Prudence and I gathered today planning on filming a couple of sketches. Instead we bonded over a mutual appreciation for flatulence anecdotes and spent the rest of our Sunday afternoon taking the comedic high road as we edited together what we believe the Belle Gibson interview on 60 Minutes should have gone like.
Stay classy, Australia.
UPDATE: Looks like we’re not the only fans of classic low-brow gags… Thanks for being so quick on the uptake, Pedestrian.tv! Check out the article here
UPDATE: Wow. 11k views in the first 24 hours?! What a sophisticated bunch we are. Makes me question why we ever bother scripting intelligent comedy.
When Klaus and I were being dragged along like a bag of oranges behind a speedboat (?) by Sydney rental market search we had embarked upon, we decided to get into some zen activities to balance ourselves out.
So we painted.
But first, we built our canvas out of timber, then blackwashed it…. then we painted. Then glued and added some of that gloriously floaty GOLD LEAF (like the classy bastards that we are), then varnished it all.
We reckon it’s a picture of the moon.
We did finally find a place (thanks for asking), and as it’s a rental, we can’t put any holes in the wall. So it sits on the mantlepiece, which turns out to be more trendy than hanging it up anyway. So what I’m trying to tell you, is that we are somewhat on point in this instance.
Check out le processé:
black washed canvas with solid black shadow line
dem geometries doh
filling in the blanks
painting with glue
adding gold leaf
post-gold leaf sealer, pre-varnish (keeping the shadow line matte)
Upon my return to Sydney, I was commissioned to do a mural in the Universal Magazines office in Sydney. Let’s not waste any time getting to the time lapse of the project….
I used tape, acrylic paint and acrylic paint markers (so as not to fumigate the office while they were working).
Now to backtrack… As the client was not keen to have an enormous animal or two sprawled across their walls (as I most certainly would have done otherwise), the concept sketches, (based on the broad ideas of paper, inspiration and spreading ideas) looked something like this (made a gif to keep things jazzy):
After receiving the first little bit (in hopefully in a long line) of festival attention last week, I present to you the long-awaited trailer for Winning Formula – a comedy feature film I wrote and, alongside Prudence Vindin, starred in.
Go ahead and watch it repeatedly, and share the pants off it. Por favor.
While Klaus and I searched for our castle on the northern beaches of Sydney, we knew that there was one piece of furniture that was required above all else … A surfboard rack. (as we were being given a spectacular array of hand-me-downs of pretty much every other thing you need in a house – thanks fam)
So when we finally did lock down our bitchin’ beachside haven, our first stop was the hardware store, then straight back to my mum’s place to rip the bandsaw, drill press and various other power tools.
What a waste of a gloriously big and flat timber surface, I thought. So I chucked a painting on it, inspired by Klaus’ favourite mural in San Francisco which I reckon speaks the language of the ocean. Great to have a bit o’ Bay Area memorabilia supporting the shred sticks.
I used acrylic paints for the colour, then chucked a gloss over it, then drew the outlines with a dark brown acrylic paint pen (that Kramer gave me for my birthday – thanks pal) and left it matte for a bit of texture. Froth city.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Pru Vindin and myself green screening.
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:
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!
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.
Before extension tube
With extension tube
With extension tube
With extension tube
With extension tube
With extension tube
With extension tube
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.