Saturday, May 01, 2010

New film needs beast of a man to be the next yowie

* Samantha Healy
* May 02, 2010 12:01AM

A QUEENSLAND film student has launched a search for a man to play the yowie in a movie about the mystical ape-like creature rumoured to roam the Australian bush.

The casting call for the short film, called The Yowie, states the successful applicant should be tall, powerful, hairy, physical, a "Bigfoot" and aged between 25 and 55.

Perhaps our very own hairy Hollywood star Russell Crowe could take a paycut and step in to the role, or un-manscaped local talent such as Titans prop Brad Meyers or Wolfmother guitarist Andrew Stockdale.

Griffith University film student Col Bayford, 23, said the script was inspired by sasquatch stories in his native Canada and adapted to tell the tale of the Australian yowie.

"We've had over 80 applications for the role so far but the ideal candidate would be tall, hairy, rugged guy," Mr Bayford said.

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"Creating that humanoid look is important to us because we want people to think it could be a guy in a monkey suit but he just doesn't look quite right."

The film is based on two main characters, couple James and Vivian, who are spending a weekend camping when a mysterious figure appears in the bush.

The plot follows the couple as they battle to survive the night.

Mr Bayford said the film - which was funded by students - was "more thriller than horror".

But while the film is fictional, Australian Yowie Research founder Dean Harrison is convinced real-life yowies are out there.

"When you have done the research we have and seen what we've seen, interviewed the countless witnesses, taken plaster casts of footprints, you have to believe," Mr Harrison said.

"And there are photos and footage but that's all I can say and I can't say any more but they are very real," he said.

According to AYR, almost 10,000 sightings have been reported around the nation, the majority on the east coast, including bushland areas around Brisbane.

Similar to the North American Bigfoot and Himalayan Yeti, AYR believes two kinds of yowie live in Australia - a larger yowie which stands between 1.8 and 3 metres tall and a smaller version that stands between 1.2 and 1.5 metres, fully grown.

But is budding film director Mr Bayford a believer?

"I am a firm believer in science and evolution so I keep an open mind about these things," he said.

The Yowie begins filming at Murwillumbah in June.

Interesting facts about yowies in Australia

* There have been almost 10,000 reported sightings of yowies across Australia.

* The name 'yowie' is believed to be an adaptation of Aboriginal names 'yuuri' and 'yowri' which were two commonly used words to describe the creature, particularly in NSW

* Yowies are believed to be similar to the equally mysterious ape-like creatures known as bigfoot (in the US), sasquatch (Canada), yeti (China) and chuchuna (Russia).

* The largest populations of yowies are believed to be in the remote mountain ranges of southeast Australia.

* Yowies have thick, dark skin on the face, with deep skin folds and a flattened, wide nose. They often have a strong odour. They are powerfully built with broad shoulders, a small neck and muscular legs, similar to an ape.

* Yowies have some serious body hair and walk upright.

Reported yowie sightings in Queensland

July 2009 - Rockhampton:
A driver, who had pulled off to the side of a road, reported seeing a a very tall, grey-haired creature with similar body features to a human standing on two limbs. The creature ran extremely fast and dove into scrub.

September 2002 - Beerwah:
A horticulturalist, name withheld, was in the Beerwah State Forest off Roy's Rd when he heard a high-pitched scream. He turned around and saw a ``black furry thing about waist-height'' which ``got taller, almost to my height''.

August 2001 - Laidley:
Mrs Crouten (first name withheld) was driving north towards Laidley Creek when a creature appeared on the right side of the road. It was walking on ``all fours'', was covered in dark hair and looked like a large version of an orangutan. Simlar sightings have been reported over the years.

Mid-2001 - Mount Tamborine:
A jogger was running along a road when he saw ``this big dark form''. As it turned to its side, he realized it was mobile, on two legs, and 2.13m-2.43m (7ft-8ft) tall.

1999 - Ormeau:
Jason C spotted something moving in bushland while clearing trees for a house construction. He recalls seeing an ``ugly thing'' sitting crouched in the bushes and decsribed it as an ``ugly human'' with dark brown hair body hair, a flat nose, a large head, about 2.74m (9ft) tall, long arms and solid. It ran in a side to side motion.

1977 - Springbrook:
Former Queensland National Party senator Bill O'Chee reported that he came face-to-face with a yowie while he was a young boy on a school camp. He said he was with a group of 20 fellow TSS students when they saw what they described as a 3m tall, hair-covered creature. It had a flat face and walked to the side in a crab-like style.

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