Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Our feature film 'Galore' is in financing - a mysterious phase of uncertainty and desire - but with the slow machinations of things, sometimes it's hard to resist moving forward. So in recent months, we've been casting and wandering locations, trying to make the film alive in our minds so that once things fall into place, we can drop to the starting blocks and sprint.

The best part of this is that 'Galore' is set in the outskirts of Canberra, in what they call the Murrumbidgee corridor, in the months leading up to the devastating firestorms of 2003 (something I took a fragmentary look at in my film, imaginatively titled Firestorm). It's an amazing landscape, more like the suburban world of Gus Van Sant or Mike Mills than it is like the outer suburban dramas of Australia (which usually take place in the mythical 'west'), in that it is a floating world of overwatered lawns, bored kids, vast expanses of concrete, working parents, deformed ideas and car culture. And on the edge of all this grey green eucalyptus bushlands. I grew up there. It's amazing through the camera lens.

So, though I'm back there a lot, I went there a while ago to 'be' in the spaces I had scripted around. The location shots I took were more an attempt to get a sense of light and the feel and mood of the unmade film and the sense of space that, in the case of this film, certainly, is vital to the way that the characters live and love and lose.

I'm not sure yet what these kinds of emotional-recce shots reveal of the film, except that I think there has to be a slow, almost unconscious process, of finding the language of the film and this 'be'-ing must help in some way. The difficulty of course, is to find a way to indulge in this process, without constricting or confining and leaving enough room for energy and recklessness once you finally start shooting... and without scaring any of your collaborators off when you say, "sorry, I'm busy, I'm just 'be'-ing... in space... you know?"

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