Tuesday, June 9, 2009

For the love of it...

Want to learn the guitar? Simon will take requests!

I met this groovy cat whilst I was strolling along the beach this morning, sipping a latte, walking to clear my head.

He's a gorgeous musician and a wonderful example of an artist who makes music for the love of it. He shared with me that he is creating videos and tutorials for YouTube just to give back to the muse and his community.

Nice work, Simon :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ever wondered about moving to LA to pursue your career???

Here is an article that Kate Davies posted on her facebook group called "The Actor's Journey" discussion board. i thought it was pretty awesome, so I'm reposting it here for you to read. I think, regardless if you're going over there for acting or other filmmaking career aspirations, that there is plenty of gold nuggets to mine!

Make sure you go and join her facebook group too! See the bottom of the page for the URL:

Hey Gorgeous actors and film folk,
Many of you have been asking me where I am studying etc. So here is some info on moving to LA.

1. I am studying at TVI actors studios, the reason I chose them was it is an intense 8 week course covering mainly the audition process, american dialect class and the way to market yourself for the American Market.
The 8 week course cost $3500 US. There is also an 4 month course which gives you the chance to work in the industry for a month.


2. To find accommodation, the school will help you or you can check craigslist:


The average monthly rent is about $750 - $1000 US per person.

3. There are also some other visa options on the discussion topic here on the AJ " 10 ways to get a visa to USA"

4. Please be careful and don't part with your money unwisely. To set yourself up for a 2 month stay in LA here is a breakdown of costs:
a) $3500 US for 2 month school
b) $1000 AUD for a return flight from Sydney to LA (I flew Virgin, they were great and it's a 13 hr flight)
c) $750-$1000 US a month rent.
d) Budget about $100-$150 US a week on food and living.

5. Getting around LA is a pain if you don't have a vehicle. If you study at TVI you can get a place quite close and walk it is quite safe. The buses ($1.25US per ride)are cheap but getting to Santa Monica from Sherman Oaks is a 2 bus ride and takes about 1 1/2 hrs. Buddy up with someone with a car and you can share petrol it costs about $28 US for a full tank of gas.

6. TVI are quite lax and as long as you have some acting experience you can get in. Don't do yourself a dis favour and go without acting lessons as you will feel out of your depth.

7. I studied acting for screen in Australia at NIDA and Screenwise as a part time student but I also worked extensively in the Oz industry. For some of my work check my website:

8. If you have a few credits, an IMDB or lots of PR you are probably better off spending the $3500US on getting a lawyer in Oz to sort you out with a 2 year work visa, that way you can get out here and work straight away and fund your trip and stay that way.

9. Don't think it is any easier here in LA, yes there is more work, but there are 20 times more actors, going for the same jobs. You really have to market yourself as a business here and not rely on your agent or manager. Relying on them you will starve to death and just end up getting jaded and leaving the industry.

10. Everyone is really friendly here and there is a huge Ozzy community. So it is up to you to get out and go the the networking events. There is something different going on every day.
Also classes out here are roughly about $250 US for 4 x 3hour classes. But again do your homework and go and do an audit of the class (sit in and watch for free) to see if you like it.

Adopt a smart proactive attitude, seek your own work and network like crazy! It is definately not what you know but WHO you know in this town.

I am loving my experience and the classes are teaching me a lot about the business of acting.

I hope this is helpful. Feel free to add some comments if there is anything I have forgoten!

And remember:

"The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore."
–Dale Carnegie

Good luck guys and keep on believing in yourselves.

Best wishes


Best of luck!
from Lunar Wolf Productions

quote. a creative life: mastery in the offering...

Here's a cool quote i read on a facebook group I just joined called A.C.D.C:

"There are those that learn to swim by being thrown into the water and there are those that learn to swim by acquiring knowledge about everything to do with the process of swimming, and play around with various conscious ways of entering the water as well as propelling through water.

The former become good at not drowning - the later may swim in a range of styles, understand the nature of water and it's various forms, and most importantly can consciously identify the experience of doing as well as interpret it's impact on the viewers.

