Payload

Stu Willis, Matthew Clayfield

Feature film
Sci-Fi • Thriller

During the final evacuation of Earth, a guilt-stricken people smuggler makes a deal to send a young girl to safety.

Synopsis

We are evacuating Earth. For twenty years, humanity has prepared for The Long Grey, an impending super volcanic eruption that will plunge the planet into a winter of unknowable scale. Earth’s resources are being strip-mined and sent off-world. Entire populations have taken to the skies. Women and children were amongst …

About Stu Willis

Stuart tells stories about people at war with themselves. An award-winning writer and director of elevated genre, he strives to make content that is thematically rich, has great characters, amazing visuals, authentic humanity, and is great entertainment — its why he’s so drawn to genre.
PAYLOAD (the feature and story world) is a successor to Stuart’s early short film of the same name.  The film screened at numerous (20+) international festivals and was released online in 2012 to immediate acclaim including Short of the Week, TwitchFilm, io9 and many others. At last count it was seen in over 150 different countries. It is currently streaming on SVOD-service, Amazon Prime.

2018 sees Stuart working with co-writer Matthew Clayfield and mentor Vicki Madden on REVERSION: a sci-fi crime thriller about a white female police detective who goes undercover in the body of a black man. Development is supported by Screen Australia.

In 2017, Stuart was nominated for an ADG Award for Best Direction in an Online Drama Project for RESTORATION. RESTORATION, a cerebral sci-fi thriller, was released on the Nine Network, and then on Stan. Structured to be both a web-series and a tele-feature, Stuart co-wrote the script with Matthew Clayfield and directed. RESTORATION was Highly Commended in the John Hinde Award (produced category) and was nominated for a 2015 AWGIE for Best Comedy/Drama (Other Form). It has picked up awards and nominations in all categories. More information can be found at restorationfilm.com.

Stuart was supported by Scripted Ink to be a participant in the writer’s room for Alexi Mizin and Ryan van Dijk’s MERIDIAN. He was part of Sweet Potato Film’s (The Kettering Incident) writers room for their techno-thriller web series, Save Gave; and the writer’s room for new superhero comedy, The Elementals. He was a speaker at the AWG’s National Screenwriter’s Conference in March 2016.
Earlier, Stuart undertake a FilmVictoria Director’s Placement on HUNTERS, a Valhalla Entertainment production, with the Producing-Director, Emile Levisetti.With the support of Arts Victoria & the VCA, Stuart undertook a year-long mentorship with renowned script developer, Stephen Cleary.

Stuart is a Masters graduate of the VCA School of Film and Television.

About Matthew Clayfield

Meet Matthew Clayfield. He’s been on the frontline of the Mexican drug war in Ciudad Juarez and the battle against ISIS in Iraq, in the thick of anti-Putin protests in Russia and anti-Trump ones at the G7 meeting in Sicily, and in some of the most dangerous parts of Chechnya, the Balkans, Turkey, the West Bank and South Africa. He’s been kicked by Spanish riot police, tear-gassed by Italian ones, and has seen the black flags coming towards him. He’s a boots-on-the-ground kind of guy.
His work in conflict and post-conflict zones has given him first-hand experience of humanity at its best, worst and most extreme, while his travels generally have taught him empathy, the ability to think oneself into another’s shoes. It may not be the same as having your mind downloaded into a different body—but it’s bloody close.
Matt wrote the screenplay for the 2015 comedy LORD JONES IS DEAD, which looked at the absurdity of the daily newspaper grind, and co-wrote the sci-fi film RESTORATION with director Stuart Willis. He also wrote the short films FROG (2009) and HOW MY NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR DISCOVERED LIFE ON MARS (2005), the latter of which has screened on every continent in the world, including Antarctica. His experimental documentary FIRELIGHT, about street artists in Brisbane and their resistance to corporate advertising, premiered at the Brisbane International Film Festival in 2006.
His forthcoming projects include THE DEBT COLLECTOR, a bloody revenge thriller currently in post-production, which he co-wrote with the enfant terrible of Australian independent filmmaking Richard Wolstencroft; the spec fic novella WELCOME TO ROSEVILLE, about an authoritarian micronation on the Western Australian coast; and the novel A DEATH IN PHNOM PENH, about drink-soaked expatriates in Southeast Asia. He’s also developing two television projects, an alt-historical Western, THE MAN FROM WESTRALIA, and a neo-noir, BLACK CASUARINA; working on a non-fiction book about the history of mankind’s relationship with Satan; and is two chapters into a webcomic, THE TYGER, about the political uses of fear.
He has worked as a freelance foreign correspondent in more than fifteen countries, specialising in first-person narrative journalism, political commentary and travel writing. His journalism has appeared in The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Saturday Paper, The Guardian Australia, The Monthly, and more. He was a staff reporter with The Australian between 2008 and 2010 and a reporter at ABC Radio Current Affairs between 2016 and 2017. He was a shortlisted finalist for Young Journalist of the Year in the 2009 News Limited News Awards.
Stu Willis Screenwriter
SCREENWRITER
Stu Willis
Matthew Clayfield Screenwriter
SCREENWRITER
Matthew Clayfield