The Reel Deal

Holy moses, I’ve finally cut together a reel! Hopefully this gives you, my discerning reader, a solid impression of the projects I’ve been involved with over the past three years. That impression will hopefully be described by you, while you share the living daylights out of it over social media, as “a fun-as-f**k film portfolio of frothpocalyptic proportions”. Go forth.

For more of my film work (and full length videos), check out claudiaflick.com

Credits

Films in this reel:

‘Frisky’ (feature film), Brass Razoo Collective, 2015. (Director, Writer, Producer)
‘Winning Formula’ (feature film), LFL Entertainment, 2015. (Writer, Producer, Art Director)
‘FroyOG’ (music video), Heaps Funny Shorts, 2014. (Co-director, Writer, Producer)
‘Keith and Kev’ (webseries), Heaps Funny Shorts, 2013. (Co-Director, Writer, Producer)
‘Wookie Error’ (webseries), Heaps Funny Shorts, 2012. (Co-Director, Writer, Producer)
‘Cupid’s Arrow’ (short film), Emma Leonard, 2012. (Cinematographer)
‘Dead Broke’ (pilot), Do It Live Productions, 2012. (Writer, Producer)
‘Pissy Chrissy’ (music video), Do It Live Productions, 2011. (co-director/writer/producer/editor)
‘Banjacks and Pervis do Hackney’ (webseries), Do It Live Productions, 2011. (Co-Director, Writer, Producer)
‘Sebring feat. Danny Trejo’ (music video), Do It Live Productions, 2010. (Co-Director, Writer, Producer)

Music:

‘Dropping Out Of School’ – Brad Sucks
jamendo.com/album/31187/
Licensed to the public under creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

P.S. I moved back to Sydney. YEW!!

From the Vault: Criminals and Cabin Crew

australian enemy banner

Back in 2010 I was cast in Josh Finch‘s feature film Australian Enemy. Here’s the synopsis:

Chronicles the epic rise and fall of Angelo Morello, a young Calabrian who finds himself entering a life beyond his wildest dreams from small time gambler in the 1960s to controlling the Australian cannabis trade during the 1970s.

I played Tina Morello, a flight hostess and Angelo’s wife. Great script. The whole project was a lot of fun (apart from the time I fell down the stairs running out of a slippery bathroom scene and ended up in the Royal North Shore Hospital emergency ward. More colourful language has never been uttered. A story for another time.)

So we wrapped principal photography on the film and I got antsy for a poster so I offered up my services of art direction and graphic design. Only problem was, I needed to be in the poster, so I couldn’t shoot it. Oh, and it needed to be shot from directly above. On a bed.

concept sketch

concept sketch

Oh how the stars aligned.

No more than a week after I had drawn the concept sketch (when I should have been doing architectural CAD drawings at work), mum informed me that there was a huge scaffold at her house as the ceiling was being painted. Bingo. I called my mate Tristan F-S who shimmied out on what was similar to a pirate ship plank setup over a bed sheet and some pillows that we hand thrown on the ground, and we shot that weekend.

If you find yourself in San Francisco this Sunday evening at 6pm, and you’re as jazzed on indie filmmaking as I am, come on down to the 9th Street Independent Film Center in SoMa and catch the super-ultra-mega-advanced-screening (aka. sound and colour isn’t done, but we have a picture lock) of Frisky – my feature film directorial debut! A lot of legends helped make this project a reality, so bloody get there! Tickets available here: https://friskyscreening.eventbrite.com

Stop Motion Potion for an Animation Sensation!

claudia_pickering_pru_vindin_winning_formula_bear

In an interesting turn of events, I will have my first two feature length films completed within two weeks of each other… Although they were shot twenty months apart.

If the first film, “Winning Formula” (writer/producer) were a human, it would be in preschool by now. Probably painting macaroni necklaces, collecting cicada shells to stick in other children’s hair and singing the Good Ship Lollipop while masterfully tapping its foot to the teachers’ amusement. Or not. But probably – because there’s a ton of me emotionally jammed into that film in every aspect and I really did love those damn cicada shells with their clingy little claws and shiny little bulb eyes as a kid. The second film, “Frisky” (writer/director/producer) would know virtually nothing beyond the realm of it’s own mother’s bosom.

But hey, Winning Formula‘s pretty decent. Well decent in its quality, with a smattering of indecency in its content. (wiggle wiggle wiggle)

One of the many notches in my belt was punched by the series of animators brought onboard to tackle the title sequence and graphics throughout the film. I seemed to have a knack for hiring people with an ability to vanish. Slippery little suckers.

So after my third attempt at desperately shackling one down like a dateless sixteen year old on the eve of the year ten formal (that’s prom, America), I realised that none had really nailed the aesthetic we were looking for anyway.

In December of 2014, as I had just cast Frisky to be shot less than a month later, I decided once more to take the proverbial bull by the horns or balls or wherever one grabs a bull to seize control over its unpredictable nature. I was going to make a stop motion animation.

Fortunately, while I was back in Australia in October, Pru and I had filmed each other acting out the Winning Formula Title Sequence Script against a green screen (AKA a piece of green fabric my mum plans to sew into a dress that we pinned to the curtains in my mum’s bedroom), just in case the animator needed the reference images, which is what I used to create the polaroids. It’s all about looking after your future self, even if you don’t directly mean to.