The former doesn't take very long to achieve, the later is a life time commitment."

Cool huh?


posted on a fb by Greg Kurapatkin

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sydney-siders: check out this photographic exhibition @ CAFE LOUNGE

Cafe Lounge has an exhibition on at the moment called LOUNGIN'

It's out of this world!!!

My favourite portrait was a gorgeous image of a woman as if in a japanese tea house which had been flooded... complete with green fog rising off the water --- magical!!!

Congratulations to Alex Weltlinger and his team who worked LONG hours on this series.

All of the models are actually the STAFF from CAFE LOUNGE.

Alex's vision was to bring out the unique characteristics of each of the portraits, placing them in their element and highlighting the shocking, the funny or the irreverent inside each of them.

EVERYTHING was shot at the Cafe Lounge! Amazing use of space, lighting and context to transport you in each photograph to a whole new world.

Congratulations to everyone involved once again - and to the Cafe Lounge for partnering such a visionary project!

It's called:

It's on from:
19th May - 9th of June

Cafe Lounge, 277 Gouldburn St, Surry Hills

Find out more about it:
(PS check out the awesome feature on the bottom of the screen - hint, it's a rollover so swipe the mouse across the figurines - be prepared for image overload!!!)

or on this blog:

He also has a funky profile on Model Mahem:

This is a photo of Alex's, but not from the exhibition. Just an example of his extraordinary talent to get the juices flowing so you hop on down to the CAFE LOUNGE to experience it for yourself!!!

To see more of Alex's photos and some sneak previews from the LOUNGIN' exhibition, check out:


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Synchonicity... at the Opera Bar

Having been lately participating in a great discussion on the importance of music in films, that can be found at:


Here's a story of Synchronicity that occurred last night while out on an "Artist's Date" (see Julia Cameron and her fabulous books in The Artist's Way series, if you don't know what I'm talking about)

I was at the Opera Bar soaking up atmosphere of the romantic imagery of the opera house & Sydney harbour and the sounds of a singer/pianist with a cheeky glass of champas before returning home... and the musician and I get to chatting in his breaks. Of course we share a bit about ourselves, what we do... and he tells me he wants to get into writing soundtracks for films. His name is Gerard Masters.

Gerard Masters... Gerard Masters... The name was familiar. I felt a bit sheepish that I couldn't place it. It was clear from our convi that he knew some cool people and did a lot of touring and recording with his two bands (one pop, one jazz)...

Anyway, we had a great chat - about all things creative, favourite movies, travelling spots, vacation plans - and it comes out that he's a kiwi too (my goodness, us kiwi's are a talented bunch!!!) We exchange details, he invited me to a gig (It's on tonight at the Basement, unfortunately I can't go, but you should catch it if you're around!) and we agreed to catch up when he gets back from touring for the new CD launches.

Of course when I got home, I googled him. Turns out he's pretty well known!

Gerard Masters is one of Sydney's most in demand keyboard players. As well as leading his own groups, he performs and records with top jazz, funk and rock artists from around Australia and New Zealand.


Double the sheepishness - I have to admit, I got pretty excited to learn that he toured with Missy Higgins (one of my all-time fav. AU singer-songwriters). His bands have done a bunch of recordings and live gigs at various international locations and festivals. But that still didn't give me how I knew him...

It wasn't til I loaded up good ol' iTunes that I realised why his name was so familiar to me --- The Gerard Masters Trio (the jazz band) was a favourite of Chrissie Koltai, my old movement & dance teacher from the Actor's Centre! I had a copy of their CD "Palindrome" at home and had even used it in the soundtrack to a piece I directed for stage while studying at The Actor's Centre...

How is that for synchronicity! Pretty awesome huh?

I was really just there to lap up the gorgeous sounds & atmosphere! -- but it's great to have met him. I could tell he was talented. Was great to hear he was also being recognised and in demand for his skills!

Needless to say, am looking forward to exploring possible future collaborations :)

Loving it up!
from Lunar Wolf Productions

PS For a further note on the synchronicity of that - just last weekend I saw an Italian film called "QUIET CHAOS" and they were talking about Palindromes in the first few minutes of having walked into the cinema... freaky!!! lol.

