Friday, 15 September 2017

Conductor of Earth short film

This fantasy/sci-fi short film I spent vast swathes of 2016 working on is finally online and available for you to watch! So many cool people helped make it. I can't speak highly enough of them.

And so, as Tiny Tim said: "A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!"

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Danny Elfman scored my short films

That's a lie, of course. Rather, I made short films for Danny Elfman's music.

Two of them. It was for a competition held on earlier this year. The brief: simply make a short film with a piece from Danny Elfman's wonderful ballet score, Rabbit & Rogue, as the soundtrack. Elfman is obviously one of my favourite composers of all time, so this was an opportunity I couldn't pass by.

The two films I made were quite a challenge to produce. They were both shot over about a week, in Darwin's unpredictable wet season, with many first-time actors and an absolutely bone-thin skeleton crew. In order to make production achievable I decided not to record sound on set. So every single sound you hear in both of these films, every piece of dialogue, every footstep, was added in post. It's quite funny to think that just about everything you hear was either composed by Danny Elfman or recorded in my bedroom.

The first is a fast-paced fantasy-comedy-adventure about a boy who summons an imaginary friend.

And the second is a strange little story about someone who cannot see the real world.

Monday, 4 September 2017

The Sketch Files 3

A few years ago I made a short film comprised of a series of unconnected quirky skits and called it The Sketch Files. Last year I made a second one. And now here is the third!

Obligatory BTS shot to show that I really was there during filming and this isn't some elaborate hoax

The Sketch Files 3 continues the series by doing what every stereotypical sequel must: it's bigger, longer, darker and more complicated. Even more than the previous instalments this one really is a collection of pretty wildly contrasting scenes. I think of it as Key & Peele meets Twin Peaks, with the punchy genre-bending farce of the former and the slow, abstract absurdity of the latter. But made in Darwin, and by me of course.

Thanks to the many(!) people who helped out on this one. It was a lot of fun and kept me well amused and I hope you find it interesting.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Bamboo Moon: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

I loved Studio Ghibli's 2013 film, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, based on the ancient Japanese folktale, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. What a beautiful, honest and tragicyet equally upliftingfairytale about love and loss. And told with a particularly delicate minimalism which only Studio Ghibli can make sexy.

So when I heard local Darwin youth theatre company Corrugated Iron was putting on a new adaptation of the very same Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, I obviously got myself up in that hotness. Bamboo Moon was the title of the production, and it reshaped the classic story into a dynamic short live show.

It was put on as a free show with a three night run at the start of August. It was also staged outdoors in the wonderful dry season air, at the George Brown Botanic Gardens, and with excellent set design, props and costumes; it was a visually spectacular show.

That's a snap from a rehearsal. I played Haru, the son of the Emperor, a very important and pretty cool guy, whose only real flaw is that he enjoys a wee bit of violence and war. Doh! There also is Taylor who played the eponymous Princess Kaguya and Tahlia who was my guard and lieutenant.

There's me on the night. In character. Feeling things. Emotions. Drama. Acting.

That's some of the other actors being funny on stage. Don't worry, they were also in character.

As a dynamic outdoor youth performance, this show of course also included music, dance and circus! Look bamboo spirits on stilts!

And aerialist moon people!

Unfortunately there are far more wonderful images of all these people than I can include here, but you can have a look at the show's photo gallery on the Corrugated Iron website.

Finally I want to congratulate the dedicated crew, some of whom can be seen here...

...and the enormously friendly extended cast, some of whom can be seen here:

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Darwin Fringe Show: Vaudeville Variety starring Chaplin

Here's the facts.

The Darwin Fringe Festival was a month ago. It was good. I got to perform in two shows. One of them was "VAUDEVILLE VARIETY STARRING CHAPLIN".

It was... well, it was what it sounds like. A madhat Vaudeville-inspired couple of hours of comedy, song, slapstick and skits. It was produced by an insane chap who I shall refer to simply as Russell "Rusty Rhubarb" Smith, and directed by a terrific gentleman called Tony Rive.

Russell "Rusty Rhubarb" Smith (shown above) was the centrepiece of the evening, singing and larking through a variety of comedy bits. One of these was a slapstick restaurant skit starring the titular, aforementioned and again shown above Charlie Chaplin, played by Russell "Rusty Rhubarb" Smith.

That photo displays a few other characters from the very same skit: (left to right) Haylee the gangster, Isaac the waiter, Damon the gangster, and me! I was the generically named "Male Lover". In this case referring to the facts that I was A) a lover and B) of the male gender, as opposed to my defining character feature being that I "love males".

This one's a snap from the night itself (thanks videographer Nathaniel Kelly!) in which Russell "Rusty Rhubarb" Smith and I can be seen performing the famous Abbott and Costello skit, Who's on first. Beast of a piece to learn, but it's mega funny.

Thanks to all of the wonderful cast and crew and brilliant musicians and everyone who came to see it. A great experience.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Dance Academy film review

Dance Academy was a pretty big hit among people my age when it aired on Australia's ABC TV a few years back. Now they've made it into a full-fledged movie. Of course I was excited to see it and record a little podcast discussion about it.

Listen above or click here to find more episodes of You Are What You Watch.