The night before a shoot can be some of the most awesomely unhelpful sleep imaginable.  
You flip from side to side, thinking of all the things you've done, brainstorming all the things yet to be done, making up a few of the things you should have done ... Then comes that sublime moment when you feel yourself finally going to sleep, your body sinking into that molten, relaxed state, at which point you cup both hands to your inner monologue and bellow at yourself 'YOU'RE GOING TO SLEEP!  WELL DONE!'.  And so on until 4am, when even your inner monologue must admit it's all getting rather boring.


From whence I woke on the morning of the shoot for Are You Ready Yet?, the sublimely beautiful song cowritten by Clare Bowditch and Gotye, from the Aria nominated EP of the same name.  
Of course, the moment I turned up to location to a blazingly beautiful spring morning, sleeplessness was forgotten.  For the rest of the day I was firing on all cylinders.  

A lot can be said for a steady stream of caffeine and sugar laced carbs, mind.


I find that rarely on a shoot does a thing get you down.  
Maybe a death would.  Or famine.  But rarely a thing.

Truthfully, one simply can't let things get one down.  For this is entirely what film making is about: navigating things in order to get as close to the end vision as possible.  If you let the things get in the way, then you're missing half the point.  When I first heard someone say 'filmmaking is a series of compromises' I thought 'jeezuz, what a depresso, clearly he's in the wrong industry.  Or life'. 

But if you say 'filmmaking is a series of compromises' with a smile in your voice, then — like a lot of things — it's actually not so bad.  In fact, it has the ability to really set you free.  It's that mentality that helps when you discover what you thought was possible isn't actually possible at all. 

Setting up in the studio, we had encountered a flicker in our picture, one that no amount of relighting or camera calibration could solve.  Katie Milwright, our gorgeously talented DoP, and Brendan Slaven, our generous rep from Olympus, had worked on every solution possible, and nothing could eliminate it.  

Here it was: a thing.  

The sudden truth 3 hours into one day only shoot: we couldn't film indoors, in a controlled environment, at all.  

It was decided: we had to shoot outdoors, in the changing light of day, at the whim of the sun, the weather, the wind.  The whole aesthetic of the clip was in need of compromise because of a flickering abnormality that couldn't be pinned to anything.  Right.


There's an inevitable period on any film shoot where those before the camera spend an inhuman amount of time waiting.
I've been there once or twice myself.

So when we realised the whole thing had to be moved outdoors, it was with a rather heavy heart I had to shrug at all those who'd donated their time and politely pitch 'wait a little longer?' then 'there are biscuits over there'.

Fortunately, in testament to the two artists, every soul who donated their time was ok to continue donating.  There were one or two grumbles, true, and someone did disappear (hopefully back home and not down a large hole) but inherently there was simply just patience, a commitment to help in anyway necessary.  Which, for the majority of people in front of the camera, meant sitting in sunshine and — yep — waiting.


Within the hour we were set up outdoors.
Our gaffer Dan Carr, an inherently positive and gracious sort, pulled trick after trick out of his van; we had a camping table, easy ups, and all the diffusion, cutters and c-stands we could desire.  

It looked for all the world like we'd meant to do this all along.  Who says there is one kind of magic in movies?


There's always that moment when you see your first great take.
One that is
 truly — in the least fluffy, most undeniable sense — magical; for a moment you're transported, or affected, or excited.  It's that moment you all go 'ahhhh, there it is.  That's it.  That's what we're all here for'.  When at last we'd started filming, and we saw the first smile break at 2000 frames per second, that was our moment.  

Being relatively certain that no one else had done anything like this before helped as well.


A joy spreads when your main order for the day is to be tickled.
It rippled through the little community that had congregated.  There were smiles, there was music.  When Tony Reiner, our grizzled senior, cackled the walls down at being tickled, there was an impromptu round of cheering and applause.  There were hugs from strangers and endless thank you's from both sides.  Clare, ever the gracious host, moved about the camp ensuring people were thanked in person, heard, and appreciated.