PPS Gerard if you are reading this, the song I mentioned covered by the Whitlams (but I think originally written by Bob Dylan) was "Tangled Up and Blue." And I loved your rendition of "Fire & Rain" - you may have noticed that it had me singing along in my chair. he he. Great song. Next time, play more of yours!


My info from a little birdie who works there (thanks for the water, Ben!) says that:


And Gerard mentioned that through winter they often get a little baby grand down there to help warm the winter-nights. Make sure you pop down to hear him play, it's food for the soul :)

Related links:

Gerard Masters Trio MySpace:

Gerard Masters MySpace:

Friday, May 8, 2009

Samson & Delilah - a film Australians can rave about!!!

So for those of you who haven't seen this film yet, get your butts to the cinema and SEE THIS FILM!!! And STOP Reading This blog because I am about to rave and I don't want to spoil it for you!!!! Honestly do yourself a favour, grab a friend and go to the movies - you will be moved by your time with this story!

For those of you that have seen this movie...

WOW, huh? I have not been so confronted and so riveted/engaged in a cinema experience in YEARS!!! Incredible. I kept wanting to fill up that silence with inane chatter. I was hyper-aware of how used to the convention of dialogue and chatter I was. I was itching for someone to say something, anything. I wanted to scream at the characters to look around, to open their eyes, to wake up to what was happening. It was like being 5 yo in a pantomime and yelling at the hero "look, look, he's behind you!!" Fantastic.

What I also found inspiring was how shocked and repulsed I felt at the same time as being riveted to the screen. I both wanted to get away, whilst forcing myself to stay, desperate to see what happened next. And I came out the other end of the movie not only knowing that this situation was NOT ok with me, as a fellow Australian and global citizen, and also feeling compelled to explore what I could actively do to make a difference to this poverty. So often I find I've come out of a powerful movie about social issues, shaking my head and thinking "god, that's awful" and yet actually not compelled to act. But Samson & Delilah left me with "What could I do?" "Would this work?" "What if I started an awareness campaign" "What skills/resources do I have that could make a difference to these kids?" Quality questions flowing from a world-class film. I'm sure it will rock the audiences at Cannes.

I am immensely proud to be an Australasian filmmaker when I see films like this come out of our community.

Congratulations to the Director/Writer, Warwick Thornton, the Producer, Kath Shelper, & the whole team who brought us such a deep & moving film.

And congratulations must go to all of those - the local and national government agencies, industry professionals and independent financiers who invested time/money/faith in this project - YOU MADE IT HAPPEN!

Inspired Fellow filmmaker,


The official blog & website:

Here's an article in the Times about Samson & Delilah going to Cannes, published 11/05/09:

Samson and Delilah quite literally took my breath away!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

making things makes a difference!

I've started a wee project, just for myself. I'm writing a novel. Don't know what it'll come to or whether I'll ever publish it or perhaps make a movie of it... but for now the pleasure's all in the writing and playing in the world!!!

So it was 12:30 AM when I managed to tear myself away from the 'work' computer last night having been lost in a silly spiral of online time wasting and got into bed to grab my laptop and start writing.

For me, climbing into my warm bed with the duck duvee and getting out my laptop to open final draft is more like rubbing my hands together when sitting at the kitchen table just before thrusting them into a big bowl of playdough...

Now there's a thought, when did I get too old for playdough or lego for that matter?! And who says I have to wait to have kids before I can play with it again?!

Ha, perhaps I'll look up a recipe for it online. I'm sure there's a million out there by mum's, dad's & fellow rebellious artists who are getting back in touch with their making/playing/doing side.

Speaking of which, here's an amazing video I watched that gave me inspiration today...

Hope you get as much from it as I did!!!

Take care,
Miri from Lunar Wolf Productions

Monday, May 4, 2009

Loud & Proud... Standing up for where you come from!

If there's one thing pretty much everyone seems to agree on - world leaders, trend setters, artists, filmmakers, spiritual leaders and personal development coaches - you can't have a future without first dreaming about it and then TAKING ACTION towards it.

