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!!
Check it out on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1eIV0HQ
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?
Somewhere in outback NSW… Signs appear as we shoot the Daft Punk Random Access Memories album launch.
I sat in the dry grass with my calculator computing how many rotations we could get the telescope to make over 300 x 4-second intervals. Three and a bit, it turns out. The dish takes about 9 minutes to make a full rotation, and it takes me about 20 minutes to create a 12 second shot.
Surrounded by kangaroos and hares, I thought how lucky we are in Australia to have such a beautiful landscape and fresh air (and how lucky I was to have access to a piece of machinery the weight of 1.5 jumbo jets). Six telescopes line the 3km railway track with a fibre optic cable sending enormous amounts of data back to the server in a room insulated to prevent radio interference. Even mobile phones have to be switched off at the entrance to the property.
I’m also filming night time-lapse, but at 40 second intervals, will generate only 3.5 seconds of film every hour. Slow going. However, the star trails look astonishing with the milky way rotating past the dish’s upturned nose! I’m working at the end of the track, and it feels very remote. There’s no moon, no ambient light, just a countless array of stars above this enormous machine. Its motors grind away in the otherwise silent landscape. It slowly turns its face towards me and I can’t help feeling like it has a personality of its own.
The staff at the CSIRO have been great sports with all the filming and interviews.
During Daft Punk’s show, I went up in a light aircraft to shoot aerial shots of the dance floor. This was the best angle to see its design: a spinning record. However, looking through a lens with a moving horizon while doing constant 2g turns did make me chuck twice!
I have wrapped photography on MONKEYWRENCH after a 2 day shoot! The crew created a superb look and feel and the actors delivered hilarious performances. Everyone was a delight to work with, and perhaps as reward for making it through Hurricane Sandy and a snow storm, we were gifted with perfect weather over the weekend.
Have a look behind the scenes at our steadicam in action in this video:
If you would like to see more behind the scenes production photos, visit the album on Facebook.
UPDATE: You can watch the completed film here.
Monkeywrench is a 7-minute comedy shot on 16mm film on location in New York. We have assembled a talented team of creatives to produce it!
Why this film? Because in the spectrum of life, monkeys and heartache are at opposite ends. Everyone loves monkeys, especially the fluffy, stuffed kind, that a special someone might win for you at a State Fair. Aww. On the other end… you have the every-atom-in-your-being-is-not-okay-right-now process of being wrenched from someone or through something, like that same special someone breaking your heart.
Vanessa is suspicious when her ex-boyfriend Josh unexpectedly arrives on the doorstop of her New York City apartment, offering to fix her sink with his wrench… and holding a giant fluffy monkey.
And in this process that you know is called ‘moving on’, because your friends keep yelling at you to ‘just move on!’, what often remains is getting annoyed about stuff you accidentally lost. Or can’t bare to let go of. Little things, or maybe not so little. Like maybe a monkey. But you can’t just go back and ask for it. Or can you?
In 7 minutes – comedy meets romance, break-up meets make-up, and… monkey meets wrench.
Buff, good-looking, 20s. He is an ambitious, out-spoken, likeable Californian living in New York. Masculine, but not particularly handy with a wrench. He recently broke off his long term relationship with his Australian girlfriend, Vanessa.
Also in her 20’s, Vanessa is an artsy Australian who has been living in New York for several years. She is emotionally dependant, unwilling to let go of her connection to Josh… and fiery when scorned.
Nicky is Vanessa’s housemate and best friend. A Brooklyn local, Nicky is fiercely protective of Vanessa’s interests and suspicious of Josh’s intentions.
THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE FILM
DIRECTOR – DAVID JOSHUA FORD
David Joshua Ford is a film & television director based in New York. Ironically, David didn’t have a TV set until the age of 12. A trip to the cinema was a luxury… and an escape. It was literature that stirred his imagination, and as an avid reader, his desire to understand the world grew through stories.
A directing graduate of the prestigious Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), his work deals with themes such as human relationships, cross-cultural encounters and social imbalances. David’s visual style often favours heightened realism, with bold colours and contrasts.
David’s website and previous works: https://davidjoshuaford.com
JEFF MELANSON – DP
Check out Jeff’s amazing images on his website: http://www.jeffmelanson.net/
WRITER – MICHARNE CLOUGHLEY
Micharne holds a Graduate Diploma of Dramatic Arts (Playwriting) from the National Institute of Dramatic Art. In 2012 her play ONE FLESH was directed by Anthony Skuse at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Her work has previously been included in festivals by Playwriting Australia, Baggage Productions, the NYC Playwrights and Short and Sweet Festival. Micharne co-wrote the web series MY SECRET FRIEND (Think(it) Film Assembly, due for release late 2012) and the short films FREE BIKE and PERSPECTIVE, directed by Kristen Kress and featured on the Home Beautiful Magazine website.
PRODUCER – ALISON PATCH
is a California native who escaped back East 7 years ago to pursue her life-long dream of seeing leaves change colors and snow falling from the sky. From the mountains of the Caucasus to the streets of New York, she has produced films across the world, giving her a knack for making things happen in even the most creative circumstances.
UPDATE: Watch the finished film here.
Here are a few pictures from the red carpets & media events I photographed at the Toronto International Film Festiva, 6th – 16th September 2012.
For the full album, click here!
From the Tropicana Cafe in Sydney 20 years ago to Bryant Park in New York City, Tropfest continues to make it’s mark across the world! I am thrilled to be able to celebrate its inaugural screening with a bunch of Aussies and a few Americans 🙂
Shooting a Memorial Day ceremony for New York TV news at Mount St. Mary Cemetery.