DIRECTING MY FIRST COMMERCIAL JOB IN THE US, THE QUIET PIECES THAT ALIGNED FORM A REASSURING PICTURE...
A few months back I won my first commercial gig in the States with the gorgeous people at Picture Farm: a couplet of small, quiet stories for an energy company focussing more on renewable energies. With no VFX or overly present visual trickery, it was a discrete way to jump into the pool; not so much a dive bomb in the deep end or wailing scream thrashing my way past equally noisy children, but a no nonsense slip into the slow lane to begin my warm up.
Teaming up with my long time collaborator and fellow Australian abroad, Josh McKie, they posed a quintessentially old-world wedge of Americana, one that I am entirely unqualified to say I understand, no matter how much Spielberg or Reiner I may have watched in my yoof. Yet in many other ways — and for those who catch my almost daily posts across social media — these stories are a natural next step; I know our future is with a healthier attitude towards our planet, with more women in the roles that shape it. Whether it's going to Antarctica with a team of ambitious female scientists or cheering the successes of those nearest and dearest to me, I try to help that future come to bear in any small way I can. Sometimes it feels like that's all I should be doing.
"NO ONE MENTIONED QUOTAS OR AGENDAS. IT JUST HAPPENED ORGANICALLY, WITHOUT ANY FIGHT, FUSS OR FANCY PANTING"
So it was a nice surprise to find ourselves on the second day of shooting these two spots with a group of smart, well intentioned creatives in a sleepy corner of Kansas, having the realisation that not one main character was male (in one spot the cast is entirely female) and that of the main cast, only one face was white. While the diversity happened with some deliberateness, the entirely all female cast was a complete accident (at least at our end). No one mentioned quotas or agendas. There was no discussion about whether we should insert a guy or girl in a scene. It just happened organically, without any fight, fuss or fancy panting. Not to mention the cast were all either first timers or actual Westar employees. What naturals.
In that way, it was a small sign that in this day and age where it seems bullies hold sway as women share countless stories of male-inflicted torment, we can note a small sign that the future we are fighting for is already here, quietly slipping unnoticed into the pool to ensure, stroke by stroke, the future Us have a decent world to enjoy it in.
Client: Westar Energy
Agency: Callahan Creek
Agency Producer: Jon Hardesty
Agency Sr Art Director: Chris Ralston
Agency Sr Copy Writer: Kevin Faddis
Director: Kess Broekman-Dattner
Producer: Laura Cartagena, Tom Hipp
DP: Josh McKie
Post Supervisor: Leslie Yoon
Post Producer: Monique Robertson
Editor: Chris Boniello, Rodrigo Balseca
Assistant Editor: Matt Egan, Jose Roman
Audio Mixer: Explosion Robinson
Colorist: Roslyn Di Sisto, Nice Shoes
VFX: Claudia Perez