Well, here's a story that I hope will inspire you.

A couple of years ago, my friend and I decided to make a film for Tropfest. We had never made a film before. We had no idea what you had to do to make a film. But we had watched PLENTY of films and seen Tropfest for many years running, so we figured, what the hell, let's just make one.

And we did.

From the point where we committed and decided to make a film, we wrote, directed and shot it ALL within TWO WEEKS!

Now, this was no filmmaking feat. I'm not claiming brilliance of any kind. But what we did do, is we got in there and had a go, from exactly where we were at and with what we already had - Passion and a Love of StoryTelling!

Actually, the film we produced was very much a first film. A student film. A first encounter with the magic of the black screen.

To tell you the truth, by the time we had finished editing it and I sent it off festivals, I had already starting judging the work. My tail was already between my legs. The stinky part was that I felt embarrassed. I'd already started comparing what we had produced to all those amazing directors and films that I loved so much and I had become painfully aware that THIS film, was not a match. For my dreams or for the kind of product I could be proud of.

Not surprising then, with that kind of energy behind it, it did not find a place in the festivals I sent it off to. I had spent hundreds of dollars on entry fees to festivals that I thought weren't aiming for the holy grail but a realistic place for our film and I became even more embarrassed and disheartened... So I put it away in a drawer and tried to forget about it. Whenever anyone asked me about it, I tried to fob it off as quickly as possible and move onto other things, probably making a joke out of it.

Thank god I didn't let that cynicism and resignation actually stop me from pursuing my career as a filmmaker! If I'd listened to that snarky little voice and let it poison me completely, I would never have been able to continue taking steps towards my dreams. Luckily, my friend and I had already started Lunar Wolf Productions and we moved our focus onto new projects.

But the other day, I found the quicktime version of my film and I watched it again. In some parts I still cringed, in other parts I found myself nodding my head and thinking - Actually, for a first time director, this sequence really worked, I'm actually feeling the tension here - or - oo, that's not so good, what would I do now to cover that scene - or - oh yeah, I remember that moment on set. I was frustrated and I let that get in the way of communicating with the actor. I wonder what I could've said to help them find a fresh moment...

And by the end, I watched it through again. With less of the cringing and more of a growing sense of pride. Sure, it was definitely a first film and I had made PLENTY of mistakes. But in amongst it, was some gold, some space for true reflection, and a sense of gratitude for this first record of our baby steps into filmmaking.

So I decided to take action. In stead of leaving the film to rot in the drawer, I decided to make it into a new exercise. Seeing as I had never cut a trailer for my films, I thought, what the hell! This is a first film - what better material to cut a first trailer from?! Can I make it exciting? Can I show the tension? Can I hint at the story? Can I create the impression of the film I meant to tell?

Here is the result. It's the trailer I loaded onto our youtube channel for Lunar Wolf Productions. The channel URL is www.youtube.com/lunarwolfproductions.

The short film is called UNEXPECTED HAPPENINGS.

I am proud to have this up as an example of where we've come from. I'm proud because I hope it will encourage other beginning filmmakers to get out there - LOUD AND PROUD - show their work, gather the feedback and enjoy the process of making films. Because filmmaking is a practical art. You have to be in the game to win it. You win be telling stories, learning on the job and finding bigger and better solutions every time - always chasing that illusive image that is haunting the moments just before/after sleep...


Love Miri
From Lunar Wolf Productions

PS as you can probably tell - this film was made on $0, for the love of the thing. All the talented people that came together to help us make our first film are all legends - especially Jemore our DOP and editor, Irma our art director, Katey our producer and all the others that spent a weekend with us, often late into the night, to capture this story on tape. You guys are all legends and I hope your work is blossoming out in the industry! Big thanks must also go to Mario Leonti & Michelle Scullion from New Zealand who created a kick ass soundtrack to the film.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Girl w the courage of a lion, who silenced the UN for 6 minutes

watch this girl speak - full of passion, conviction and grace.
incredible. inspiring. i cried, yes, while watching it. but more importantly, i started thinking: what could i do? what can i do to make a difference, right now? perhaps i could donate some things. perhaps i could give some clothes to the salvos for those that lost in the fires or live on the streets, perhaps i could donate to an environmental action group, perhaps i could plant a tree... perhaps i could buy one less latte a day and save the planet that takeaway cup. perhaps.
lets see tomorrow what i do.
actions speak louder than words. this girl action = courage and taking a stand to say No, No More.


