What’s the best thing about working in our business?
Sometimes the weather is good and I get to be outside for it.
When did you first become attracted to working in our profession and what was your first job?
My first job was as a sound recordist freelancing, primarily working with Flinders’ Creation, which is now Frankie Films. In recent years I get more excited about composition than I do sound and have pivoted to camera. On my first gig as a videographer I teamed up with a fellow film student, Andrew Ilicic, on a shoot for Burnside Village. We had no show reel, just experience making student films. They weren’t doing much in the way of web content then and had no budget for us. We had an agreement where they’d buy the video off us only if they liked the finished product. It was a minimum risk deal for them so they took the chance. Thankfully it was great. It even got some marketing awards. For context, this was in 2015.
What keeps you motivated to do this job?
I am obsessed with composition. There is always something new to play with from interesting locations that inspire fun lighting and staging to different lenses and filters. I enjoy Anamorphics and think they should be standard with smartphones.
If you could change anything in this industry what would it be?
I recall being told when I was younger that, 2% of film students will end up working in the industry. You could call it a reality check but statistics don’t reveal the issues. I don’t like the mentality that there are no jobs and no money in a career in film and arts, even if we just joke about it. I’d rather hear about the specific challenges and engage in more frequent conversations about the scope of the industry and career pathways so that younger people can be empowered to take more control of their careers and the industry.
What has been your most interesting or challenging project so far and tell us some of the hardships you faced doing that?
The most fun and challenging shoot to date would have to be The Bluff, a short film with a wild look with 500mm lens, split diopter and dolly zooms on a beach. I love location shoots, but the sea spray and stairs down to Petrel Cove were brutal. We saved budget on the lenses using rubber gears on stills glass, which I will never do again for a shoot like this. I learned the hard way that when you are versing nature you don’t also want to be in a simultaneous battle with your gear. I love all the wacky shots we got on this one but there is a part of me that is still on that beach. I do hope the filmmakers finish this film one day.
What are you currently working on and what’s your next project?
Right now, I’m working on a handful of projects. I am writing and developing a couple of long form comedy projects. I am trying to bring back a film and arts convention I started pre-pando called Testfest. Later this year I will be shooting my first music video for a local band called ‘Wake in Fright’, which I am very excited about. The latest thing I shot was some footage for the Adelaide Roller Derby. I used a 75mm Anamorphic and manually pulled focus. I hope they find the one shot that was sharp and use that one.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
The best advice is your own advice, and take breaks.
Are there any special tricks you have learned over the years?
I shoot with DSLRs a lot. A cheesy, trick shot I sometimes do is a spinning hand-held zolly. I do this by holding the focus ring and spinning the camera instead while easing in and out on a subject. I can also balance a boom pole on my head.
I’ve also learned that no matter how much I think a shot could be better, everything ‘looks great’ when a client is asking. It probably does look great but is ‘great’ really good enough!!!?