That sort of attention to humanity, the selflessness of that woman, will see her soar far beyond the relevance of the Australian music scene.  If it hasn't already.


Tickling is the remedial parting of the curtain.
We ended up with incredibly personal moments, with laughter and wriggles each different from the last.  Telling insights into the characters of the people themselves.  Moments of raw honesty, that pleasure/pain of being poked in an area that breaks down any artifice, soils underpants and reveals a kid that's been hiding all along.


Every time I make a music video, I'm seeking to reward you for your time.
To give you something of a peer to the song, but also deliver an experience that acts on its own and — hopefully — calls you back for repeat viewings.  It's never been more up to us film makers to inspire the labels to consider them as worth the investment.  Not just as marketing tools or ways to promote a face, but to inspire, encourage discussion, to take you away for a moment ... like the songs themselves.


I drove home that night, feeling like a rubber band that had been wrapped around something too big for it and left out in the sun.
But also elated.  Clare and Wally had, in 
Are You Ready Yet?, one of those songs that cut through and struck the right note.  The concept, I knew in my caffeine spiked waters, was sound.  

That night I collapsed in bed and made up for the lax effort of the night before.  I slept the sweet sleep of the innocents, passed out into oblivion.  Happy.  

Which, considering the song, was exactly as it should have been.







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 cry out:
All the photographs you've looked at today come from two delightful photographers who deserve all the opportunities to capture the world through their eyes that they can get.

Ethanial Masters
Has an knack for the portrait.  Find him via facebook:
Anna Robinson
She's Clare's sister, and has the warmth and generosity that could well be her family's trademark.  Get her via








20 odd Gigglebytes

20 odd Gigglebytes

The shoot for Are You Ready Yet, the new single written by Clare Bowditch and Gotye was a day that quite aptly punned that title entirely out of the stadium.  As a skeleton crew did an incredible job of thinking on their feet over a huge last minute change, a steadily swelling number of volunteers sat in the garden, soaking up sunshine and keeping themselves entertained.  Just.  More on that day to come, complete with enough on set photos to make you all but taste the inertia.

Now though, all the footage is converted, logged and thown into the relevant sequences.  Nothing left for it but to start editing.  Wondering that even with about a 100 bazillion hours of people being tickled, do I have enough of what it takes to make this into the something it deserves to be?  Only one way to see, ready or not ...

Oh, and to appease my desire to offer you guys something beyond my world as much as to appease my desire for From On High to be viewed as other than hideously self serving, I've decided to include a coda at the end of every post.  Not sure what I'll call it, yet.  But I do know that here I'll endeavour to point you towards another corner of the world to check out someone doing something I reckon deserves attention.  This week it's easy: Schoolhouse Studios.  Run by two incredibly gifted girls, I've mentioned the place here before.  But it's just launched its new website, profiling the site and it's 50 odd artists, from fellow film makers, to architects, animators to clothing desingers.  Check it out:

BOWDITCH/GOTYE MUSIC VIDEO SHOOT: Calling all tickly people!


BOWDITCH/GOTYE MUSIC VIDEO SHOOT: Calling all tickly people!

We're shooting a video on Friday 14th of October at Schoolhouse Studios, for a new single cowritten by Clare Bowditch & Gotye called Are You Ready Yet?

The video is very simple: people being tickled in super duper slow motion.  How fast is that?  See the video below for an idea:

The day will be broken into hour long brackets from 10am — 6pm and will demand no more than 20 minutes of your time in front of camera.

Being a typical low budget video we're looking for volunteers.  However you do get to be part of a hugely simple, deliciously twisted music video for a song written by two of Australia's most celebrated musicians.

Anyone interested should send contact details and a headshot — looking as bored and lifeless as possible — to

Thanks to all, and may your bits be tingling with impending joy.


BOWDITCH/GOTYE MUSIC VIDEO SHOOT: Calling all tickly people!


Another 5D feature. With Zombies. Don't baulk yet, though.

