Alex White and Jan Chapman went to see Rita Kalnejais’ hit play Babyteeth at Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre on the same night back in 2012. By interval, the two had made a beeline to each other: they knew it had to be adapted for screen.
At that stage, White had already been working for Chapman for several years. For some time, The Piano producer had been trying to help her find her first feature – White having produced successful shorts such as Trespass and Florence Has Left the Building.
“Jan was going ‘This is it, this is it’,” White tells If.
Both were drawn to the play’s “raw, visceral, irreverent and heartbreaking” tone and dialogue. The play was set on a revolve, with distinctive scenes and sound design, allowing White to clearly sense how it would feel on screen.
“It was just a very vivid experience