FROM WHERE WE ALREADY ARE

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.

CREDITS
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

SEE MY BESTS

AHEAD OF MY WORK AND PLAY ADVENTURE FROM ONE SIDE OF AMERICA TO THE NEXT, I THOUGHT I'D CUT A NEW TASTING PLATTER OF MY WORK SO FAR.  HUNGRY?

When I cut a reel montage, I'm looking for the best bits without throwing in all the best bits like I've gone to the buffet and loaded up my plate with every one of my favourite chocolate mousse.

May or may not have got it right, but one thing I did realise is how many people I've worked with that make my bests better than I could have ever hoped for.  There are too many names to name all names, but there are a few names I must name.  Namely:

CAST
(all the bands and artists aside) Ruby Hedigan Dattner, Defah Dattner, Andre Cefai, HIT 'EM dance crew, Jason Coleman's Ministry of Dance, Tania Groba, Sebastian Sarria, Susie Mandley, Craig Dew, Clement Lazarro & Cristin Daniel 

PRODUCERS
Ema Thornell, Sonia Esposito, Briony Luschwitz & Nic Cox

1st ADs
I'm looking at you, Crofty.

DoPs
Edward Goldner, Josh McKie, Stefan Duscio, Shelley Farthing Dawe, Katie Milwright, Jody MustonSimon Ozolins

PRODUCTION DESIGN/ART DIRECTION
Danielle Bain, Genevieve Shrayer, Joāo Oliveira

CHOREOGRAPHY
2ndToe, HIT 'EM dance crew & Jason Coleman's Ministry of Dance

EDITORS
Tim Egan, Ryan Brett, Suga Suppiah, Elodie Fouqueau & Caitlin Spiller

SFX
Lizzie Sharpe, Tristan Lucas, Taryn Gionis & Joel Gionis

VFX
Zero One Animation, Canopy VFX, Javier Roca, Manimal Post & Michael Shanks

COLORISTS
Roslyn Di SistoFergus Hally, CJ DobsonManimal Post & Daniel Stonehouse

There are (and will always be) more, but for now, thank you, bests.  You're the bestsetists.

Kx

Everything to date. August 2014. Music: Best for You by Batucada Sound Machine: http://www.b2kda.com/