Interview with White Lies filmmaker Greg Moran shares the truth about making his new comedy, White Lies, News

Interview with White Lies filmmaker Greg Moran shares the truth about making his new comedy, White Lies

Sydney local Greg Moran is a writer, director and producer, as well as a motivational speaker and comedian, who shares his journey since becoming a C3/4 quadriplegic at 15 years old in a humorous and inspiring way. We spoke to Greg ahead of White Lies World Premiere at Flickerfest.

White Lies - Best of Australian Shorts 7 - Wednesday 25th Jan, 9pm


Congratulations on having your film White Lies selected to screen at the 31st Flickerfest International Short Film Festival. What were some of the challenges you faced making this short?

Thank you. I felt very honoured to have our film selected for such a prestigious festival. I always learn a lot from any new production and White Lies was no exception and had many challenges. Finding locations that are both suitable and accessible is always challenging but one of my biggest challenges with White Lies was casting the role of 12-year-old Melissa. 

I hadn’t previously worked with such a young actor before, and we looked at over 120 applicants from a range of sources before we found Kyra. It was very important that we had the right father-daughter on screen chemistry as this was central to the success of the film, and I was very happy with the result. It was also an interesting challenge effectively communicating with such a diverse range of actors.


White Lies was created under the banner of your production company Left Field productions. Can you tell us about what motivated you to create the company?

I created it primarily to produce my own projects. I currently have several projects in development. Some that I have written on my own and others that I have developed with my writing partner Xavier Coy. 

Our projects include a black comedy road trip feature film called Shifting Gears about a quadriplegic and his bipolar nephew travelling to Broome, and a feature film about the Sandakan Death March, where my great uncle perished in World War II. Longer-term I would also like to branch out further and produce things with other creative practitioners. So to further develop my producing skills I will be commencing my masters in producing at AFTRS in 2023.


The representation of stories of people living with disabilities on screen has significantly increased in recent years. What more do you think can be done in the industry for there to be continued equal opportunities for people with disabilities both behind and in front of the camera?

Yes, the film industry and society in general has come a long way and there are many great initiatives in place to support and promote people with disabilities.

I think one of the biggest things is for people not to underestimate people with disabilities, and to be open to and willing to help overcome any of the obstacles they may face to be involved in productions. It is a very challenging and competitive industry but unless people are given opportunities they are not going to get better at their craft.

I personally would like to see more stories on screen regarding some of the struggles faced by people with disabilities, to help create greater empathy and understanding, and ultimately, more positive social acceptance and change. But the stories don’t have to all be doom and gloom – comedy can also be a great vehicle for this.

When the story is specifically about disability I also feel that we should be careful not to box people with disabilities in and limit their contribution to a project.

Film and television production is such a collaborative process and all projects, regardless of their central focus, can benefit by having a diverse group of practitioners contribute to their making. 


Writing and directing comedy is not easy – and your film lands quite a few comedic punches. Can you tell us a bit about your approach to writing and directing comedy?

When it comes to writing comedy, I think it’s essential to know the genre well and to be clear about the comic tone for your story. When it comes to directing, choosing your key collaborators carefully is essential and probably the most important part of the process. 

You need to be surrounded by people who understand the humour and what you’re trying to achieve. Casting is obviously a crucial component of this, and it is also essential to have a good D.O.P and editor with a similar sense of humour who understand the comic tone you are aiming for.


You mentioned that finding accessible locations is difficult. What changes to the industry or more broadly do you think could be made to address this?

Obviously the more accessible locations there are the better but often there is not much you can do, it’s just the nature of the beast. Budget constraints will dictate a lot of what you can do, and you often need to think outside the square to come up with a workable solution. Changes in technology have helped a lot and can enable you to do some things remotely or in a studio if it is appropriate and you have the budget.


Has making this film given you any ideas about where you would like to take your career next?

It has confirmed my love for producing and directing and meeting the challenges within the roles.


You have also been accepted into the Masters of Arts Screen: Producing at AFTRS next year. What is it that you love about producing?

I love the creative and collaborative side of producing. It is great to be a part of a project from start to finish and to have input on the story development. Being a producer gives you more agency and potential to get your own projects made as well as exciting opportunities to collaborate with others. There are also always unexpected challenges cropping up to keep you on your toes.


Learn more about Greg

White Lies: When his well-intentioned lies to get his daughter a scholarship escalate and spiral out of control, Dave has to choose between having money and power, and being a good role model for his daughter. Full of hilarious cameos from Channel 7 Morning Show favourites Kylie Gillies and Larry Emdur.

White Lies - Best of Australian Shorts 7 - Wednesday 25th Jan, 9pm

Images: 1. Greg Moran. Photography by Mary Jane Coy, 2. Greg Moran on the set White Lies. Photography by Lynda Mills

Go Back