Peter Skinner: Finding Lost Boy | FilmInk

An acute examination of Australia’s RSL and Leagues Club culture, Skinner drew on his own personal experiences growing up around his local club, and the layers of vulnerability that presented themselves during his transition to manhood.

“When setting out to make Lost Boy, I found myself wondering how my voice as a filmmaker was relevant,” says Skinner. “What do I have to say that adds something constructive and worthwhile to the complex conversation that surrounds masculinity?”

Citing Paul Thomas Anderson as his directorial idol, Lost Boy taps into a wellspring of intimate and raw emotion, provoking conversations between volatile, yet vulnerable characters. And much like PT Anderson’s own muse Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lost Boy marks the second collaborative effort with Skinner’s own creative partner, AFI/AACTA nominated actor Michael Sheasby (Hacksaw Ridge, Nightingale), who previously starred in Skinner’s Brother (2005) and most recently in his 2021 short film Staring Contest.

Michael Sheasby and Peter Skinner on the set of Lost Boy

“We met through the film industry,” elaborates Skinner regarding the creative relationship between himself and Michael Sheasby. “But [we] have since created an extremely supportive and encouraging friendship. We both, in varying ways, have experienced our own anxieties, darkness and low points.

“Mike was the lead at the Sydney Opera House at the age of 25 and deeply miserable, he learned that mental health was something he had to take responsibility for in order to move forward with his work.

“Whereas I try to harness my anxieties into my work, expressing feelings as to not feel so alone. And so it is through each other’s process, honesty, trust and willingness that we explore feelings and thoughts together that can, if left unchecked, lead to very destructive means.

“Like we explore in Lost Boy, which grapples with the outcomes of not dealing with these emotions in honest, engaging conversations where it is never an aim to find an answer, but to engage in the process of peeling back the surface to go deeper in the nuance of masculinity, and a hope that it sparks conversation.”

As Lost Boy makes preparations to take on its Oscars challenge, Skinner continues to actively empower his creative truth, launching his latest short film Staring Contest onto the festival circuit while refining a script for a new series, The Juniors which looks to expand and further explore Lost Boy’s thematic ideas of modern masculinity and vulnerability.

LA-based foundation, Australians in Film has selected Lost Boy to stream across its online festival ‘AFTR’s Showcase SELECTS 2021’, screening now.

Main Photo by Lara Wiseman-Daniel

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