For the past couple of years, Chris and I have had the same conversation when the end of the year rolls around. It starts with me pacing back and forth, stressing that we haven’t done anything and that we’ve wasted our year, and it ends with Chris shaking his head, somehow sending me an email mid conversation whilst bouncing happily on a gym ball before reassuring me that we were in fact, pretty bloody busy.
This year was a very hard but particularly special year. Hard because Chris and I both quit our jobs to go full time LateNite and also moved into a brand new office and special because we were lucky enough to add some extraordinarily talented people to the LateNite family and we got to shoot some of our most ambitious projects to date.
So, as always, let’s start at the very beginning with a trailer for my favourite movie released in Jan…
I’m sure this will be a shock to most as Django was also released in January but Silver Linings was my pick for the month. The thing I love about David O. Russell’s films (even if they do occasionally miss the mark) is that he manages to elicit incredible performances from all of his actors. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence were amazing but I personally was blown away by De Niro and strangely enough Chris Tucker. I felt it was De Niro’s best performance in a long long time and I’ve never really rated Tucker at all but in this he is brilliant!
January started off a little quietly for everyone but Jacqui, who began the year with some assisting on Australia’s World Vision 48HR Famine Campaign, shot in Ethiopia by Zerna Films. Then it was back to Singapore, to join Ashwin from Gone Adventurin’ (to which LateNite are the official production partner), behind the camera to be interviewed for a Channel News Asia TV Show “Social Inc”.
Meanwhile, director Michael Shanks was at it again with another brilliant YouTube video to coincide with the release of the Hitman HD Trilogy video game. Chris went along for the ride as usual along with Timtimfed regulars Sam McCabe, Jackson McInerney and Mark Taylor.
I was busy on the acting side of things shooting with the boys at Dark Heart Productions on their crowd funded TV series The Weatherman. The show has since gone into post production for a release in 2014.
There was a whole lotta hate for Cloud Atlas and a whole lotta Academy Award snubs but I have to be honest with you, I really dug this movie. The worlds the Wachowskis continue to create in their movies are outstanding and the production design really blew me away. How they didn’t even get a nod for makeup or VFX is beyond me!
So Feb started with the launch of Love Your Sister, a campaign supported by LateNite and with a doco helmed by our good mate Alistair Marks. The campaign itself is following Samuel Johnson as he rides 15,000k around Australia on his unicycle, raising money and awareness about breast cancer. It is his amazing way of showing support to his sister Connie who is currently dying of Breast cancer. To find out more and donate anything you can head to their website. Jacqui lent her skills and support to the launch of the campaign by hanging out of a helicopter to shoot some amazing footage.
Not only was Jacqui back in town to help out on Love Your Sister, but she also had the screening of her doco Cycle on Ceylon, which was made with frequent LateNite collaborator Mike Lutman. You can take a sneak peak at it below:
I spent some of the month attending the Australian Writer’s Guild Conference on the Mornington Peninsula. The biennial event featured speakers from all over the globe including Academy Award winning writer Tom Schulman and writer of the hit Channel 4 series Shameless, Paul Abbott. To read more about my time at the conference you can look back on my blog entries here.
Other shoots to occur this month were a promo video with trucks as far as the eye could see for trucking company Magic Logistics as well as the beginnings of a music video for well-known metal band 12 Foot Ninja. The music video involved an 8 foot stuffed bear which was a little harder to fit in an elevator than expected…
Ok so this may not be a movie trailer but it turns out I didn’t see a whole lot of movies in the month of March and the ones I did see were rubbish so I thought it was more appropriate to post something that I actually did see that month AND liked. Either way it’s pretty funny.
March saw me begin 1st AD duties on the then upcoming Australian Feature The Albanian which was to be directed by respected film and theatre director Alkinos Tsilimidos. The film was to be shot in Melbourne, LA, Albania and Mexico in July/August so I was back and forthing with the LA production team to get everything prepped for the shoot.
In amongst the prep I also found time to work on a very special project for the LateNite team. In association with SEEK and SEEK Learning we were fortunate enough to be part of their video for the It Gets Better Project. For those of you that are not aware, the It Gets Better Project’s mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them. We spent a day hearing the stories of some very beautiful and brave soul’s that work for SEEK and SEEK Learning and you can see their stories below:
Jacqui, meanwhile, was flying to the Amazon in Brazil to film once again for the carbon offset company MyClimate. After an incredible shoot, Jac flew on to Panama to continue her epic coverage of the TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition documentary. It’s quite amazing to think this is the 5th year of filming this project – which, according to Jacqui, will hopefully become an interactive and feature length project by 2020.
The end of the month saw Chris take off to shoot with our good friend Dave Christison on his Flickerfest selected short film MAN.
I have to admit, again this wasn’t my favourite movie in the whole wide world but I did really like the concept, even if it was a little sickly sweet!
So with Jacqui overseas (shooting on Coco’s Island, otherwise known as Isla Nublar from Jurassic Park!!) and myself and Shanks twiddling our thumbs in Melbourne, Chris was off in WA shooting on MAN, a short film that explores the underbelly of Australia’s regional drug epidemic and tackles the universal theme of what it means to be a man. Starring Shane Connor and James Rolleston (the lead in one of my favourite films, Boy). I was so excited that they were shooting with James, I forced Chris to get the following photo. Look how happy he is!
Of course it wouldn’t be a complete month without something from the genius that is Michael Shanks so if you are curious, this is how he plays Dishonored: