Occupy Wall St

I made my way down to the 2-month anniversary rally of Occupy Wall Street today. The recent warm spell had dropped to an icy breeze with rain, making it difficult to operate my camera.

Because the crowds are so heavily controlled by police in riot gear, much of the rally’s energy was distracted by police/protester tensions. I saw one girl being harassed by the police because they mistook her for someone else. She began to retaliate indignantly, only escalating the situation. A fellow young male protester pulled her away, urging her to drop it. “Look at them,” he said to her of the police. “They’ve never seen this before – they don’t know what to do. They’re just frightened cats.”

I enjoyed just being there as an observer and listening to the various opinions and attitudes of Americans conversing in the street. I’ll post the other half of my OWS pictures soon – I’m struggling with a 2006 Macbook…time to upgrade I think!

Pictures after the jump!

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Chiang Mai Motorbikes

Lake HutI get so bored of travel journals. People writing about the exciting times they had in destinations you don’t really care about. I’ve been really slack with mine. Two reasons… 1. I’m on holidays, and the majority of what I do is eat fish and drink beer whilst planning the next meal. It tastes great, but you don’t really care, see? I can even show you a picture, but it doesn’t look particularly special either. And 2. I’m a perfectionist. Meaning, that if I decide to do something, I will do it to an excellent standard. But that takes time…..which brings us back to beer and fish…

I did work a little bit. I have a wonderful bunch of new photos, but I’ll want to fuss over their colour before I show you. This is tedious on my 2006 MacBook… so I’ll wait until I have a new MB pro in the States. A few weeks away. Technolust.

But for the moment, here is one image I like.

Thaton

 

Highlight of my time in Chiang Mai (standby for boring self-indulgent) was an 800+ km motorbike ride over 6 days along the Burmese border and back around in a loop. Scenery and winding roads through Mae Salong was particularly stunning. Here’s a photo of me being photographic in a suitably exotic location.

Mae Salong

I’ve developed a love affair with bikes. They are so visceral. I love the grind of the engine and the freedom when you throttle down the highway at 110km/hr through that crazy Asian traffic. It’s a great thinking space. Embedded in the elements of sun, wind and rain (and the occasional bee embedded in your neck), you feel proactive – you are making life happen. That’s a very twenty-something guy thing to say…

Thai Karaoke

My great loves of Thailand have been fish, beer and karaoke. There is something compelling about belting your lungs out in front of a room full of drunken middle-aged Thai businessmen. Here is an incomplete list of our warblings:

  • Wonderwall
  • What a wonderful world
  • With arms wide
  • Quando Quando Quando
  • I will survive
  • Summer lovin
  • White flag
  • My heart will go on
  • Just the way you are
  • Yellow
  • I got you under my skin
  • Love me do
  • Love is in the air
  • Walking on sunshine
  • Layla
  • Life is a Rollercoaster
  • Imagine
  • Love is all around
  • High
  • I’m yours
  • Cruising Together
  • Grease mega mix
  • Dream a little dream
  • Save the last dance
  • Distant sun
  • 3am

Chiang Dao Teamwork

This is a good illustration of children’s ability to collaborate and
problem solve.

IMG_8334

I am visiting a children’s home in the hill tribes in northern
Thailand. We hosted a number of games with the kids and tonight wound
up playing boxes – you win by joining dots to complete boxes. My ten
year old competitor had never played before and I thrashed him.

So in round 2, he asked his friend to join, and this was the result…
IMG_8335

Maybe it’s the excitement of banding together to beat the white guy,
or maybe it’s a culture that shares a little more…either way I was
impressed that the new kid would sacrifice all his moves to set his
friend up to win the game.

Working, waiting…BKK

An 8 hour flight Sydney-Bangkok. Two films and a bit of sleep. Lots of water, some passable food. Now I’m working and waiting for my connecting flight to Chiang Mai. Most of the shops in the airport are closed and cleaning up…except Starbucks. But they have a powerpoint, and that’s the main thing I was looking for. I must say…I’m a little disappointed in myself that I have a phone number already! Always connected…always on…doesn’t feel like I’ve travelled far…

No Promises

Hi!

I’m leaving Australia today – moving to NY for 12 months for directing work. Unfortunately between moving out of my house, selling my stuff, shooting a music video and all the rest, I have not had time to develop this site properly! Which will be amazing when it’s done…but it’s not done yet..

First stop today is Chiang Mai in Thailand, where I’ll be looking at completing a photography exhibition with my friend Luke Fechner. However, he’s just informed me his home is flooded, so the next two weeks may be up in the air.

Anyway, I title this post No Promises because of the many blogs that are started with vigor only to fizzle soon after. Given most of these pages are not built yet, I figure anything I add will be a vast improvement on it’s initial offering…

My films are up online, and when I get a chance to organise my photography, I’ll have galleries with prints and downloads for sale.

See you on the road!

David

As you wish

As you wish…

I found these two in conversation in Erskineville yesterday. Seated on a roll of lawn behind the railway station, he seemed to have forgotten for a brief moment that they were just dandelions.

She was gazing into the setting sun, murmuring of her aunt’s tales of wild grass on lonely expanses of the Southern Highlands. She dreamed of morning mist drifting through temperate bushland and glimpses of snow-capped Brindabellas – a world away from terrace houses and drunk emo teenagers staggering from the back-end of King St.

The orb of sunlight captured in her crest of seeds dazzled him. As much as he desired to hold her, he knew by her full-bloomed sway that he could not keep her. Her heart was alight for foreign lands, and he couldn’t help but bend to hide his empty frame.

Dangerous Currents

The week-long warm weather sunk abruptly into overcast skies. Up the road, Iggy’s bread sold out before 10:15am – a new record for the bakery.

Tom and I soldiered on towards the beach; past the park where we’d encountered a free-roaming macaw two days prior, through crooked streets testament to a suburb evolved without planning, past retro coastal-brick apartments wedged between larger, post-modern designer homes, and on to the iconic white-wood fence gilding the the eastern suburb clifftops.

Bruised cloud hung over a turquoise sea flecked with wild white caps. A cry ran from the shore as ten tai chi devotees, robed in white, danced in sync across the sand. A lone figure sporting red speedos and cap braced the ocean’s rage with hands planted on hips. Bobbing up from the surf like penguins returning from a hunt, fifteen others soon joined him. They huddled together a moment, discussing the trek from Tamarama in the adjacent cove. Then, one-by-one, launched themselves back into the waters.

A Dangerous Currents sign staked the sand in place of the usual red and yellow flags. Tom and I walked the shoreline, dodging dying blue-bottles and disassembling the shape-shifting beach front: wide and flat some seasons, gutted by king-tides; then a sharp drop-off to the breakers in the months when the local council replenished the sand.

We climbed to the ocean pool to watch the surfers paddle out through the lazy-faced waves. Their rides were short and scarce, much of the appeal simply sitting on the board, surrounded by stormy elements.

One surfer, distinctive for his canvas backpack, carved his way through the others to deeper water where the waves are only fluctuating thoughts. We joked that perhaps he had packed his picnic lunch. He sat abreast his board and swung the satchel around, removing with difficulty a white canister. Perhaps it was underwater camera housing instead.

But he removed its lid and raised it above his head, tipping its contents to the wind. We grew quiet.

Ashes fell like talcum powder, streaming back behind him. In fact, coating the surfer behind him, who dipped into the water and pulled away.

The surfer knocked the last from the tin, dunking it in the ocean, swilling and emptying the pale-grey water. The event seemed somewhat solo and unceremonious, yet I felt we had witnessed something significant; out of the ordinary.

Dry, but with sandied feet, we made our way to the cafe strip to read the weekend paper.

I’ve been reading Hugh Mackay’s “What Makes Us Tick?” recently. Here are some of my favourite quotes:

Firstly:

If we lack self-knowledge and are unable to resolve our own internal conflicts, we’re less likely to be able to express ourselves clearly. If we’re not in touch with ourselves, it will be harder for other people to get in touch with us.

The greatest barriers to connection are within us.

And:

If we only consume and never create, there’s every chance we’ll become jaded in our response to the arts, increasingly hard to please, too worried about the “meaning” and “value” of the work. Create something yourself and such questions either dissolve or evolve into a more sympathetic appreciation of the power of the arts to connect us to ourselves.

The narrow focus of the creative process admits no distractions and that’s therapeutic in itself. Creativity is all about exploring the self; the therapeutic benefit of learning how to express yourself.

Outstanding Reception at Dungog Film Festival

 

Dungog Reception

This guy was getting so ‘creative’ taking pictures of us on the red-carpet I decided to take some of my own…

We received the most amazing audience reaction to Ferdinand the Third at Dungog today! Laughs and gasps in all the right places wonderfully comedic nuances in performance by Bridie and Duncan 🙂 Great to see it on the big screen for the first time to a sold out venue. Many thanks to the cast and crew who worked so hard to make it possible: actors Duncan Fellows and Bridie Latona, DOP Michael Steel, writer Alex Edmondson, set design Kavi Jarrott, composer Aaron Kenny, MUA Megan Kirkup, Jacqueline Miller, Alexi Wilson, Kylie Simmonds, Annette Sicari, Gemma Tamock, Davi Soesilo, Adam Lynch, Rodney Monk, Dan Rossi, Miguel Lemaire, Kristy Best, Damian Del Borrello, Sarah Bishop..and more..

Watch an excerpt from the film…

David Joshua Ford’s Festival Hatrick

 

Dungog Chronicle-1

Dungog Film Festival has been something of a slow and quiet awakening for young film director David Joshua Ford.

Ford, 27, visited the area a few years ago, attended the film festival on the spur of the moment for the first time last year and, in a major coup, had three of his films shown at the festival in 2011.

“I have such positive associations with this place,” the Sydney-based director said of Dungog.

