A LAKE Macquarie man’s entry in an international short film contest hosted by Owl City frontman Adam Young has had more than 8 million views.
Justin Parker, 20, of Cooranbong, produced the eight-minute sci-fi thriller, Contact, about a group of friends on a forest camping trip who are hunted down by an alien.
Parker, who is also a budding director, actor, and scriptwriter, moved to Melbourne last year to continue his studies in filmmaking at Swinburne University.
His proud mum, Claire Parker, told Fairfax Media the young Australian team’s success in the Adam Young Scores Short Film Contest had exposed their work to a massive international audience.
“They came second in the contest, and since the results were announced the movie has had 8 million views around the world,” Ms Parker said.
Adam Young is best known as the frontman for the American electronica band, Owl City, who had a big hit in 2009 with the feel-good tune Fireflies.
But Young’s main musical love is writing musical scores for film. In his short-film contest, he challenged fans and aspiring filmmakers from around the world to create films of five- to 10-minute duration which used at least one of his scores.
Parker, director Connor McCrae, and their team used three of Young’s compositions in Contact – the rollicking Spirit of St Louis, as the campers set off on their camping adventure, the tense Miracle in the Andes as contact is made with the alien, and the Twin Peaks-like Apollo 11 in the aftermath of their ordeal.
Ms Parker said her son had a passion for all aspects of movie making, although the role he most cherished for a career was as a director.
“Justin watches at least one movie every day. He’s inspired by a lot of directors, but he’s a big fan of Quentin Tarantino,” she said.
His interest in making movies was sparked when he was in year 8 at Avondale School, Cooranbong.
“The kids that year were the recipients of Kevin Rudd’s rollout of computers, and his computer had a filmmaking program on it, so he started making films then,” Ms Parker said.
Parker shifted to Mackillop Catholic College, at Warnervale, for his senior years.
“He developed his own style and wrote, directed and produced five short films in years 11 and 12,” Ms Parker said.
Parker has since studied with Sydney Film School and completed an acting course run by Hollywood Immersive, at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, in Los Angeles. He returns to Cooranbong whenever he can, and is an active member of the local rural fire service brigade, Ms Parker said.