Posts Tagged ‘Domestic’

reflections on ‘domestic’

12, April 2010

My short film, Domestic, is currently in the running for what will probably be its last film festival, the 3rd Babelgum Online Film Festival.

If you haven’t already, check it out and give it a Thumbs Up to vote. Winners great screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York (very cool!) and win cash prizes (even cooler!).

Seeing as this is Domestic’s last outing, I thought it might be fun to reflect on the shoot and share some memories of how the film came to be.

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When I first proposed the idea to actors Lawrence and Patricia as a play for the Sydney Short & Sweet Theatre Festival I knew it was an ambitious project.

With scripts restricted to ten minutes, a tight turn around between each play and the real danger of being sliced and diced night after night, the demand on their skills as actors and fight combatants was enormous.

With Lawrence directing, their hard work paid off when we won the festival’s People’s Choice Award and fuelled by this success I recruited the director and DOP team of Katie and Marcus Hides to re-invent Domestic for film.

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It was a fight all the way.

The first blow was finding a location.  Not surprisingly, there weren’t many contenders brave enough to allow a film crew to invade their home for round after round of dramatised domestic violence.

Luckily some mates came through for me but I don’t think they realised just what they got themselves in for. Neither did I.

Renovations were due to start in the house next door to our location the same day as our shoot.  I thought we were KO’d for sure but I mustered up my courage and before I knew it I was bribing our new neighbour to delay his long overdue renovations and even convinced him to “lend” us electricity in his absence!

From there we ducked and weaved our way through tearing up the owner’s lino with countless retakes of plate smashing …

snapping our saucepan Hero Prop, forcing Lawrence to hold it in place when we couldn’t fix or replace it …

and watching Lawrence get hit …

slammed …

and mashed in take after take!

There was plenty of fun times as well, like watching the guys stage this simple but effective trick shot (can you spot what’s missing in the middle shot?) …

watching them chreograph the baton and knife fight …

And seeing great shots like these come together in the edit.

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As a writer/producer, my learning curve involved taking hit after hit and a lot of fancy footwork but I’m thankful for the experience and there are still lessons from this shoot that I carry with me today.

And I promise, no actors were harmed in the making of this film …

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Remember, you’ve got until midnight, 18th April to vote for Domestic, so why not check it out again and give it your Thumbs Up so that it can go out on a high note with a final screening at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York!

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advanced arts network meeting

30, May 2009

Last night I was invited along to an Advance Arts Networking meeting. Advance is a global network of Australian ex-pats who are living abroad. It features “chapters” across many different industries, not just the arts, and operates as a means for Aussies to network and also to sing their praises to the global community. The meeting I attended was dedicated towards Australians working in the Arts in London.

I was invited along by one of the organisers who saw my film, Domestic, up on Shooting People. I can’t tell you how nice it was to be surrounded by Australian voices and by people who say what they mean! It didn’t necessarily make me home sick but did remind we how we Aussies are different from the English (we’re not just their poor convict cousins) and that we have a real “can-do” spirit and drive (as opposed to the English “That’s not my job” mentality) that can see us thrive and succeed when given the chance.

After the meet we adjourn to a gallery to check out an Australian exhibition and spent our time bitching about the English and shared stories about our first experiences here in London. The one thing I found consistent amongst everyone was that they all were still loving life in London. Most had been here for 10-20 years and like me came over seeking bigger and better work opportunities. Everyone I met had whole-heartedly embraced the London lifestyle whilst managing to maintain their Australianess.

I’m happy to say that I can rack this up as another successful networking event (I met several film/TV/media types there) and I found it to be a wonderfully encouraging and positive experience. I’ve got some other new networking events to attend next week and I’m well on the way to getting some more writing done.

My short, Domestic, has climed up the leaderboard at Shooting People for the month of May, which is exciting. The bigger benefit though has been that it has connected me with some fellow indie London writers and filmmakers and led to the rash of invites to new networking events.

My digital project that I have been working on for a couple of years now has got some traction again. It’s still a while off before there is anything significant to report but it’s good to see that it’s still alive. Developing projects is like a life lesson in patience, something I’m not very good at!

Overall June is promising to be a good month and I look forward to keeping you all posted.

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