“It’s a beautiful location and there’s just something about this festival.Dungog Chronicle-2

“There’s a community spirit and I’m so glad I made the decision to come here and be part of it.”

Ford’s showings were the documentary Lillie, music video Entwined and the quirky comedy Ferdinand the Third which starred a silky bantam.

“Directing is what I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “But I think it’s a long and windy road.”

He said Dungog Film Festival was amazing for aspiring directors because it allowed them to show their talents but, more importantly, learn by watching the work of some of Australia’s best directors and producers.

But it wasn’t just about the films; it was also about being given the opportunity to mix it with a network of the best people Australian film has to offer.

“It’s the ‘in-between times’ that get people talking,” Ford said.

Ford believes the next 12 months will be integral to his career development and he hopes to be back in Dungog next year with some new films ready for the big screen.

01 Jun 2011 05:33 PM, DungogChronicle.com.au

Showcasing His Talents

 

Newcastle Herald

FOR Sydney filmmaker David Ford, Dungog is a chance to meet and greet some of the industry’s heavyweights and upcoming talents.

After visiting the festival with friends last year, the Sydney director returned with three pieces on the 2011 program – the documentary Lillie and music video Entwined, which screened on Friday, and short film Ferdinand the Third, starring a bantam chicken, slated for yesterday.

“I think it’s a good chance for me to showcase the diversity of my directing,” Ford said.

The festival’s non-competitive approach and ability to attract Australian stars was a major drawcard for aspiring filmmakers, he said.

“When you brush shoulders with those people, it breaks down the walls,” he said.

30/05/2011, Matt Carr, The Newcastle Herald

3 Films by David Joshua Ford in Dungog Film Festival

Some good news this week: three of my films have been accepted into the 2011 Dungog Film Festival: Entwined, Lillie and Ferdinand the Third!

Poster-FerdiFerdinand the Third (playing at Oovie Theatre, Sunday 11:45am): a Frenchman travels to Australia to declare his love for his his long-time friend… only to be lumped with her pet silky bantam instead (that ball of fluff in the poster). I workedon the black-comedy with Alexandra Edmondson, coincidentally a writer I met through friendships formed in Dungog last year!

I’m very proud of this film. It is a tight and entertaining 5 minutes. Our crew was a delight to work with, dedicated to pulling off a great look on a modest budget… in a grossly overcrowded apartment. We learnt how taxing action sequences with animals are… strangely not because the cat and chicken were difficult to control, but rather because they were languid!

Poster-LillieRounding out a year of industry ‘don’ts’, Lillie (playing at the RSL Cinema 9:15am on Friday) follows the life of a four year old girl raised by her single mother and grandmother. She was such a delight to work with, and being documentary, the filming process didn’t have the same complexities as a drama would have.

Lillie has a natural openness with people that translates down the lens, the likes of which I typically see in children in countries like Mozambique or Brazil rather than Australia. I knew she’d be great on film and I wanted to explore the sense of wonder and intrigue that a four year old has for the world.

Her mother Pam and grandmother provide the backstory with amazing depth and honesty. I think the film’s strength is in contrasting Pam’s own traumatic experiences as a child alongside her daughter’s un-shattered world. It’s a family portrait of three of women, minus the men in their lives, and shows how difficulties that permeate down generations can be overcome by a supportive family member. 

Poster-EntwinedEntwined (playing RSL Cinema, Friday 4pm) is a musical drama about the romance between an Australian and an Indian. As my graduate project at AFTRS last year, we engaged five composers to write an original song and score. The music video screening at Dungog is a radio edit of the theme song from the film, combining pictures from the film together with some new scenes shot specifically for this shorter narrative.

Entwined is the most challenging film I have worked on to date, as reflected in the budget, number of people involved and the technical aspects of the concept – combining lyrics, music, dance & drama. The music video will be released on the net after its festival run, but I’m proud to have its premiere at Dungog!

Because Dungog is three hours north of Sydney, people have to get accommodation and commit to the weekend. It’s not like other festivals where you can dip in and out of sessions. As such, Dungog builds a fantastic community in a RELAXED atmosphere! Such a welcome break to Sydney. A holiday even.

There are many great Aussie films, guest speakers and workshops, but what I particularly love about Dungog are the social events: parades, gala dinners and parties. There is more than you can possibly do in three days, and eventually the cafes and pubs take over! I made a whole new set of friendships last year – people with whom I went on to make films with and even formed a sporting team with.

This festival is definitely a highlight of my year, and having some films in it is an added bonus! Cute township, interesting people, great films. And the odd cow, crisp air and space… 26-29 May… hope to see you there!!

The annual festival will run from Thursday to Sunday (26-29th May, 2011), with more than 160 Australian films including World Premieres, being shown, Master Classes, Gala Events, Parties and the fabulous local Main Street Parade.

Screening times for David’s films are:

You can find more information about David’s three films online at:

and at his website www.davidf125.sg-host.com. David is available for comment; contact david@davidf125.sg-host.com.