2011 Summary (Part Two)

So just before Christmas you heard about the first 6 months which were very exciting at LateNite HQ, so who would have thought the next 6 were going to be even busier…

July

It was a slow movie month in Australia. I’m assuming due to the fact that the juggernaut that is the Harry Potter franchise was set to release its final instalment and it certainly did not disappoint!

It was also a relatively slow month for LateNite with everyone being a little bit exhausted after the Hannah screening in San Francisco. Slow may not be entirely the right word, with Jacqui being very busily plugging the first instalment of Spinning Dreams.

The 40min doco became available for viewing online through Fairfax Digital, and even made it to the front page of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald websites, giving it a huge national audience. Why not do yourself a favour and check it out - and see what all this fuss is about!

August

Too many GREAT movies were released in August so I feel like it’s only fair to narrow it down to three (I told you there were lots of good ones) of my personal favourites. Enjoy.

and for the second one…

and finally…

Now the reason I have listed three trailers above is because this month was pure cinematic madness with the annual Melbourne International Film Festival. I was a little light on films this year only catching 30-40 (usually it’s around the 60+ mark) but I must say I saw some dynamite films. Both Beginners and The Guard which I’ve listed above were two of my favourites of the festival. Check them out if you get the chance.

So not only was it MIFF time in Melbourne, but we were keeping tabs on Hannah which had begun its longer festival circuit with screenings in Dublin and North Carolina. Also announced were our friends at Dark Heart Productions having their pilot The Weatherman (featuring our very own Nick Colla) being accepted into the New York Television Festival. You can view the (incredibly funny) pilot right here:

Also we were very excited to hear that the feature film Hail by award winning director Amiel Courtin Wilson, which Chris and the team at The Butchery and The Refinery had worked on, had been selected for the very prestigious Venice Film Festival in Italy.

Chris also lent a helping hand on Directors Jared and Daniel Daperis’ short film Phone Call which won the Raw Nerve competition run by Open Channel. Chris helped out in pre, giving the boys some handy tech advice before, as always, lending a helping hand on the shoot.

To wrap up the month we slowly but surely began moving into our new home. The first thing to go in was the combined library of film books. It’s a bit impressive, I’m not gonna lie.

September

Again another great month for movies but I’ll restrain myself to one trailer this time. One of the best trailers of the year in fact.

September saw the team back on the road shooting all sorts of weird and wonderful projects. The music video that we launched just before Christmas for Melbourne band July Days kept Nick, Chris and Hugh busy while Jacqui felt like flying a little higher whilst in East Timor.

Chris was also back on board with the Daperis Brothers short Phone Call, taking on post producing duties. He also brought on board our good friends Eugene Richards and Craig Jansson who were so gracious in helping us on Hannah and the Hasbian. Those two guys are invaluable friends and colleagues, both masters of their chosen crafts.

Upon his return from New York, Al was keeping busy in Canberra shooting some doco footage for a highly anticipated documentary which will take him around Australia next year with Australian actor Samuel Johnson. More on that in the New Year!

Hannah continued to screen around the globe as we rolled into October where the 48 hour film festival awaited.

October

Talk about a rollercoaster of a month.

The month of October was crazy. Literally freakin’ nuts. To give you an idea here are a bunch of things that happened within the first 2 weeks of October.

  • Our very good friend Mike Lutman had a screening of his documentary Plasticized at the Melbourne Environmental Film Festival.
  • Jacqui launched her new Ad for the Australian Orangutan Project in association with PlayUp Music.
  • This month was hit with an incredibly sad news, not just for the technology industry, but for the entertainment industry and the world as a whole. Steve Jobs was a visionary and sheer genius who pushed every boundary, and challenged every rule. His impact on the world will last for generations. Not only did he co-found Apple then keep it afloat when most thought it would sink, but he also rescued Pixar, and helped it become another of the most cutting-edge and inspirational companies in the world. He’s inspired millions – and will continue to do so for many years to come – us included.
  • We announced our partnership with Pocket Bonfire Productions in the launching of the Three One Six Oh film, music and arts festival to be held in 2012 in the Dandenong Ranges.

Apart from these major things, our favourite weekend of the year had also arrived, unfortunately though the 48 Hr Film Festival fell on Nick’s birthday. This didn’t seem to worry anyone too much though as the crew teamed up with LateNite newcomer Michael Shanks to attempt one of the harder 48 hr films in recent memory.

With numerous locations, over 20 actors, having to wrangle RED footage, horses, dance numbers, Muppets and more special effects then you can poke a stick at. It was certainly not going to be easy.

48 hours and several melt downs later and LateNite submitted their entry for the 48 Hour Film Project for 2011 with the working title The Script Machine.

November

Another film that I caught at MIFF which was released a few months later in November. To be honest I wasn’t expecting a lot and what I got was a really funny, sweet little film. You need those every once in a while.

November was an interesting month as Nick took some time off to perform on stage in Stork Theatre Company’s production of Helen by Euripides.

Chris meanwhile got the exciting news that he would be representing LateNite up at SPAA after being accepted into the Emerging Producers Scheme. He joined about 30 other emerging producers from around Australia at the weeklong conference in Sydney and walked away with an enormous spring in his step, excited about the possibilities of the future of film in Australia and also for LateNite. You can read about his experience at SPAA on our blog.

In terms of projects, Jacqui made the big announcement that the second instalment of her Spinning Dreams documentary series, set in Cambodia, would be having its World Premiere in December across 7 cities in 4 countries including Australia, Singapore, Vietnam AND Cambodia.

