Sure the first half of the year seemed relatively quiet in comparison to previous years. But the second 6 months (ok 7 cause my mathematics when doing the last blog was way off) was when stuff got a little cray cray. Starting with a wee music video…
June/July are traditionally known as blockbuster season in the states and thus we had the likes of Transformers #462, How to Train Your Dragon and 22 Jump Street in June. For my money though the pick of the month was Edge of Tomorrow which was a surprisingly original Tom Cruise blockbuster that was, to be honest, a breath of fresh air into the sci-fi genre.
June was possibly the busiest we’ve seen in our short little lives here at LateNite. For starters we embarked on an enormous music video for Australian actor Guy Pearce who was putting the finishing touches on his solid debut album Broken Bones. Directed by Michael Shanks, the clip came together in a week with Guy helping our prod designers Rennie Watson and Elissa Hullah to build a complete lounge room in just a couple of days.
The shoot was long and arduous but thanks to the efforts of an unbelievable crew we got there in the end. Big shout out to Rennie & Elissa, Ed Goldner, Big T-Sav, Lucy Hayes, Danny Dapper and the rest of the crew – couldn’t have pulled it off without each and every one of you talented mofo’s!
Most people would consider sleeping after such a big couple of weeks but thanks to a kind offer from our good friends at Inspiration Rentals, I began writing a project with the very talented Nicolette Minster.
We were asked to come up with a short film that would test the limits of the new Red Dragon camera. Within a couple of weeks a script had been knocked together and then the end of the month saw shooting begin on our second short for the year, Palindromes.
We battled high winds and a rotating crew but once again, thanks to the efforts of everyone involved, we punched out one heck of a little short. Twas’ also nice to have our dear friends Ben Ridgwell and Mahalia Brown back on set – it had been a bit too long since we’d stuck a camera in their beautiful faces.
Oh and did I mention Hocking was back? At some point he came back. I can’t remember when or where or how but he flew in on a big jet plane and I assume came straight to set. Such is the dedication of the man. Unless he has a clone. In which case the guy in the picture above may be his clone…
Dear Hollywood. Please stop making shit. Regards, Nick.
July was a catastrophic month for cinema with another long list of shitty “blockbusters”. Although we also saw the arrival of the superb Charlie’s Country, the pretty solid Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and These Final Hours, they were overshadowed by films like Sex Tape, Hercules, Jersey Boys, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie and Deliver Us From Evil. It was the kind of month where you go to the cinema, look up at the screen, sigh and go and get yourself a FroYo.
So July launched us straight into post on Palindromes whilst Shanks was busy working with Sportsbet on some promo sketches for the upcoming World Cup. I’d like to take this opportunity to give an enormous heartfelt thanks and virtual hug to the unstoppable Paul Dawkins. A composer who we’ve been fortunate enough to work with for the last couple of years thanks to an introduction from our good friend Enzo Tedeschi. He did an incredible job on Palindromes against all odds and words can honestly not express how grateful we are to this amazing talent of a man. We love you and your work Paul and are forever in your debt!
After Sportsbet was done and dusted Shanks lent his VFX skills to a couple of music videos directed by Kess Broekman-Dattner and Luci Schroeder. Both very fucking cool clips!
Of course this wasn’t enough to appease the young man so he also knocked over a music video himself for Hudson & Troop. Twas a battle of the elements but I think you’ll agree the end product ain’t too shabby.
I’m not going to lie to you, I’m a bit over the whole superhero movie thing. Marvel just keep churning out the same films over and over again and I’m bored now. Luckily for Marvel they gave Guardians to James Gunn (Super) who managed to make something a little different from your standard Superhero fare. Very entertaining film!
So August was a slightly quieter month as we all drew breath from the craziness that was June and July. That said we still managed to pump out a short called Kobold for AACTA award winning director Nicholas Verso. The film was beautifully shot by that ol’ scallywag Ed Goldner and was produced by myself in association with the very talented John Tummino and Lucy Hayes.
I gotta take a wee moment to thank everyone associated with that shoot too. My beautiful Nonna unfortunately passed away in the middle of filming and the team banded together to not only get the film finished but to also support me in the most beautiful way. That’s one thing I love about this industry, you may find some dirtbags here and there but for the most part cast and crew alike wonderful, loving people who are more friends than just workmates.
And thus August was over with another short in the bag and only a few months left before the end of the year.
So Boyhood took 10 years to make. I tried racking my brains for something that took me 10 years to do and the best I could come up with was finish school. Although I think that was 13 years, so not really 10. Either way I guess what I’m trying to say is 10 years on and Richard Linklater has made a cracking film.
