Sunday, November 15, 2020

Director Luke Sparke Interview (Occupation: Rainfall) © 2020 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod


Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and readers. Blasting on the scene a couple of years ago 'Occupation' is an amazing indie SciFi film from Australia. Director Luke Sparke and his team came up with an innovative and creative tale about the human spirit during an alien invasion. While many films focus on the invasion itself, 'Occupation' focuses on on the people who's lives and world is turned upside down. Occupation is a character driven film in the SciFi genre. Fast forward to 2020, Luke is back with the second film in the series entitled Occupation: Rainfall. The film expands upon the original concept and with a bigger budget and promises more action and intrigue. Luke takes time out of his busy schedule to chat and share his thoughts on the 'Occupation' films. It is time to make it rain!

Danny Templegod: Were you surprised how the reception of the first 'Occupation' film got outside of Australia? If so, chat about some responses that surprised and flattered you and the team.

Luke Sparke: I think as a film maker, you are always going to be surprised by any reception. Good or bad. You make something that you are passionate about and spend every day with, then it gets released to the public and you have no idea what to expect. But yes, getting it on netflix USA was a blessing in that we were suddenly accessible to millions of people a normal indie film like Occupation maybe wouldn't have been.

And the majority of responses were amazing, people 'got' what i was going for, and that's maybe the most satisfactory thing when making a film like that. I think the best reactions were ones that didn't expect a film like this out of Australia. Whether its the cliché 'Croc Dundee' or the Aussie dramas, a lot of people hadn't seen an Australia action film since maybe 'Mad Max'.


DT: Chat about the evolution of the Amelia character as in the first film she was  a more regular lady turned into a reluctant fighter, now she is a seasoned fighter, I am curious what made you decide to use Jet Tranter for the Amelia character, Jet is great I am just thinking it is a natural evolution? Stephany did great in the first one. Had you watched Jet in 'Lady Bloodfight' and 'Tidelands'?

LS: In Occupation, Amelia was a extremely important character. Everyone in that film started from someplace that could be considered quite 'low' and rose into warriors and heroes. So for Amelia going from a waitress in a small town, to someone that could see something more from the Alien invasion was one of the great themes in that show that I wanted to bring along into Rainfall. 

So it's 2 years later and Amelia has become a fighter, but also a voice for the Alien Allies she has discovered. Behind the scenes there's always schedules to worry about and other factors. But I had seen Jet Tranter in 'Tidelands' and thought she would be a great fit into the story going forward and also match some of the other casting that was going on. It works very well. 

DT: Chat about without spoiling the story what makes 'Occupation: Rainfall' a more intense action SciFi film, obviously the budget was higher. Were there some things you could do in the second film that you were unable to in the first film due to budget constraints?

LS: In 'Occupation', I had a very limited budget to get what I wanted done. My early drafts were much bigger in scope to show this full scale ground invasion that I had to trim back to just 'some actors running around the bush'. But even then it grew - Temuera came on board, we expanded some of the ending to show some military and so forth. 

But in 'Rainfall', I went into it saying 'We have to do this right. We have to do this big'. So right from the word go it was a whole new ball game. I wrote the script I wanted and the team set out to make it. It wasn't easy and nearly everyday has been a challenge of some sort. There's been a lot of people come and go until we found the perfect group of people that were the right fit to bring this story to the big screen. The end product is better than I could have hoped for.  



DT: Chat about the importance of strong female characters in 'Occupation' and 'Rainfall'. In general do you think that the Amelia character is like a warrior or a role model for women?

LS: I would hope Amelia is a role model, not only for woman but for men or humanity as a whole. There is a long line of really important female characters in cinema or pop culture, starting back with Princess Leia, Sarah Conner, Ellen Ripley, and I hope Amelia could one day move in under that list somewhere. 

It's great to see films like Captain Marvel or Wonder Woman continuing to bring characters like this to a new generation. I have a young daughter myself, so it is very important to me.    

DT: Chat about some of your science fiction influences specifically for Rainfall. Did it vary from the first film?

LS: My influences varied a little from the first film. The first one was very much my pitch - 'Red Dawn crossed with Independence Day' - and that is what everyone got. 

Rainfall is very different but the tone and the feel is more in line with a Star Wars-type film with elements of Indiana Jones and still some ID4. That's what I feel, but someone else could have another interpretation.    

DT: Did you feel more pressure on part two, with regards to a more complicated and bigger scope of the project?

LS: I felt massive pressure everyday. And even as i write this, we're still updating shots and sounds to make it the best it can be. 

I've written this one where you probably don't need to see 'Occupation'. It stands on it's own with new characters and a much bigger story line and scope. The first was about a town, this one is about the world.  

DT: Chat about how the premieres went for 'Rainfall' in Australia. I am assuming they were all sold out of very close to it.

LS: It's always amazing and terrifying to sit down in a cinema for the first time with an audience. I love it. And it's great this time because I think people were blown away in the first 10 minutes. It's like a ride that doesn't really let up. 

Selling out multiple screens in a number of different cities in the Covid world is very good and hopefully a glimpse of things to come for this film.   

DT: If you had double the budget for 'Rainfall', what would you add to the movie, to make it even more intense?

LS: I don't know what I could add. I'm pretty happy and confident with the film as it stands. Maybe some extra time on the set to let me have more goes at takes? Maybe another 'A list' actor? Who knows. But I'm happy. 

DT: I know it is very early yet, do you have an idea for a part three of 'Occupation'? Have you ever envisioned a Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu series for 'Occupation'?

LS: You'll have to see the ending to this film, is all I can say. 

But yes, I have so many ideas swirling in my head about this world I have created, it's very exciting. I'm hoping with the release of 'Rainfall' I might be able to get in a room with one of the streamers you have mentioned.  

DT: Wrapping up, do you have any other projects slated for later in 2020 or 2021 you are able to discuss?

LS: I've announced 5 - 6 projects we are developing internally. Ranging from action/comedy to a drama to a large TV series with time travel. We'll see which one gets there first, but it's all very exciting. I'll be working every day to make them become a reality, just very, very hard work!

For further information on Luke check out his Official Facebook Page @

Facebook Official Page for Occupation: Rainfall @

IMDB Page for Occupation: Rainfall:

My review for the original 'Occupation' film:


Finally check out the trailer for Occupation: Rainfall!( trailer credit.)

© 2020 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod

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