The Oscars are a compass...

For me, the Oscars are a compass

There was a great discussion going on ACTING INSPIRATIONS:


It was started by Paul Barry asking for what we thought of the OSCARS.

It got me going, reading everybodies thoughts and I wanted to share my response with you.

I think awards like the oscars are a good measure of where we are at, what we accept inside of 'mainstream' and a way, as community, to celebrate and publicly acknowledge extra-ordinary work.

i love watching - it is like a meter towards the sort of high calibre work i strive for - but also because it never fails to remind me of how human those that are our mentors, our role models and above all, ARE our fellow artists.

i feel connected to the source of storytelling when i watch. that it is not so much the individual as the WORK that we are celebrating. the strive for excellence. the striving to touch move and inspire others.

i was moved by watching merryl streep's bemusement, almost embarrassment at being so publicly acknowledged by all present for her extraordinary lifetime achievements - there was a look on her face that seemed to say

"but this is work. I do what I love. I show up, I work hard. you are all as great as me - what you see in me, i see in you."

that's the kind of artist I want to be. one who is busy doing the work. if the work works for others and they love it, great. if it flops - well, i hope i've learnt something and the next step will be to get up off the mat and focus on the next step.

to tell stories is who i am. sometimes they catch the eye & ear of my community, sometimes they won't... but i'd be dead before i stop sharing them!!!

now that i am committed to a lifetime career as a director/writer, i sat there terrified. I have no idea if i can do it (all the bravado of puppy enthusiasm has dried up) and they terrify me! I use to love them, admire them, look up to them. Now I look at the body of work of people who have been nominated and those that never were, yet have created brilliant work - and i realise, i'm in it for the long haul. no matter the result. awards or no, my heart is committed.

i enjoyed them immensely, for this moment. And I got to whoop and holler for some of my favourite filmmakers - actresses, directors, actors & writers - hooray for Kate, hooray for Sean (bravo to those passionate words for the rights of all) and to the writer of Milk...

it's also just a bloody good show all round :)


ps if you haven't already heard of this book, find it - THE WAR OF ART - check it out! it's brilliant :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Making a difference...

here is an awesome update I just received from NRDC - wildlife action fund.

Less than a week into office, President Obama announced monumental decisions this morning that show America and the world that he will lead our country in a bold new direction to protect the environment and fight global warming.

The President directed his EPA to immediately review the Bush Administration's denial of the right of California and other states to set global warming pollution standards for new cars. He also directed the Department of Transportation to set higher national fuel efficiency standards.

What will that mean in the real world? If Obama's EPA, as expected, approves the California program, new cars sold in that state and at least 13 others will have to reduce their global warming pollution by 30 percent between 2009 and 2016. And the Department of Transportation will require more efficient new cars to be on the road starting in 2010, and set a course for the average new car to achieve maximum feasible fuel efficiency by 2020.

Simply put, President Obama is not just stepping up to the threat of climate chaos. His call for a fleet of cleaner cars will help reduce our dangerous dependence on oil and push automakers to make the cars that the world wants and needs in the 21st century.

NRDC's climate attorneys were present at the White House this morning, and you can imagine their elation at this historic breakthrough. Thanks to your support, NRDC led the fight in 2002 for California's Clean Cars Law -- the very first law to cut global warming pollution from automobiles.

And when the Bush Administration and the automakers threw up roadblocks to that law, NRDC and our partners took the legal fight all the way to the Supreme Court -- and won. But the Bush EPA persisted in its unlawful obstructionism until the bitter end.

This morning, President Obama took America's foot off the brake and put cleaner cars into high gear. The automakers should be lining up to thank him. This is just the kind of turbo-charged policy they need to start producing cars that are better for the planet, better for consumers, and better for the economy.

