Well, I’m a filmmaker. I’m still learning what that means, but basically a film is a series of creative and technical decisions, and i try to make the right decisions as often as possible. A notable director said that I think, I’m just paraphrasing. I spent my youth on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia and haven’t really moved too far, still basing myself there - but I’ve done my time abroad on jobs.
I’m very grateful for the people I’ve worked with and the people that have mentored me over the years, from Steven Pavlovic (Founder, Modular Records) to Carby Tuckwell (Founder and Creative Director of Deus Ex Machina) to Taylor Steele (Filmmaker, Sipping Jetstreams, Castles In The Sky) to Chris Searl (Founder and Photo Edtior of Monster Children Magazine). I owe them all hugely for the wisdom they have passed on and the opportunities they have afforded me.
I’ve always had an interest in film, I’ve always known it’d be my creative pursuit - for better or worse. Whilst studying Marketing part-time, I started work experience at Modular Records - they quickly hired me to run their online store and assist in the marketing department, which meant I was on music video sets quite a lot. Working for them during this time was quite a memorable experience, I got to work with some of Australia’s premiere artists like The Presets, Tame Impala, Cut Copy and Wolfmother - I was also there when Modular toured Daft Punk, a milestone event. However, after two years I left the label to finish my degree - I wanted to get it done.
After that, I made a short documentary about Kill Pixie (now known as Mark Walen) for Monster Children Magazine - that lead to more work with them and other brands around Sydney. Deus Ex Machina employed me to make a short brand film for them, and shortly thereafter offered me a full time job in the creative department doing short films, graphic design and photography. From there, Chris Searl (Monster Children was in the office next door to Deus) put me in touch with Taylor Steele who I worked with for about a year in Byron Bay, as his assistant, working on music videos for artists like Angus Stone, surf films and advertising for clients like Corona and One Teaspoon.
I finished up with Taylor at the end of 2012, took some time off, went overseas to Los Angeles and decided I wanted to direct films, so the past six months has been pursuing that career, and so far so good.
Um, I directed my first two music videos in Los Angeles for a band called Pangea who were signed to Burger Records, we had a tiny budget and had to get two music videos done in two days, a great experience and really sparked my passion. On arriving back in Sydney, I was given the opportunity to direct the Summer campaign for Surf Dive N Ski - we flew to Noosa and shot for two days on the beach, an amazing crew and cast. I recently finished a short documentary on typographer Gemma O’Brien for Kirin Cider, she was an absolute pleasure to work with and the piece was well received - I have a few more projects lined up because of it.
This year, I hope to direct more music videos as they are a great creative outlet, I’d love to do more commercial work as I enjoy that just as much, and think about doing a short narrative piece. I’m excited about some of the opportunities already on the horizon and plan to go back to Los Angeles shortly. I am also launching a design and production agency with friend and long time collaborator Matthew Woodward (www.mwdwrd.com), it's called Public Private - www.publicprivate.co
Sure, for filmmaking, get a hold of any camera you can and go and make any kind of movie at all - then do it again, and again. Just get started, the rest will follow. I think this will probably apply to any creative endeavour.
Every piece of filmmaking is collaboration, from the producer, to the director of photography, to the art director, to the editor, to the colourist and more. I might have an overall vision, but it’s the individual talents that really make the film and I try to really embrace that.