The 5D makes another film maker's dreams come true this week, with the new film The Battery.

Zombie movies are a dime a dozen and I have to admit I'm well and truly over them.  That said The Battery does look like a refreshing little change, pitched somewhere between an indie buddy road movie and an inky black comedy horror.  

They've released nearly 4 minutes of footage as an extended, very loose trailer with the ambitious notion of releasing the full feature by the end of this year.  With so many major films hyped early with tiny tasters to get appetites sopping whet, this first, rather large serving seems to me like a wasted opportunity.  Trimming down the fat, director Jeremy Gardner could have a really effective, moody and refreshing bit of buzz bait with a quarter of the running time.  What do you think?

It should be pointed out they made it for $6k.  Or shot it for 6.  Either way, goodonnem.



It's always good to keep your creative juices flowing from yer spare faucets, my old plumber Mammy used to say.  Sometimes they drip like you be needin' to replace a washer, other times they be torrenting out like you have yourself an 8 seater jacuzzi to fill before half time.  The important thing is these spare faucets are there and outpouring the juices, splashing on your upturned face and making an awful mess of your suit jacket.

Evidently, my old deep south plumber Mammy was not one for creative metaphors.  But I took her advice to heart.  

Recently Benny de Quadros Wander — a very old friend and collaborator — and I were asked to create a poster for some friends of ours in Taiwan, Mikey and Mele.  They were (did) getting (get) married and decided they wanted a poster to welcome guests to the event.  Many years ago, when Benny and I were teaching in Taiwan, we made a poster depicting Mikey and his best friend Chris Forrest, above the image of crossed chodes and grundles, with the words 'Grunds and Hoses' in a rip/homage to that most iconic icon of 90s soft cock rock.  Certainly, it was one of more mature moments.


The only request from the almost newlyweds this time was less penises and ass necks.  More's the pity.

With that in mind, we took a gentle 1940s BnW poster aesthic, depicting the coming together of two worlds (Mikey's from Canada, his darling wifey Mele a Taiwanese Aboriginal), with little scenes of their blooming romance peppered throughout.  The two are extraordinary dags in the best sense of the word, and we wanted to create something that was unabashedly romantic.  Here it is:


It's the first time Benny and I have worked together on something in a long time, and we were pretty happy with the result, both in terms of how well we gelled and the end product.  His masterful ability to design characters and render, combined with my print design nous, meant that we were in a position to brainstorm on content, but naturally pick up complimentary duties.  This was something we did back in RMIT Adveritising days, where we first discovered the creative connection we shared.  It was one that lead us to garner both high marks and constructive feedback like don't pitch your creative to lecturers on 2 hours sleep with your fly gaping open.

We created the wedding poster big and long (that's always been a weakness of ours) and had visions of it hanging from high gabled ceilings or plastered 10 foot high in the entrance of a grand lobby.  Here's how it actually ended up, and we wouldn't have it any other way.  

Happy wedding, M&M.  You guys are the bestest, even if you don't let us draw charicatures of the male reproductive organs.  At least, not in public.  Secretly, we all know it's our most used faucet.

Space. The newest frontier.

Space.  The newest frontier.

Studio spaces ain't what they used to be.

Certainly, they aren't if the new premises I find myself in are anything to go by.  Gone are the days of huddling in the corner of a frozen warehouse or chasing chinks of sunlight around a room the size of your undies draw.  Enter the era of reclaimed buildings, running hot and cold water, e-newsletters and off street parking.  My room even has its own kitchenette.

Space.  The newest frontier.

