Earth Wind Fire Advertising

Gosh, I get here once a month these days... so, until next month, here, enjoy.

Created by 12 experimental film-makers from Sydney Film School over the course of a weekend, Earth Wind Fire Advertising started its life by being watched by you, me, and all cinema goers as it was played through the projectors of local cinemas as Cinema Advertisements. The group sourced the 35mm film prints once the advertising campaigns were no longer running and then set to work on them with a variety of substances and techniques.

The group scratched, bleached, sanded, painted, covered in oven cleaner, cut out parts of frames, dripped on industrial strength hydrochloric acid, melted with soldering irons, and even set the film prints on fire (to name but a few techniques) to re-engineer the Adverts to create new meanings or destroy all meaning; and to create enticing visual effects. Basically, we wanted to see what new emotions and feelings we could discover in the everyday world of advertising... Oh, and it was also a bucket load of fun.

Earth Wind Fire Advertising was edited by a single individual (who was probably me) with the philosophy of image before meaning and meaning before story; creating a painterly quality intended to relax the viewer and wash away the cynicism felt towards the original advertisements.

The film is set the music of Minnesotan experimental musician Richard Knutson and his group Plum Flower Embroidery.


I am the best... officially. No really, offically the best

Sorry I haven't been around much. This film caper... It's a never ending series of heart breaking problems that must be solved two minutes before they happen. I'm not sure why any of us do it.

For the awards of course! Not really. Clemency and Talisker's showing at the film festival was less than auspicious. We had two issues happen outside our control that couldn't be fixed before the screening. The first being that our negative 'somehow' got dirty which resulted in bright white speckles all over our beautiful dark interiors. Some of it was like a fireworks display. The second being that our Telecine House provided us with a file in the wrong aspect ratio which made the film look like crap for it's showing. Not to worry, both problems will be fixed for the next screening.

But of course, that didn't stand in the way of our film receiving recognition, we managed to pick up Best Editor, Best Sound Designer and of course... Best Producer! Because as it says in the title, out of 51 films in competition, I'm the Best! I was also voted Least Humble! ;)

Seriously though, my reward really is to see the absolute best film up on the screen and although I was a little disappointed with its showing the feedback we received was very complementary indeed.

As for feedback being great, we had another film in the festival called Earth Wind Fire Advertising which was an experimental piece created by twelve of us SFS guys, edited by myself to the awesome tune Smoke and Oil by our good friend (fiend) Ticharu. Experimental films are often ignored by audiences as they're a little too abstract for them. But the feedback was really remarkable. We had dozens of people approach us after the screening all with high praise and a multitude of questions as to how it had been made. Really was a fantastic screening, and there's a good chance we'll see it in another festival in a couple of months! Yeah!

Anyway, better hop... still more to do and work to catch up on. Hope everyone out there is doing great.

Proof that I'm the Best...
or at least a random photo of me doing something


Dir-Acting Exercise

Hey, here's some fun! The Directing exercise from a couple of months ago.


It's in the can

But what that is... well, it isn't perfect but it certainly is a film. Here are some of the photo's from the shoot taken by a couple of our crew members.

Heaps of fun. But still heaps of work to do. Hope everyone out there in blogland are doing well.


The clock is running

It feels like such a long time since I've been on the blogs. Gosh, I don't even know where to begin.

I guess the last time I was here it was all about Directing. Well, the class itself went fantastically. It was wonderfully prepared and went off without a hitch. It was a lot of fun. The beer prop was particularly popular seeing as I somehow 'accidentally' managed to oversupply that prop and everyone had to have a beer at the end of class.

We also heard about our Directing pitch. Hardly surprising, I wasn't short-listed for one of the Directing roles. I was completely OK with that decision considering my pitch performance. What I didn't expect was that I would be nominated to be a Producer on a film. I said I would do the role but didn't want to Produce a particular film because it might be too challenging for a part-time student. Well, they had a challenge for me! So now I'm in charge of a production which needs to completely recreate 1800s Australian convict life. Where do you get 1800s Australia in 2009... that's what were frantically on the path to find out. And organise.

