Occupation is a 2018 Australian science fiction action film, directed and written by Luke Sparke, with additional dialogue by Felix Williamson.
A sequel, Occupation: Rainfall, was released in 2021.
A group of Aussies form a resistance army after their small Australian country town is enslaved by an extra-terrestrial force. Together they form the human rebellion in a battle for the survival of their group. They progressively find more members to join and form a small community in the Australian bush. Finally they team up with the remnants of the Australian army for the final conflict that will have a drastic impact on not only them but the whole world.
- Dan Ewing as Matt Simmons.
- Temuera Morrison as Peter Bartlett.
- Rhiannon Fish as Vanessa.
- Stephanie Jacobsen as Amelia Chambers.
- Trystan Go as Marcus Chambers.
- Zachary Garred as Dennis.
- Felix Williamson as Seth.
- Izzy Stevens as Bella Bartlett.
- Charles Mesure as Arnold.
- Charles Terrier as Jackson.
- Jacqueline McKenzie as Colonel Grant.
- Aaron Jeffery as Major Davis.
- Erin Connor as Jenny Bartlett.
- Bruce Spence as Alien Leader.
- Rhylan Bush as Samuel Bartlett.
- Roy Billing as Town Mayor.
Occupation was independently financed by SparkeFilms. The film was written, cast and financed in only six months. The film was cast solely by the producers, who negotiated the roles with each individual agent in order to keep the film as universal as possible.
Filming and Locations
The six-week shoot took place between May 2017 to July 2017, with locations on Queensland’s Gold Coast and in northern New South Wales.
The film employed over 150 locals as extras for the scenes involving the Australian rules match between the Kookaburras and the Drop Bears at Murwillumbah Showgrounds.
Post production was completed in early 2018, with the post houses Byron Bay-based Cumulus VFX, Vancouver’s CVD VFX and the UK’s Nvisible providing the VFX.
Occupation had its world premiere at the Ritz Cinema in Randwick, New South Wales on 10 July 2018. It was then released Australia-wide on 12 July. The film was released in the United States on 20 July 2018.
The film made worldwide box office sales of $35,111, and an estimated total sale of $820,000.
A sequel entitled Occupation: Rainfall was released on 28 January 2021, with Dan Ewing and Temuera Morrison returning and Daniel Gillies and Ken Jeong joining the cast. In September of 2020, it was announced that Jason Isaacs had joined the cast of the sequel, which was in post-production at the time of the news.
The budget of this film was reportedly about three times that of the original (AU$6 million versus AU$20/25 million).
- The opening narration is a Ronald Reagan speech to the UN (United Nations).
- The town’s football team are called the Dropbears.
- Dropbears are a fictional predatory creature said to resemble a koala which drop from trees onto human victims.
- They are generally used as an in-joke on tourists.
- The “alien” crop being cultivated is an East Asian fruit called the fingered citron, also known as Buddha’s Hand.
- When Matt Simmons (Dan Ewing) is rescuing the cargo of humans, he quotes a line by Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) from ‘The Terminator’ (1984), which was repeated in every sequel: ”Hello Earthlings, come with me if you want to live.”
- The movie’s story-line within the film takes place over the course of three days.
- Cast members Bruce Spence and Temuera Morrison, well known Australian and New Zealand actors respectively, both previously appeared in one other film, another science-fiction blockbuster, ‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith‘ (2005).
- According to ‘Inside Film’, ”taking on board the feedback from distributors and audiences at test screenings, the director [Luke Sparke] tightened the narrative by deleting 10-15 minutes.”
- The final running time is about two hours down from about 135 minutes.
- The film’s bigger-budgeted sequel ‘Occupation: Rainfall‘ (2020) runs a couple of minutes shy of 130 minutes.
Production & Filming Details
- Luke Sparke.
- Alex Becconsall … associate producer.
- Carly Imrie … producer.
- Carmel Imrie … producer.
- Geoff Imrie … executive producer.
- Russell Sharp … executive producer.
- Luke Sparke … executive producer.
- Luke Sparke … (written by).
- Felix Williamson … (additional dialogue).
- Christopher Elves … (original score by).
- Tony O’Loughlan.
- David Napier.
- Luke Sparke.
- SparkeFilms History Design.
- Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2018) (Germany) (all media).
- Pinnacle Films (2018) (Australia) (theatrical).
- Indywood Distribution Network (IDN) (2018) (India) (all media) (SAARC Rights).
- Saban Films (2018) (USA) (all media).
- Release Date: 25 May 2018 (Monster Fest Travelling Sideshow, Australia).
- Rating: 15.
- Running Time: 119 minutes.
- Country: Australia.
- Language: English.