Hannah continued on its merry way with festival screenings in Chicago, Italy, Spain and also Switzerland.

Chris managed to find some time in his busy schedule to help on one of the TAC Make A Film, Make A Difference shorts for 2011. The winning entry Room for One More was directed by Tom Campbell and will be in cinemas come early 2012.

We had a brand spanking new release from our very good friend and sometimes collaborator Dave Cleeve (and his very talented team at Scene Collective) with his music video for Melbourne based band Kingswood. Chris & Eddie were once again on board to help make the clip happen alongside the incredibly talented of Director of Photography, James Ballard.

All of this craziness aside, there was one night which we looked forward to for the month of November and that was the screenings for the 48 Hour Film Project entries for 2011. Nick unfortunately had to miss the screenings due to being on stage however Chris, as usual, went to every single session.

He was blown away by the jump in standard from the year before and reported back that the entries this year were up there with some of the best 48 hr entries he had seen from the past few years.

It was announced that we had made it into the top 12 and come awards night we were all very nervous. Especially due to solid entries from our great friends and 48 hr competitors The Cameralla and No Man’s Field (formerly BetaMax).

What came was a huge surprise to all of us. And I don’t mean that in an arrogant “please, as if we weren’t gonna win” pretend bullshit kind of way. The whole LateNite team were literally gobsmacked. We knew our film was a really hard sell – I mean to be honest, it’s like being on an acid trip for 7 entire minutes. There were zombies and musical numbers and muppets and horses with lasers for eyes… See what I mean when I say acid trip??? So even the idea of coming close to winning ANYTHING was quite a distance from our minds.

We were fortunate enough to take home the awards for Best Script, Best Sound Design, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Director and the big one, Best Film. I said in my speech over the phone (I was running to the awards night after my play finished so Chris and Lee were good enough to call me) that I was very humbled by how well our film was received and the warmth that people showed towards such a bizarre piece of filmmaking. And I truly meant it.

I feel like our approach to filmmaking is very bold in the respect that even if we’re not sure if we can pull something off, we’ll give it a go anyway.

That’s one thing that I can say that I am truly proud of us for. The fact that even though sometimes it may seem like what we are attempting is insane and completely impossible, we are still prepared to give it a go. Sure there is always a possibility of failure… but if you don’t even attempt the impossible, how do you know if it was impossible in the first place?

December

Most people get pretty crazy busy over the month of December. Even though most people finish up at work, there are Christmas parties and last minute present shopping and holidays to plan and Christmas lunches and New Years plans to finalise, etc, etc, etc.

For us, as well as continuing on our merry way with projects a plenty, December is always a time for us to reflect on the year past. The projects we’ve been involved with, the people we’ve met, the experiences we’ve had and more importantly the people and projects that have inspired us and made us excited about 2012.

If you’re a filmmaker and this is all you know and love, and film is the only thing you want to do with your life, but you spend days and days and days sitting around wondering how it’s gonna happen, then have a look into these people who went above and beyond in 2010/2011, then stop whining, pick up your camera and start shooting. These people are living proof that you have no excuse.

Lena Dunham – Tiny Furniture

Gareth Edwards – Monsters

Edward Burns – Nice Guy Johnny

Realm Pictures – The Underwater Realm

Enzo Tedeschi & Julian Harvey – The Tunnel

Dario Russo & David Ashby – Danger5

If you’ve heard of these people then great. If you have no idea who they are and why they are so inspiring when it comes to indie filmmaking then you better get yo ass on Google and check them out.

So we finish off the year on a high. Jacqui screened Spinning Dreams Cambodia in early December, Nick & Mike played starring roles in the second MAFMAD winner for 2011 entitled Adventure (directed by the very talented Steph Parsons and Tess Fisher and which has also been produced by our multi-talented friend Pete Wells from Inspiration Studios), Hannah continues its path around the world with another screening in Spain, our friends at The Cameralla come runner up in Webfest with their entry Betty and Frank Will Have Sex, some more friends at Wizard Sandwiches wrap up for the year on their exciting web series The Tomasino Brothers (shot by our dear friend Cail Young, also from Inspiration), Mike’s viral YouTube clip goes mental on Christmas Eve and becomes the most viewed video on YouTube for that day with thousands upon thousands of hits, and the slate fills up for what will be an EPIC and EXCITING 2012.

And (if you’ve made it this far) here my friends is a sneak peak of what is to come in 2012…….

  • Jacqui is sailing from Africa to Brazil as part of her TOPtoTOP documentary.
  • Michael is busily writing his first Sci Fi feature to shoot late 2012 with the working title The Uncanny Valley.
  • Nick has a full slate with music videos for Melbourne folk band Huckleberry and Me and Hip Hop guru Grey Ghost on the cards.
  • An exciting new feature film written by Amanda Logan with the working title Splinter to be shot mid 2012. Nick will be taking on directing duties.
  • An exciting new web series which is a collaboration with some of Australia’s brightest emerging filmmakers on board. Being produced in association with Inspiration Studios.
  • Some exciting news on the SAKOOZ front too… but that might be giving too much away!

So there, my friends, is just a taste of things to come.

Excuse my French but 2012 is going to be one putain de exciting year. So please all have a safe and happy New Year from all of us here at LateNite Films. We thank you so much for all your love and support over the last few years, we honestly couldn’t have achieved what we have without you all.

And here tis. The very latest LateNite Films reel for your viewing pleasure.

See you in 2012 all you wonderfully brilliant people.

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