What a difference a new President makes! But I also want to recognize your generous support and online activism that kept NRDC's clean car campaign in drive through eight tough years and countless courtrooms.

We were in the White House this morning representing you. And I truly believe this is just the beginning. If we seize this rare opportunity for environmental change, there's no telling what we can do in 2009. Congratulations!


Frances Beinecke
Natural Resources Defense Council

I love it when what you believe & what you act on makes a difference, don't you?!

The Green Life - kick the plastic... or paper bag habit - go reuseable: carry Canvas bags!

Check out this great article from NRDC blog called "THIS IS THE GREEN LIFE"

"November 2008
Plastic bags lose their luster

Nearly 75 years ago, soft plastic ranked up there with the Mona Lisa and Tower of Pisa as one of civilization's masterpieces, at least according to Cole Porter in his masterpiece, "You're the Top." Feelings have changed a bit since then.

Glamorous no longer While plastic remains the ne plus ultra as far as convenience is concerned, people are not so thrilled with its nasty habit of never, ever going away. Plastic bags, in particular, have come in for a lashing because of the way they litter the streets, get tangled in treetops, choke sea turtles and other animals who mistake them for food, clog municipal sewage systems and, once in landfills, refuse to decompose.

What we have here is yet another love-hate relationship that we do not have the strength to end. As a result, governments at all levels around the world have found it necessary to step into the breach to save us from ourselves."


Friday, January 23, 2009

365 Flicks - THE TENNIS MATCH - not a movie, but the AU OPEN - the Underdog vs the Champion!!!

Now, some of you might be thinking I'm going to talk about Match Point by Woody Allen... but I'm not and I haven't seen that one yet!

Nope, I'm going to talk about last night's Australian Open, Round Two match between Venus Williams & Carla Suarez Navarro.

Now, I love the AU open... so it's rather taken over my movie watching time... but I gotta tell you... LAST NIGHT WAS ONE HECK OF A STORY!!!

I was watching this nail biting match and all I could think was of BLAKE SNYDER'S STORY STRUCTURE from SAVE THE CAT and all the other screen writing books I've been reading over the past year of Michael Hauge, Syd Field, Karel Sagers blog from the Story Department... This match went like clockwork.

Ok, so picture this:
you start with a relative unknown. You're typical underdog. She young (only 20) ranked like 46th in the world, playing her first Grand Slam tour... and she's up against Venus Williams - a woman who's like a goddess of the tennis court. She has OWNED the grand slam SEVEN TIMES already in her career. This set up was like a no-brainer. Young gun will be shown the back of Queen's racket. Should be a nice quick match to warm us up for the men's game.

And that's what happened in Act I. Venus dominated. Carla Suarez Navarro was hanging in there, but pretty much didn't look like she had a shot. But you couldn't help but feel for her... she was up against insurmountable odds...... This set ended up 6-2 to Williams.


There was a gear change in Carla... it was visible. She had been making some nice shots in Set 1, but here in the second set, something had shifted and she was just GOING FOR IT. She had some fantastic winners from the base line, she would trade with Venus power for power until she had the slightest advantage and then, without hesitation, she would take it home. There were even a few games where they were battling it out at deuce for who could bring it home.

It was clear to us as spectators and audience of this match, that Carla found something deep down and said "You may be big. You may be mean. But I will not go quietly into that good night." and she fought back to take the set 6-3. This plucky, gutsy young girl moved from underdog without a chance to our 'hero' who was willing to do the impossible.

MID POINT. Carla, by now well and truly our hero, wins set two.

Ok, set 3 and Venus comes out with the charge. They trade games with serve until Venus broke and held her next serve (had to hold hard coz carla wasn't backing down) to get to 4-1. Both Carla & Venus hold their serves and suddenly it's 5-2. SURELY, ALL IS LOST??? This is the point where any young rising star must break, surely? Surely they could not have the experience and game fitness to pull back from such a lead to one of the worlds greatest players???

But Carla will not say die! She holds her serve to 3-5 and then BREAKS VENUS to bring it to 5-4.