Schoolhouse Studios is the newest communal arts space in Melbourne, right in the heart of Abottsford.  A sprawling array of buildings hulking with that 60s and 70s style that prided itself in function over form, Schoolhouse is the site of an old Steiner primary school.  There are physical signs of its history still; walls painted in wobbly old murals by the hands of children long gone, decrepit chalkboards leaning at limping angles in corners of long empty yards.  Walk down lino floored hallways and you can almost hear the muffled authority of teachers in class, smell the party pies wafting up from the canteen, see the small shapes of school kids at play.  The classrooms and hallways are open, these light filled rooms now home to artists, designers, film makers and business folk from all around Melbourne.  Across the road is one of the best places for coffee in all of town.  Round the corner is the Abbotsford Convent.  Down the road are the Vietnamese markets of Victoria street.  Just beyond that, Victoria Gardens cinemas.  Ikea, even, should you feel the need for some minimalist Danish storage solutions. 

Space.  The newest frontier.
It's a great creative hub to be a part of, rich with potential, all beautifully organised by two gals with a vision for a space that people have flocked to with vim, vigour and vacuums.  Last week we steam cleaned carpets.  Washed down windows.  Breathed in great clouds of asbestos.  This week there's nothing left but to begin making good of it all.

Which, now that I think about it, is much more what a studio space is all about.  Sacrificing the odd bit of lung power for the greater, creative good.  Mopping and sweeping, dusting and wiping, till you have between you all a vibrant, energised, well maintained space that inspires the sharing of ideas, the creation of those ideas and the inevitable games of pong that should keep the completion of those ideas at bay for a good 15 minutes.  At least.

Space.  The newest frontier.


Walking the Offline

Walking the Offline

In a film project's lifetime, the offline edit can be the biggest two fingered salute back on the makers.

You've gone through the joy of storyboarding, the thrill of the shoot, the reassuringly linear cataloguing of your shots.

Then you've got everything in sequence in your timeline and suddenly you're looking at disparate elements, huddled together like a bunch of troubled children on some sort of reformation camp in the wilderness.  Some of them get on, and they group together in perfect synch, like little stars.  You look at them and your heart swells. 

But there are others, and you wonder if there's any hope for them.  They scratch at you with savage suddenness, they refuse to cooperate with their team mates, they blaze on their own, but fumble within the team.  How on earth did you ever think they were going to work?  And what's more, where are the shots you reckoned on getting from the outset?  How could you forget to pick them up in the school bus?  The whole project is incomplete without them!  Are they still waiting in the cold, alone and hungry, realising now their time has passed that they're destined to forever wander the limbo between conception and realisation?

It's tough.  Never have you more wished for a return to the heady days of bar tending, where all you did was work lates and enjoy your days off staring pie eyed at the nearest screen or sunning yourself in the park between frisbees.

Walking the Offline
Then you reach the point where your offline can be locked off — must be locked off — and you've braved biting winds and steep escarpments, infighting and double crossings to discover a way of cooperation you didn't think was possible.  You've rethought the shots and their places in the sequence, and suddenly you have a smoothly running unit bound by over all vision.

They don't look like the ragtag bunch of misfits and lowlifes, with the gems in the rough.  They all look ready.  With a healthy glint in their eye and a reassured measure in their step, you realise with something akin to relief that, yes, they gel.

You lean back with a comfortable sigh and a sense of excitement.  It's time to make the grade.  It's time for the online.

Back on the bus, kids.  You did good.  Now, let's get you spruced up.

Walking the Offline



The end of the world cometh! At 500 frames per second!

The end of the world cometh! At 500 frames per second!






Last weekend we shot the new video for Harmless, and many of you turned up to be rugged and feral.  We were wowed and touched in equal measure by your generosity and inventive costuming.

Then, after you all left, we suffered a hideously rare technical malfunction and the last 1/4 of our data was lost!  See the remains of our take here.

We're using what was an untimely technical failure as an excuse to restage this video and make it BIGGER and BETTER than EVER before!  NEVER has CAPS and EXCLAMATION MARKS been more WARRANTED!

So, in the early evening of Saturday 2nd of July we're having a SECOND AND FINAL attempt at filming a music video for Melbourne ensemble Harmless and their new single 'Here's The Girl'.

