“Crushed” Feature Film Shoot

This week I’m shooting set photos for my fellow AFTRS alumni Megan Riakos on her debut feature film Crushed. It’s also starring one of my best friends Sarah Bishop!

Our set is a vineyard in Mudgee, with DP Mike Steel at the helm, another friend who has shot one of my own films.

Good to be back out in the country side. There are fires casting a smoke haze over the whole region though, giving the sunset an extra red glow.

And as the sun comes up over the vineyard, that’s a wrap on Crushed!!

Crushed Cast and Crew

Check it out on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1eIV0HQ

The Great War Is Won With Small Actions

In the Great War between Ocean and Earth, millions of waves are sacrificed, seemingly in vain, against the steadfast face of rock.

However, with the relentless passage of Time, waves return and reform, rock surrenders to sand, and Ocean and Earth develop a more harmonious meeting point in a place called Beach.

Whatever seems impossible for you to achieve today, just begin with one simple action, and know that with consistency over a period of time, your impossible will become possible.

Photograph taken at the Twelve Apostles on The Great Ocean Road, VIC

Sydney Harbour: a world-class place to live

When you’ve travelled the world you come to realise how lucky you are to have a home like Australia.

Camp Cove, Sydney HarbourThis is Camp Cove in Sydney Harbour (right). Sydney is well known for its spectacular surf beaches, but in the last few months I’ve spent a lot more time on the harbour and found a new appreciation for its interior beaches. They’re just different. Rugged jetties, flashy boats, clear water, many meandering coves, and incredible houses lining the water. It’s a world-class place to live! The top picture was taken last night from Camp Cove, with perfect weather, the sound of kids playing, and the sun setting over the city.

My new favourite spot in Sydney is the Woollahra Library (below). It’s a wonderful old building overlooking the Fairfax estate and the harbour. From there you can walk through the library gardens to the Red Leaf Cafe and Murray Rose pool and a harbour beach!

Happy 2014!

Sydney Harbour Wollarah Library

Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains

The bush walk at Wentworth Falls is my favourite in the Blue Mountains for its diversity of terrain: cliff-top views, valley creeks, vertical ladders, stairs carved into the sheer rock face, waterfalls from above and below. It’s even possible to just take the train from Sydney to the Wentworth Falls station and walk from there.

Unicorns on the Gundaroo Common

I’m pretty sure these are unicorns…yep, they are: unicorns on the Gundaroo Common. Gundaroo (aka “Fundaroo”) is probably my favourite place in the world. It’s just outside Canberra and the place where my Grandfather use to own property called Wonders Farm. As a kid I’d explore the willowed creek, rusted machinery and the broken down wool shed. My Grandparents are buried just to the right of this photo…in a field of unicorns. When I die, bury me here.

Spit Bridge To Manly Bushwalk

Good to know Sydney is well protected…

If you’re looking for a fantastic bush walk without leaving the city, try the Spit Bridge-To-Manly hike. You might just come across this Australian Water Dragon, but don’t get too close as s/he is territorial and will lunge at you… as happened to my camera lens. Best part is at the end of the hike you can have a beer in Manly overlooking the water at sunset!

Rainbow Hippyvan

Let’s get out of here, you and I.
Grab a hippyvan and surf the coast.
Doesn’t matter how far we run;
just carry on towards that rainbow connecting heaven to earth…
the promise of a more vibrant tomorrow.

Photo taken on the Hume Hwy, NSW

Lake George, NSW

Strange how history repeats itself. I just realised that exactly one year ago, at this exact time, I was standing in this spot at Lake George, NSW. I’d just flown back from the US for Christmas, and was driving from Sydney to Canberra when I stopped by the darkness of the lake to show Megan the southern hemisphere stars away from the city’s light pollution. Tonight had the same fresh smell of dry grass on the flat, waterless lakebed and the soft buzz of thousands of crickets, except this time with bright moonlight that would make Middle-earth proud. Happy one-year Aussie Anniversary!

This photo was taken on a 30-sec exposure at Lake George, NSW

Ava DuVernay: What do you want?

I love this advice from filmmaker Ava DuVernay at the 2013 Film Independent Forum. The last question put to her was: “Should we keep making 50K films, even if they don’t launch us to Sundance?” To which Ava replies, “the question is, what do you want?”

Why are you doing what you’re doing? Why do you make films? What does success in filmmaking look like to you?