Archive for August, 2010

Drones for Marina 1

Posted in Releases on August 25, 2010 by uncontrollabledancing

Brand new experimental film, made last night…. Not necessarily on the surface similar to other works, but I would say its about related themes. Full name: Drones for Marina 1: Not towards an external signal, duly misinterpreted.

Made on the night after Kathy Dudding’s funeral.

or, lower resolution


West Coast Beach

Posted in Releases on August 7, 2010 by uncontrollabledancing

Also on Vimeo – Significantly higher resolution…

This is a short originally intended as part of Little Bits of Light (2005). For the first time, I’ve enough funding to shoot for a decent period of time -We spent a month in the country, mostly in Douglas, inland Taranaki. It was a fantastic time – for the director at least, everyone else had things happening that I was often cheerfully oblivious of, because I was so happy to be able to make things properly at last.

It was a gruelling shoot – an ultra-realistic and detailed film about depression was always going to bleed into our lives while we were making it, and we had some interesting weather and power cuts… But we were able to shoot a lot of scenes, a lot more than we would be able to fit into the two hour film me and producer Mhairead Connor had agreed we were making. The first assembly, with most of the scenes cut into some form, was 4 or 5 hours long – but this isn’t a von Stroheim thing, the idea wasn’t to make a really long film this time out. Rather I wanted to be able to edit a shorter film from the events we’d written and filmed, and find the structure of the film, rather than the events, in the editing room.

What now makes up West Coast Beach was one of the scenes cut from the film. It had been one of my favourite scenes within the film – but it was a logical (if not easy) one to cut, as stylistically it’s really different.

I shot most of the film closely, intimately, getting in next to the performers, surrounding them with the quiet and isolation of the country, and we’d written a scene of them going to the beach and basically not having much fun.

But when we got to the beach  – on NZ’s West Coast, on the Tasman Sea, a much rougher and greyer sea than the Pacific that washes onto the East Coast, hence the name – it was windy, noisy, the sea was rolling in a little… there was no way we were going to get to record decent dialogue, and I really didn’t want to post-sync anything, I just hate the idea for a film based on intimate realism and performance in the moment.

But the scene looked great, and, well, we’d come a long way and apparently I’d directed us along a road to the beach that was longer and more uncomfortable than it should have been… Besides, this kind of film making is really about responding to different challenges with lateral solutions.

The solution I found – I was DP as well as director on this one – was to treat it as a silent film, essentially… Step back some, watch the interactions from a distance, relatively locked off (I say relatively,because I had deliberately not taken a tripod on the shoot, I shot all of it with a small, lightweight monopod, for reasons of speed and compactness – and because I liked the idea of the restriction). I really liked the scene in the film – we all had favourite scenes that are now gone –  but the very different feel and texture made it an obvious choice to come out.

Similarly, I always felt this made it a strong candidate to be a film in it’s own right. I pulled it together as one to screen at an experimental shorts screening at the NZ Film Archive sometime in 2004, while I was still editing the feature. That was the only time it’s screened.

I really like this film, actually, I’m really pleased to pull it back into the world.

Also, I now finally have the internet at home, so there will hopefully be a little more activity here in future.