There we were, Klaus and I, a couple of days before Christmas, at his parents’ house in Ohio, with no animation experience, just giving it a red hot crack. I had photoshopped some polaroids of the two protagonists, Liz and Tilda, marauding across the United States and ordered a few maps off Amazon. So between 9pm and 1am, with a giant block of styrofoam, an old cork board, a tripod (that we returned to Walmart the next day), some map pins and a brief discussion, we did it.

Our night sounded like this: “Hold. Click. Move. Hold. Click. Move.”, and looked a lot like this:

IMG_7371

But by sundown the next day, the spoils of our evening efforts and my hasty editing looked like this:

Massive thank you to The Greencarts for their legendary track, “Ride or Die”.

Stay tuned for the Winning Formula trailer – we had our special advanced screening in Los Angeles last night! And keep ’em peeled for more info on Frisky – to be screened in a couple of weeks in San Francisco! YEW!

Ethereal, Botanical.

IMG_8127a

How civilised am I? Spending my Sunday riding my bike… well Klaus’ bike, up to the Golden Gate Park botanical gardens with my housemate KatieK (who was on my bike) for a macro photography session? Bloody civilised.

I rented a couple of nice lenses (Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, and Canon 85mm f/1.2L II USM) and thought I’d try my hand at some macro photography using an extension tube (Canon EF 25 II)… which I had never done before.

As soon as I slapped that extension tube on there… something shifted. Figuratively, but permanently nonetheless.

I tested it all out at home on a vase of dead flowers leftover from shooting Frisky… pretty stoked that I had neglected to chuck them out as they are great in all their shrivelled glory. I also tested on KatieK’s asparagus that she was in the middle of consuming for dinner.

Next day, KatieK and I hopped gracefully (nope) upon our respective bicycles and headed to the park where I cracked open some dreamy floratography (not a real word).

All these shots are exactly as they came off the camera (except reduced for web). I’m quite chuffed.

I Don’t Think You’re Ready for this Jelly.

wc_prawn2

I was going to title this post “Goodbye Cali-prawn-ia, Hello Octstralia!”, but as I’m not moving back to Sydney for another 5 weeks, I thought I’d keep it classic – plus, I’m going to a Prom themed party tonight, and I’m expecting to hear a ton of Destiny’s Child.

I just got back from a night at Dillon Beach, NorCal, where I squeezed in a little sea gazing accompanied by some highly relevant ocean-themed watercolour painting. After all, I had a new self-watering brush I wanted to try out which I used for the jellyfish and the octopus. It was a little limiting, and the thing I love about watercolours is their flexibility… So I put it aside and grabbed a normal brush to add some movement to the octopus.

Then, something magical happened in about 15 seconds. And that magical thing, was a prawn.

Really pleased with the prawn.

Also, can’t wait to chuck a coupla prawns on the barbie in 5 weeks! Oi oi oi!

From the Vault: Guts and Gears

Humanoid Wakeboard sketch design thedarclaud

When I first met Klaus back in Los Angeles circa February 2012, he was working… wait… “working” for a small (and magnificent) wakeboarding company called Humanoid with his good mate, and company owner Jeff. Their days consisted of “testing products” on the boat (which I would try to involve myself with as regularly as my “work” schedule would permit), building mini ramps for “brand culture” purposes, and occasionally shipping out wakeboards when people ordered them from the website.

Jeff had a vision for a board design – an abstract interpretation of the humanoid word itself.

The brief went something like this:

“Claudo, I just want it to be a shitload of bloody guts and brains and severed body parts, smashed together with greasy, oily boat engine parts.”

Can do.

humanoid_sketches

Humanoid wakeboard design

These were hand sketches that I then threw into Illustrator to schmick up a bit.

Turns out the company was moving in a more tasteful design direction so this never went into production. Can’t imagine why…? … Guys? Your brand slogan written out of guts in cursive? No?

Boobs and Bridges

Frisky Film Movie Poster

Talk about Northern exposure… Or NorCal exposure…

Slap your eyeballs all over the poster for my feature film directorial debut, “Frisky” (director/writer/producer).

Frisky is a comedy feature film about two twenty-somethings who move to San Francisco to chase their career, but end up chasing tail instead.

Very high brow stuff, as the poster implies.

The film is a patchwork of my own experiences (or things I witnessed others doing) throughout my move from Sydney to Los Angeles for film school in 2009, then again to shoot a pilot in 2011, then for love from LA to San Francisco in 2013. Only it’s just one story. And it’s heaps good. For serious. And the writing. Also good. Like this paragraph. But seriously, it’s going to be a ripper of a film, so stay tuned for more very shortly.

As for the poster, The finished product holds true to the original concept sketch that I drew on the back of a script to pitch the idea to Christiana, the film’s cinematographer/DP and the poster’s photographer. I then fiddled for more time than what is reasonable with the graphic design in Photoshop to produce this beauty!

We’re hella legit. Even IMDb reckons so... So keep an eye on our Facebook Page for the San Francisco screening in late March 2015.