Sunday, August 26, 2012

Songs That Should Be Films #6

Once more around the block. I'm in the final day before embarking on shooting a new film project. The actors and crew are on their way down to the location where I'm currently holed up, waiting and planning. And as we talk through the ways to make scenes, moments, images as simple and precise as possible, I keep thinking back to the most simple, precise and, therefore, complex and open-ended form. Songs. So back to my never ending list of songs that should be films, or could be films, or need to be films, or could form the backbone, the spine, the story, the emotion or the energy of a film. Of course films are an imperfect mess teetering on the edge of collapse so it's always more perfect to leave them as they are... but drawing something cinematic from these songs can only be a good thing.

"Hungry for a Holiday" - Album Leaf & Bright Eyes
"Never Be True" - Carla Thomas
"Monsoon" - And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (an epic apocalypse film somewhere between 'Take Shelter' and '2012', don't you reckon?)
"At Your Most Beautiful" - Last Days of April
"Across The Wire" - Calexico (a lyrical, romantic, grimy, fucked up Western with a scrappy young cast doing their finest work)
"Dirt" - The Stooges
"Apague Mi Mente" - Carla Morrison
"Do Now Fairly Well" - The Sea and Cake
"You Are A Casino" - Snowman
"Beast for Thee" - Superwolf
"I Can't Quit" - Devin The Dude (erratic stoner comedy with dozens of high profile star cameos)
"Doralee" - Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Flashes #2

Final images from the final recces. Interiors, details, parking, access. Long discussions with production designer, production manager, first assistant director. Colours. Times of day. Textures of clothing. Comfort. Aesthetics. Approaching weather. Surfing. Teenagers and smoking. The sweet smell of decades of nicotine. Plans and devices for visual trickery. Shelter. Coffee. Bus schedules and school uniforms. Rehearsal schedules and mud maps. Hundreds of tiny details. And the calm before the inevitable storm.



There is no more intriguing moment in human drama than the moments where we get glimpses of other lives, of past lives, of possibilities, of desires, of the things that surprise us, creep up on us, or threaten to undo us. They can, and should, be simple, fleeting and distilled with plenty of visual space for the echoes of time to resound.

Here's a little moment from my adaptation of Tim Winton's 'Small Mercies' (for the The Turning project) where we need to try and create one of these glimpses... an intense moment of connection between past lovers, now holding tight to their own brimming, messy lives:

It's only five lines but so much has to happen within those few brief descriptions of action. In a week we'll know how successful we've been in realising this and a whole load of other fragile moments made pristine in prose by Compañero Winton.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012



The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. 
There is always more mystery.

words: Anaïs Nin

Flashes #1

A few days out from the shoot. Rehearsal plans. Scene breakdowns. Schedules on schedules on schedules. Production meetings. Noodle soups. Morbid research and equally morbid production design tests. Mood boards. Hiring. Workflow planning. Shotlisting. Furniture buying. Costuming. Long discussions. Flashes of excitement. Bursts of energy. Slowly, easily, it falls into place.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Addictions #1

In the shortest glimmer of time, I've become completely fucking addicted to instagram. I hide in facebook, get confused by twitter, and ignore pinterest and all the rest. Truth is that I lose far too many hours meandering between distractions as it is... but... but... instagram! Something about those haiku moments captured through shitty camera lenses is just irresistible; the strange biography of the moments we choose to photograph and share through this disposable transitory medium.

Judging from my impulsive instagram life to date, my existence largely consists of looking at walls, looking at Anna Karina, looking at posters and wearing amusing hats. It's strange as my day to day feels slightly more complex than that... but the pictorial evidence is solid.

Friday, August 17, 2012


“The mark which has dominated all my work is this longing for life, this sense of exclusion, which doesn't lessen but augments this love of life.” 

words: Pier-Paolo Pasolini

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Goodness #2

More location wanderings. In two weeks we shoot Small Mercies, my segment of the feature film project The Turning. So after a brief trip to Canberra in preparation for Galore, we're back haunting the Gippsland coastline, trying to lock in interior locations, complete the casting, and make plans for shooting, cheating and condensing the multiple layers of the beautiful original story into a brief cinematic glimpse. And, of course, it's all a pretty damned great thing to be a part of. And, of course, I took some snaps on the way...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Crush #3

Marie-France Pisier in Robbe-Grillet's "Trans-Europ-Express"

Goodness #1

More good days in the netherworld of pre-production for one film and pre-pre-production for another. 

Castings, location wanderings, meetings with designers, ADs, stunt supervisors, actors, producers. 

Moments of stillness with nephews, glimpses of memories and past lives, horse paddocks, vast skies, long car rides and note taking. 

Cold winds. Hot suns.

New eyes cast over familiar places.

All is good. All is good.