Crafting low budget music vids is always a challenge to my instincts and leanings (namely big and beautiful), but our clip for Elefant Trak's Horrorshow and their latest single Dead Star Shine went live over the weekend, and been doing well — much to our joy and surprise.  We knew we'd done something the band dug, but that fans out there have been responding so positively is a real boost.


It's nothing unusual, but you pour your energies and time into doing something for weeks (and in this case, months) on end, so much that you lose almost total objectivity. For film makers that often becomes an exercise in faith, one that can cause all sorts of anxiety attacks and superfluous uses of the word "great" ... That said, there will always be beats in my work that I dig, and the final shot of this clip still makes me simmer.

Here, check it out.



After a 2 day shoot braving cyclone force winds and even stronger mosquitos (including a half day of pick ups), several weeks cutting with Method's Suga Suppiah and a whirlwind but satisfyingly luscious grade with Roslyn Di Sisto, I got to do some pretty cool tech stuff I've been wanting to try out for ages. 

Most starkly, shooting day-for-night (with the incredibly talented Josh McKie, now over in New York and soon destined for greatness), working on VFX that I'd intended to do inhouse at Collider, but due to scheduling had to farm over to Melbourne wunderkind Michael Shanks.  Much to my good fortune.  We spent hours in his bedroom, watching him drink tea in his underpants and finessing skies and meteors as much as humanly and financially possible.  Always struck time and again by his uncanny ability to instantly find ways through After Effects to create vision that looks almost Maya worthy.  If you haven't checked his trailer for Time Trap yet, I thoroughly recommend you do:

For me, Dead Star Shine has been the closest I've got yet to the sort of vision I want to capture.  Silky, stylised and fantastical, with wide angles, long takes and graceful camera work.  While there are things I would change and lessons I've learnt, I can say that the label's generous words that "the atmosphere and ideas were executed perfectly - something that's a little rare when working on a tight budget" feels justified.  

For me, this clip represents a pretty decent blend of capturing the attitudes, moods and personalities of a band (which is always my main aim and why the aesthetic and execution of the work can vary from song to song) with my own cinematic and narrative leanings.  

Not bad for something produced on the smell of a cupboard which once housed an oily rag box.


Coo-ee is a section I dedicate to moving you on to somewhere or someone in the world doing work I reckon you ought to check out.  So this post I cup my hands to my mouth and shrilly cryout: JOSHHHHHH MCKIIIIIIIIEEEEE

He's the guy who shot this clip and is now over in the states making a name for himself.  I've worked with quite a few DPs, but Josh is one of the few who brings an insane level of preproduction commitment, a near flawless sensitivity to vision, a tenderness with crew and cast and an impeccable visual eye.  He's still early in his career, but if I had my way, I'd work with him on everything.  Somewhere deep down, I pray for his entirely unlikely failure in the states, so we get to have him back here again.  Check out his work below.