Private Project


Things are heating up, and it’s not just the casserole...

Louise is invited to bring a dish to a ladies’ brunch and eagerly seizes the opportunity to put to rest her microwave dinner reputation. Her attempt to impress and outwit the other brunch guests results in an acute and disastrous descent in table etiquette. Finally, shrouded in the shame of her wayward casserole, Louise confesses her deceit.

  • Claudia Pickering
  • Claudia Pickering
    Winning Formula, Dead Broke
  • Claudia Pickering
    Frisky, Winning Formula, Dead Broke
  • Emma Leonard
    Key Cast
    800 Words (TV), Vulnerable, Dealing with Destiny, Home and Away (TV), Underbelly (TV), All Saints (TV)
  • Adam Spencer
    Key Cast
    Quantum (TV), FAQ (TV), Hit & Run (TV), Sleek Geeks (TV), Good News Week (TV)
  • Lily Serna
    Key Cast
    Letters and Numbers (TV)
  • Catherine Farrah
    Key Cast
    Winning Formula
  • Jo Hunt
    Key Cast
  • Prudence Vindin
    Key Cast
    Winning Formula
  • Lauren Jones
    Key Cast
  • Kelly Butler
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 37 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 8, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    800 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Tropfest Shortlist
Director Biography - Claudia Pickering

Sydney-born filmmaker, Claudia Pickering began her foray into filmmaking through acting, which lead to creating comedy sketches, short films and webseries’, the first of which was a music video titled Sebring which included Danny Trejo, AKA Machete (Rodriguez), who choreographed and performed a synchronised dance for the clip. She has trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles, NIDA in Sydney, and New York Film Academy having been awarded a talent-based scholarship; as well as studying screenwriting at NYU and holding a master’s degree in architecture from UNSW. She has since written and produced two feature length films, 'Frisky' and 'Winning Formula', of which she directed Frisky, and both have received international festival success including Best Feature Film at the 10th Broad Humor Film Festival in Los Angeles, Best Comedy Feature at the Atlanta Underground Film Festival and the Director's Choice for Best Feature Film at the Austin Revolution Film Festival. Pickering won the 2015 Tropfest Tropvine competition with a stop motion animation of a giraffe telling a dad joke and regularly creates sketches with her comedy troupe, Frothpocalypse.

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Director Statement

Potluck was an absolute hoot to create!
Since I was seven years old I have been quietly giggling at the seriousness with which ladies’ social functions are taken. Having attended an all-girls school and witnessed the generational handing down of the Ladies’ Club elitist culture, I wanted to take a closer look at what acts those pressures might drive a person to commit. Namely, Food Fraud.
I only had about two full weeks to write, shoot and edit the film before entries closed, as I was heading overseas. Quelle horreur! So I went into overdrive, pulled a cast and crew together, a list on which I am fortunate enough to include the effervescent Emma Leonard, national treasure Adam Spencer and the ever-capable and talented Tristan Fitzherbert-Smith behind the camera. What a pack of legends. Every single person who contributed to the film made me deeply proud to be a part of the Aussie filmmaking community.
Our first shoot day was the morning after my thirtieth birthday party, at my dad’s house. We went over schedule but dad’s concern seemed only to be if everyone had consumed enough cheese baguettes and hotdogs. Shooting the slow motion part was definitely a highlight although things got a little messy - thanks to Emma for putting up with being repeatedly hit in the head with a piece of sweet potato.
We also shot at Emma’s house and at Morgan’s Fine Foods in Mona Vale, which I’m proud to say went faster than scheduled - I think this had a lot to do with every shot being meticulously planned, which meant that editing was fairly painless too.
I wanted the soundtrack (from Bizet’s Carmen) to reflect Louise’s comfortably dreamy resting state before entering the lion’s den of the brunch. The sound design during the slow motion finale is inspired by the D-Day Omaha Beach landing scene in Saving Private Ryan.
I hope Potluck is as enjoyable to watch as it was to create, and if you take anything away from it, let it be this: Make your own casserole. And if you didn’t make it, own up.