed from a discussion of how kids can often be unaware of the repercussions of their actions. From the beginning, we knew that we wanted to make a film driven by character and theme, rather than plot or filmic effects. An honest work that took place over one evening, with an ensemble the audience would grow and go deeper with.
We were in our early twenties when we began writing this film in 2008. Already, we had both begun to feel that, for all its many and varied joys, adulthood certainly carries a dullness and weight to it. Paying bills, driving to work, Monday morning rolling around again – there are moments of many adults’ lives that spin into a general forgettable whirlpool. Ironically, we feel, many of these parts of one’s life are the exact same parts a 17 year old might romanticize. Many people of around that age are desperate for the freedom of owning a car, to live in their own house, to wear a suit to work. We wanted to explore adulthood through the rose-coloured glasses of those on its cusp.
Additionally, as an adult, you’re fully aware of the consequences of your actions. This results in considered and hopefully considerate decision-making. But, it also removes the glistening possibility of recklessness that can often characterise teenagehood. It’s much more forgivable to do something a bit dumb without a proper knowledge of what the result might be. Once you learn the likely outcomes, there’s no going back. So, as life experience increases, our ability to acceptably do crazy things decreases.
The film was shot on a rural property in northern Victoria, Australia. One of our favourite things about this film is its setting. We feel that people often weave their favourite coming-of-age films into their memory of childhood. In this way, its easy to feel like we spent some of our time growing up in the USA – lying on the football field from Dazed and Confused, getting through detention in The Breakfast Club, or driving down the streets of Fast Times at Ridgemont High. We are proud to be adding a uniquely Australian recollection to this list.
About An Age lets us relive a time before we were completely aware of consequence, and presents adulthood through the eyes of those who haven’t lived it yet. It is a nostalgic piece that provides an opportunity for each viewer to connect deeply with own their transition through adolescence. And not through an action-packed quest or heightened romance, but a simple night with your best mates.
- Harley Hefford & Evan J Martin