As we haven’t been around for 10 years we decided instead to make two short films in the space of one week. Idiotic I hear you say? Agreed I say. Nevertheless we made our Tropfest entry for 2014 which was a (very) dark comedy written by the talented Simon Keck a couple of days before we did The 48 Hour Film Project for the 6th time. With the regular crew and cast in tow we once again whittled away at an undercooked script for 48 very long hours. Highlights were my folks catering, Nato getting pulled over by the cops for being covered in blood, Virginia Gay being hilariously amazing and Hocking once again pulling out a mammoth effort to get the film over the line in time. Thanks again to all the usuals who made the weekend fun.
So October bore two of my favourite movies of the year. One was from a seasoned pro and the other from a first time feature director. Fincher gave us the mind blowing Gone Girl featuring a knock out performance from both BAT-fleck and Rosamund Pike whilst Whiplash from Damien Chazelle had two of the best performances of the year in my opinion from the always brilliant JK Simmons and Miles Teller.
October was another month of Post Production and screenings. The Daperis boys were still perfecting HIT from way back in March whilst Hocking and myself soldiered on with Kobold and A Vicious Cycle so we could hit the Tropfest deadline.
We were also lucky enough to get announced as part of the screening program for the Warehouse Music Video Film Festival which was to be held the following month. Both our Guy Pearce Storm clip and Shanks award-winning Towards the Sun clip for his band Roadgeek were fortunate enough to be programmed. And while we’re on Shanks, here is a little bit of warped brilliance for you which was released in the middle of October:
I did forget to mention that at the start of the month the 48 Hour Film Project award screenings happened at ACMI. One of our favourite competitions, this was our 6th time entering and this year we were fortunate enough to win Best Film for the 4th time. The film now goes to screen in the International competition in LA early in 2015.
Oh yeah – and because of that, even after I’d told Hocking there was no way in hell we were shooting anything else this year… we got asked to compete in another short turn around festival for 20th Century Fox and Parrot Drones.
God damn it November.
So I could’ve chosen Interstellar or maybe Hunger Games, Nightcrawler or perhaps even Fury as they were all released in the month of November HOWEVER my heart belonged to this little French gem starring the incredible Marion Cotillard. Honestly I could watch her play Sudoku for 6 hours and I’d still be enthralled.
Anyway another month another film shoot as we competed in the Parrot MiniDrone Short Film Festival run in conjunction with 20th Century Fox. With thriller as our genre and a bunch of requirements of the film we set out to make an interesting 2 and a half minute thriller showing off both the Parrot products and the 20th Century Fox film The Maze Runner.
It was one of the hardest things I reckon we’ve had to do and we couldn’t have done it once again without the talent of those brilliant beings that keep coming back to work on our little projects. I’m looking at the likes of Rennie Watson, Paul Dawkins, Nate Reardon, Ben Hidalgo, Elvis Pramod, Kyrié Capri, Ben Ridgwell, Steph Parsons and all the other folk that came along even if it was only for half a day.
And out of a very impressive International field of 10, our film was judged to be best overall with Kyrié taking out best actress and Paul Dawkins taking our best original score. I think to say we were shocked would be a huge understatement.
So with that good news rounding out our month and the finishing touches being put on HIT, it was time for a Shanks sketch to properly explode the internet. And it did.
Before I bang on about St. Vincent. How bloody terrible was the final Hobbit instalment. No seriously. Why was Billy Connolly CGI? Where did the goats come from? WHERE WAS THE FIFTH ARMY?
Ahem. So St. Vincent – Bill Murray at his best with a stellar supporting cast and a beautifully touching script. I cried more than I have in a film for a long time. It’s funny, it’s dark and it’s beautiful – go check it out before it disappears off the screens.
So then there was December. After a year in which was managed to produce 3 music videos, 6 shorts and a whole lot of advertising, we were hoping it was time to relax. However before anyone got too comfortable we had one more music video to fire out of the cannon, once again with the brilliant Guy Pearce.
We also caught wind that both Rocketman and Palindromes had been accepted into Flickerfest in January and we got some more big news about the latter which I’ll keep tight lipped until we can properly announce it in 2015.
So what can I say.
I’m too late for Merry Christmases and Happy New Years. But what I can do is say thank you. Thank you to everyone who crewed, who acted, who watched, who supported, who gave advice, who bought beers and lunch for us. We love you all dearly and could do nothing that we do without you. Thank you will never be enough but for the time being it will have to do!
And so I leave you with a reel of our projects from 2014 and a promise of much bigger and better things for 2015.
Onwards and Upwards mother fuckers.