After finishing their final HSC exam, Ethan and his best mates commemorate their final night out together.
Set in their hometown of Newcastle, the group celebrate, immersing themselves in the chaotic traditions of a teenage Aussie 18th.
As the night unfolds, the boy's friendship is tested as inevitably, nothing goes to plan.
Cameron Utiger, a 24 year old writer and director, has been inspired by the film industry since he was 10 years old.
“Ever since I was about 10 years old I’ve always wanted to make films and videos, any sort of media to do with the moving image, I made a ton of little YouTube videos and things for myself but when I was about 20 I thought it was time to put my creativity into something bigger”.
Throughout his high school years Cameron has been recording commemorable moments he has shared with his best mates.
"Since I was about 16 I've been writing down all the funny and memorable experiences my best mates and I have lived through during our adolescence. This is the basis of the film and almost everything you see on screen happened in one way or another".
With his passion for film, past experience and a plethora of nostalgia on hand, Cameron began collating these memories into a cohesive story throughout the COVID pandemic lockdowns of 2019.
Over this period, whilst working and studying, Cameron saved a considerable amount of the film's budget and with generous support raised a further contribution via crowdfunding platform Kickstarter by the end of January 2020.
Pre-production began with COVID restrictions looming. Cameron conducted many interviews via Zoom to create a team, taking on local production company Tommirock Studios and choosing a range of actors from across Australia.
After watching the film Superbad when I was younger I was inspired by writers Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg who’s personal experiences much of the film was based on.
Inspired, I began to jot down all the funny stories and experiences of my best mates growing up in Newcastle.
I feel like, in an Australian context, there aren’t a lot of coming of age stories set from 2010 onwards. Most, including ‘Puberty Blues’ and ‘Breathe’, are set in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
With that in mind I thought it was time to build on these stories and create a film. With a notebook full of nostalgia, I thought it was time to flesh out my experiences and create a story.
I felt like a high schooler’s perspective in a modern Australian context was needed. The Film Cooked is inspired by the events captured across my adolescence and is a story I believe most young Australians will resonate with.