Check out the song:

Utilising an awesome bit of kit — the Olympus i—SPEED research camera — we'll be pushing high speed scientific photography where it's never gone before: into the midst of the rioting, final vesitges of humanity.  All in one slow, hypnotic shot.

But we can't do it without you.  And you.  And you.

If you've always wanted to pretend like the world's ending, to get really angry about it, to shout and holler and throw things, to dress in your best apocalyptic dissenter threads (see the images below for wardrobe inspiration) and be caught in all your beautiful, grimy slo mo beauty, then you're invited to come join us.

Be you young and sprightly or old and crotchety, haggard and wiry or plump and fruity, you're all wanted.  This is about humanity at the brink of destruction, and that means everyone.

We'll be shooting Saturday 2nd July, from 5pm to 7.30pm, in Fairfield.  This is a volunteer based project for all of us, so we can't offer cash money and comfy trailers.  We can offer the chance to be part of something really rare and really cool. 

We appreciate that having you out 2 weekends in a row is a real ask, so to make it easier for you we're going to ply you with hot food and booze, to make your time with us as comfortable and as easy as possible.

Send your expressions of interest to:

See you all then for a celebration of making it bigger and better than before, and on behalf of the band, thank you.  We wouldn't wanna have anyone else with us at the world's end.  Again.

Kess Broekman-Dattner



New music video for Pez, looking to cast 1 x old man, 1 x 12 yr old girl & LOADS of extras ...

New music video for Pez, looking to cast 1 x old man, 1 x 12 yr old girl & LOADS of extras ...

Wanna be part of a new music vid for Pez, in a line of human dominoes?  Think you're a craggy old man or a 12 year old girl?  Then boy have we got a deal for you ...

Film shoot - Pez's Shine Music Video
Shoot Date - Thurs 27th Jan (Fri 28th Jan as a weather hold day if thurs's weather is not film friendly)
Shoot Times - Split into sections over the day, filming from 9am — 8pm (TBC)
Location/s - mostly in and around Yarraville (TBC) Melbourne.
Fee - Volunteer based only, but a great opportunity to be on set & be involved with a cool new clip for a completely rad artist ...

We are looking to cast:

1 x OLD MAN (aged between 45 - 65yr old)

Description - Hunched and grouchy, the old man is an almost Dickensian creature, living alone in an emotionally void house in the middle of suburbia.  He's soured towards the world, finds most things annoying and has a secret soft spot for salty liquorice. He sees the world constantly in too much of a hurry — and managed most poorly at that — though he'll move with lightening speed to eliminate any kind of insect (spiders are ok because they get rid of the insects). Lined and fiercely expressive, his face tells an instant story — but a story he has no interest in sharing with you, thank you very much.

He has big features, cragged and worn, his frame wiry and stooped.  Actor must have a sense of comic timing, physically expressive and fearless.

1 x YOUNG GIRL (aged around 12)

Description - Diminutive and quiet, she's the sort of girl who makes the smallest of ripples.  At school teachers have no problem with her, in fact largely they have nothing with her at all.  Her name is often forgotten, and in the schoolyard she's friends with the groundskeeper, the art teacher and a large girl from 5th form.  The two girls sit together at lunch and quietly help each other weather the inevitable teasing.  She loves her parents and her toddler brother, who she's always helping up when he falls over.  To an outsider she's odd — aloof, even — but within her sits a quiet strength, one that sees the world as it is, and cares not for trends, pressures from outsiders or foolish behaviour. 

She's on the cusp of young womanhood.  The actress must have an ability to remain calm on the outside, almost impassive, and be relatively small in stature. 

EXTRAS (all ages)

The more diverse the better!  All ages, different looks ... Will be a little physically demanding (you're in a line of human dominoes) but nothing that'll break bones or pop hips.  Also get the chance to play dress ups: we need all sorts from all walks, so if you've ever wanted to play a corporate, an emo and a window cleaner all in one day, then look no further.

To enter submissions or for more info, please send HEADSHOT / PHOTO & CONTACT NUMBER to ASAP.