Fresh as a Peppermint

freshflix1dYou know how some people do something once and then reckon they’re an expert? Well, I worked on the Secret Garden Festival production week for the first time last month (largely painting signs…), and now my mates and I reckon we can chuck a film festival.

It shall be très bon.

Truth is, we’ve been planning this for a while in our minds and hearts, and we thought it was about time we started planning it on paper and in excel worksheets.

We have a website.
We have accepted submissions from all over ze globe through filmfreeway.
We have a clifftop backyard.
We have some strapping young folk who are willing and able to construct a large screen for us (that’s actually Klaus and I).
We even have the red plastic that we’ll use for a media wall, because who in their right mind wants to go to a film festival and not get papped?

But most importantly, we are still accepting submissions of films 3 mins and under.

So it’s happening. Freshflix Independent Film Festival.

Fest your eyes on our exclusive promo video we shot yesterday arvo. Nothing like a bit of bossa nova to gloss over an uncomfortable situation.

Thanks Crangle and Klaus for being such excellent sports.

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!!

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!

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.)

Well how about writing something?

lineup

The last three years of my writing work just culminated a little over a month ago in shooting Winning Formula, my feature film with LFL Entertainment. There was such a wild flurry of writing for so long that when we went into production, the physical doing of filmmaking was such a welcome change.

Last night I hit the cinema to watch This Is The End which was so massively entertaining (although it did beat me to the punch on a Backstreet Boys reference and cameo which gave me the irits a bit) and it was a real call to action to get back to writing, something I’ve been contemplating over the past few weeks but pushing aside to draw chickens.

I feel like drawing for me is so instantly satisfying. You think of an idea, draw, and then you have a picture. And it’s done. Not like filmmaking. That takes a long ass time. You think of an idea, you refine it, you plan it out, you write it, you revise it, you – anyway trust me there’s a ton of steps before you have a picture. As you can imagine, the product and the emotional payoff from working on a project that’s at the scale of a film is proportional. And by that I mean huge.

So I’ve got 3 different film concepts in mind. All very different, but all comedy… I think. And there’s one concept that has the potential to be the complete celebrity orgy that This Is The End was… if I get lucky. And as Get Lucky is apparently the song of the summer, I reckon I’m in with a chance. I dig good omens, no matter how much they are not specifically directed at me. So keep ’em peeled! In the meantime, Winning Formula is in post production so there’ll be a ton of content pouring through the facebook page as we move towards release. Frothing.

Guys. Relax. There’ll be more poultry. Probably even as soon as tomorrow. You might just get clucky.