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!

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.

SFX = Scale Firey Explosions

kaboom

There are many reasons for my comedy feature film Winning Formula (writer/producer) to have taken about three and a half years since its original conception with Anna Bennett as “Dead Broke” in 2011. Personally, it was my first feature film so everything was a learning curve, but at every road block we pushed forward. There was no less than a metric shit ton of improvised problem solving at each turn. Not sure what that converts to in imperial, but by anyone’s standards, the quantity of shit was immense.

Included in the pile, was a car explosion scene that I had written into the script (rookie) and we had nonchalantly said during production “we’ll do it in post” (double rookie).

Fast forward to post production, we discovered quite far down the line that two significant (and rather large) scenes needed to be reshot due to audio issues that could not be adequately rectified with ADR (which was a blessing in disguise as they were reshot as far more impressive scenes than the originals). The only thing was, we blew the budget that was set aside for the afore mentioned explosion scene.

Bummer.

When post production gives you lemons… bugger lemonade, make it into Smirnoff Ice. We’re turning this scene into a classic gag, using scale models à la Indiana Jones… AKA “traditional special effects” (AKA waaaaaay cheaper than the real deal).

So I’m thinking to myself – where do I go to find someone with a penchant for pyrotechnics, a whole lot of property, and a solid collection of earth moving equipment? It’s got to be my Burning Man mentor, Glenn.

Klaus and I researched fake explosions (it’s corn starch, not just regular flour, by the way), we ordered some miniatures of my car online (they only came in blue so we sprayed them sliver), then Glenn took to the side of his driveway with a bobcat and our scene was set.

So here’s my appalling cut of our explosion scene – the cut that ended up in the film is far shorter, with far craftier editing, so you’ll have to watch that when it screens (keep your eyes locked on the facebook page)… But in the meantime…

(If we lock in a decent distribution deal, we’ll reshoot the explosion scene at full scale. My fingers are firmly crossed.)

Winning Wiggler

There’s no firm (ha) excuse for this gratuitous (or should I say gratuit-ass) bot-bot video, but hey – it’s a teaser. And it’s my bot-bot. And my movie. So please, enjoy.

… I promise there’ll be a real trailer shortly. And a real movie too.

In the meantime, check out the Winning Formula facebook page for updates.

Froyo Hands In The Air

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 1.01.31 pm

… and wave ’em like ya just don’t care!

This video fuses the summer’s hottest soft-serve delight with the aggression usually only reserved for urban street fights.

Here’s what the critics are saying:

After originally forming as a late 90’s underground Froyo movement, The Ice Kold Crew rose to prominence in the Los Angeles rap scene for their EP titled ‘Soft Serve Swerve (cum get sum)”. The much anticipated single “FroyOG” is the first from their studio record “Drip Drip Boom”, set to be blowing up the nation later this year.

An immediate hit, this jam features the smooth flow of foxy blonde Zana Lantana, an Australian hip hop artist said to have been the inspiration for Iggy Azalea’s latest album “The New Classic”, while the lyrical poetry of LL Chilli Swoop, OG Yogi and Chubb E Lumpkinz give us exactly what we expected: Solid Gold.

Open wide and get a mouthful of these infectious beats.

It’s ice cold. Enjoy.

Some may say that Zana Lantana’s rap is about twice as long as it should be. And to those people I say this: Probably.

Thanks to the Nash fam for the delicious title of this post. You guys are poets.

Thanks also to all the legends who made this video possible: Namely LL Chilli Swoop, OG Yogi, Chubb E Lumpkinz, Lance the Dance, Jonny Z, Travis, Pru, Klaus, Tow, Holly… and all those unnecessarily tolerant people at Yogurtland on La Brea and 3rd, Los Angeles.

Busting

Sometimes things just need time to ripen. Not the case with this footage that took me two years to finally edit into webisodes. No hurry on the turn-around time there, clearly.

We shot this in London during 2012 as we rolled around in a delivery truck. For all you frothers out there looking to catch some more carry-on with my old pal Anna Bennett, here’s the first one of three.