So, until the end of the Production my life has ended. Gone. Underneath a pile like this;

Hope everyone else is out there having a great a time as I am.


Dir-Acting Exercise

For one of my Directing classes I have to write a short 1-2 minute piece that will be workshopped in class using fellow Directing students as our Actors. We're then going to film the piece. There was no way I was going to write a highly emotive piece and hope one of my fellow students could pull a tear out. I think that's asking a little too much.

You can read what I came up with below; but first, enjoy a little inspiration.


Charlie the Gent
Polite Gentleman
Large Gentleman


Charlie walks past a sign that says, ‘Gentleman’s Club’. He considers for a moment and enters the Club.


Charlie walks into the bar where the Large Gentleman and Polite Gentleman, who unlike Charlie both wear hats, sit at the bar. Charlie sits down at the bar on the far side of them. A beer is put in front of Charlie.

Charlie is about to take a sip when the Polite Gentleman clears his throat, taps Charlie on the shoulder and points to a sign above them that says, ‘All Gentlemen MUST wear Hat to be Served’.

Charlie feels the top of his hatless head. He looks longingly at his beer. The Polite Gentleman waggles his finger, ‘no’ and points to the sign. Charlie gets up and begins to leave. As he passes the Large Gentleman he swats the hat off his head. The Large Gentleman does not notice. Charlie picks up the hat and offers it back to the Large Gentleman who, without seeing Charlie has his hat, shoves Charlie away. Charlie turns to leave when he realises he has a hat. He puts it on and goes back to his seat at the bar.

The Large Gentleman goes to sip his beer and the Polite Gentleman clears his throat, taps the Large Gentleman on the shoulder and points to a sign above them that says, ‘All Gentlemen MUST wear Hat to be Served’. The Large Gentleman feels the top of his head, looks over at Charlie and realises Charlie is wearing his hat. He starts to reach over the top of the Polite Gentleman in an attempt to fight Charlie for the hat. Charlie cowers away while offering the hat to the Large Gentleman. The Large Gentleman takes it, puts it back on his head and sits down at his chair.

The Polite Gentleman mollifies the Large Gentleman by brushing off the shoulders of his jacket. Charlie, seeing the Polite Gentleman’s back is turned, sees his opportunity and sneakily takes the Polite Gentleman’s hat and puts it on his head.

All three settle back in to drink. Both Charlie and the Large Gentleman clear their throats, tap The Polite Gentleman on the shoulder and point to the sign above them that says, ‘All Gentlemen MUST wear Hat to be Served’.

The Polite Gentleman feels the top of his head and tries to fight both Charlie and the Large Gentleman to get one of the hats back. The Polite Gentleman realises this wasn’t wise as both Charlie and the Large Gentleman swing a single blow that knocks him off his feet.

Charlie and the Large Gentleman sit down to enjoy their beers. The Polite Gentleman gets unsteadily to his feet and leaves. They go to sip their beer. Charlie suddenly jumps up and points in the direction the Polite Gentleman has left. The Large Gentleman stands up looking for another fight from the Polite Gentleman. Charlie sneakily puts his hat under his shirt, takes off the Large Gentleman’s Hat and puts it on his head.

They sit back down. Charlie clears his throat, taps the Large Gentleman on the shoulder and points to the sign above them that says, ‘All Gentlemen MUST wear Hat to be Served’. While the Large Gentleman scratches his head looking towards the direction of the Polite Gentleman’s exit, Charlie draws all three beers in front of him.



Pitch Session

Ever had your Sandcastle crumble halfway through.

linked from Sandcastle Matt on flickr

As per usual, that's how my pitch went...

Not that it went badly. In fact it was really well received. But my ability to think cognitively and remain unflustered were dramatically reduced. It's something that is integral to pitching well; being comfortable with those questions I have probably considered in putting the ideas together for the film but are unable to articulate under pitch conditions. I think what I really need is to attend some sort of public speaking or acting classes.

I have to say I was jealous of the North Americans who, as a natural part of their education system, do so much public speaking. The difference was palpable.

I guess that's it. The next pitch will be better, and the one after better than that, and so forth.