Kent Boswell arrived in New York on Sunday in late August (1999) and by Monday he was
on location in uptown New York, in Pughkeepsi, watching the shoot for The Toxic Avenger 4.
The excitement of being on a feature film set was given edge by the warning from Troma
boss Lloyd Kaufman that he shouldn't stray from the crew - Pughkeepsi is a notorious crack
dealing area. Boswell heeded the warning and is back in Sydney after his excellent
adventure, having lived to tell the tale.
"It was fascinating,"
"It was fascinating," he says. "Lloyd Kaufman is really interesting . .
.his brain is always working." Boswell, an editor on tv commercials for the past five
years at Saatchi & Saatchi in Sydney, found a feature film set very different:
"it's much bigger, much longer. . . " The experience taught him to be
"really well organised for production. And I also had a lot of fun."
Bondi Hop-Head Zombie Freakout was made with Troma's filmmaking ethos uppermost in the
minds of Boswell and his team: it was made specifically for the Graveyard Shift
Competition, and Boswell knew the Troma flavour was appreciated. Bondi Hop Head is as
funny as it is horrific.
But his future as a filmmaker is not glued to the horror genre, Boswell says. In the
short term, though, he is about to make four new short films, as he takes up his
scholarship to the New York Film Academy. The NYFA offers a fast track version of the
famed New York University film course, cramming the maximum into eight weeks, seven days a
week, 16 hours a day. But Boswell is not daunted: "I'm thrilled. It's fabulous to get
He starts the course on October 4, and within 8 weeks he will have shot four films on
16 mm and used the NYFA's excellent facilities.
"It's a Cinderella story,"
But it nearly didn't happen: the cost of the course, complete with fares and film
costs, is around A$12,000, and even when he was accepted - on the strength of his showreel
and a two page application letter - he feared he couldn't take up the place. "I
couldn't afford it…" He rang the film agencies, and he was directed to the
Queen's Trust for Young Australians. "I rang and was told the yearly application
deadline had passed two weeks earlier. But I told them the circumstances and they
suggested I write a letter to the chairman, and they liked that so I was asked to apply
formally, but had a day to do it. The next day they rang and wanted to interview me, and
two days later I got the nod. It's a Cinderella story," he says brightly.