Monday, July 19, 2010

Old Fitzroy #2

A while back, I mentioned a clip we had been shooting with singer Dan Sultan in and around the streets of Fitzroy. It was one of those rare pleasures where everything seems to unfold just as you hoped it to and you don't want to change a frame.

We were helped out by lots of friends, locals and folks we've crossed paths with throughout the years while haunting these parts. Humble thanks.

Here it is... Hope you dig it.

Cheeky promo: if you like Dan's song, he and his band tour like madmen - they're in London right now but back on these shores soon - and you can find our more at

Cheeky self-promo: Dan Sultan is also one of the subjects of our soon to be released doco murundak featuring the Black Arm Band which you can follow via facebook here or find out more about here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010


Damned fine filmmaker, Amiel Courtin-Wilson, who comes from around these traps, is up and running with his film 'Hail'. In a small filmmaking community, it seems there is never enough time to support each other's flicks but I am rapt that this film - which has creatively emerged out of his short film 'Cicada' which screened in Cannes last year - is going to get made and I wish I had cash to throw at it to make it easier for them. Amiel has mostly been working in documentary in recent years but there is little doubt he is going to direct something visceral, vital and pretty incredible. Kill it, sir.

image: Amiel Courtin-Wilson

If you're inclined to tread the boards, they are doing an open casting call - I think it's a case of non professionals and non actors preferred - and there is information and regular progress posts here.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Writer's Job #2

“The Innuit peoples’ word for storyteller is ‘Isumatulq’ – the person who creates the atmosphere through which wisdom reveals itself”

Barry Lopez

The Writer's Job #1

“The writer’s job is not to be brilliant, or to be the person who always knows, but it’s to be the one who recognizes the patterns that remind us of our obligations and dreams”.

Barry Lopez


Part of the purpose of small, weightless projects like the films and videos in the Buoy Archives is coming up with excuses to keep filming something, anything, during the months and years of battling with scripts and funding bodies and distributors and apathy and wages and rent and the allure of bars. Sometimes, it's a flare of energy, or a challenge to inactivity, or a camera appearing at hand, or boredom at dawn, and sometimes it's giving yourself an excuse to hang around while other people just do their thing. Sometimes, also, it's an emotional or formal challenge to yourself. In the case of 30x30, it was thirty 30-second shots taken while compañero Glendyn Ivin made his music video/film 'Paradise' for Magic Dirt's noise project Roky's Room.

Paradise, a pretty damned fine piece of noise vs beauty can be viewed, in part, here. The rest, which is mostly made up of close ups of centrefolds on fading magazine pages is a little bit too genitally raw for vimeo but word has it that Glendyn is going to do a DVD release at some point.

Okay, so filming a friend filming their own film might not be earth shattering, but, it's not the first time it's been done and, for a moment, we can all just pretend I'm Chris Marker and Glendyn is a music-video-Tarkovsky and that people love observing the drama of stillness and shadows and silence and that all is right and good with the world.

30x30 from Daybreak Films on Vimeo.

Bury Me Standing

A friend introduced me to Isabel Fonseca's book 'Bury Me Standing', a book that plays out like a lyrical documentary in your mind. Fonseca, compelled by Roma culture in Eastern Europe, uses long periods of time living and writing with Roma families as a jumping off point to explore 'gypsy' culture, it's romanticism, scholarship and the day to day realities living within a marginal culture that is widely misunderstood and largely scorned. From the epigram that gives its weight to the title - "bury me standing, I've been on my knees all my life" - to the descriptive evasions of the usually exoticised nomadic lifestyle, Fonseca's book has played across my mind for a long time since reading. Maybe that is why I love Joakim Eskildsen's photographs of Roma culture from Finland to India, Russia, France and Hungary and everywhere in between.

When I'm writing I use photos a lot, both as the starting point and an anchor. These photos could, at any time, be the most powerful of both. It's as if any single photo is the jumping off point for an epic drama. Viewed as a whole - what is below is only a small selection of what you can find in Eskildsen's book or on his site - they are a sprawling, intertwining tale told across families, generations and continents.