So here we are, in the final games of the match. And Venus starts to crack. You see it in a double fault here, in a missed line there... But Carla, even as she gets closer and closer to the finish line... does not tense up. She stays fluid, alert... focused... She is, ladies and gentlemen, IN THE FLOW!!!

She breaks Venus, holds her serve in a deuce battle (as in saving match point on her own serve) and takes it to 5-5. At the end of each game she looks like she is about to cry, but by the start of the next, she is clear, calm and focused.

She breaks the champion to take it to 6-5 and then she serves it home for 7-5!

What a match, what a victory, what a story!!!

I was up and on my feet at many points in that match, hollering and cheering from my home...



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

365 flicks - The Yes Man

Well - on Sunday night I celebrated my birthday in my favourite way - a picnic on the beach in the late afternoon overlooking balmoral and sydney harbour... With good swimming, fun games, good food, good wine (moscato) & great friends - Priceless.
After dinner, which we had on the balcony back home, we went to a movie The Yes Man.

Sooooooo much fun!

Now jim carry is an actor I fall in and put of love with (Eternal sunshine of a spotless mind is one of my all time favourite flicks). But this one I knew I wanted to see from the trailer. Good silly fun. I've done a fair bit of personal development in my time (Nlp, Landmark education, The Artists Way - great home course for getting back into creative flow) and I've both gotten HEAPS out of it And found myself frustrated by the organisation or the extreeme that it is taken to by some members... so I knew that I was going to love this film from all directions as long as it was done well.

What I learnt:
That u can take the joke to the ends of the earth, further than ur average audience member is comfortable with IF;
- u have 150% set up that chracters NEED to change
- those actors are willing to go ALL THE WAY for the truth of that moment in a completely ridiculous world

Also that u can fully show all the flaws in a way of life/argument AND still leave people with a subtle tale home which, if said yes to, will have a positive impact on their lives

I loved the kiwi actor from flight of conchords as the boss & the female lead was fantastic too - she is a really interesting actress to keep an eye on...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

365 flicks - the Holiday - dir. by nancy meyers

firstly I want to say - how cool is today's modern tech savvy world! I am typingthis blog straight from my iPhone to the net where u will read it some 100,000 of km away! That is indeed awesome and inspiring!

Now on sat night I needed some tlc - plus one of my best friends was staying over & she admitted she'd never seen this film. It's one of my all time favourite rom-com's and in my personal top five fav flicks! So I insisted we watch it!!!

What inspires me about this film:
The acting/writing/directing combo - these guys have created a film that really takes u ok the ride. The performances are fresh - they really listen and affect each other.

Jude Law was not my fav actor prior to this film - but esp for jude - he delivers a beautiful performance. Kate winslet has long been a favorite so no surprises that she is brilliant here too and jack black is always good value :)

What I learnt - nancy effortlessly takes u through a great story w fantastic dialogue. Sometimes those scenes are actually quite long - but she proves that length does not equal boring & huge budget action sequences/locations are not necessary to deliver a satisfying journey.

Love it - watch it, if u have't already!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

365 - DAY TWO - INTERIORS by Woody Allen


Now that was a stark contrast to Vicky Christina Barcelona. I had some warning from my inlaws....
What isolation.

There was this soundbite from the first few moments of the film about the central character, EVE, that said she had built an ice palace for all the characters to live in - and that is exactly what Woody and his team did, with the set, with the atmos sound, with the lighting, with the camera angles... everything seemed to be saying "No. You can't come close. You will never get close to me. This is MY story..."

Impressions: I don't think he had a single external shot in the entire first and second act! It was almost a shock when in the third act, a character walked out onto the beach and you saw fresh air on her skin.

It really demonstrated how much you could tell an audience from the 'interior', the landscape you had them inhabit. It was like the walls, the places they inhabited had become a character itself.

Favourite bit:
There was this gorgeous high angle shot through the banisters of the stairs, like a child looking on a couple in the eye of a storm, when they stop a fight for just a moment, to try to really listen to one another. Beautiful.

Another piece that really stuck with me was that gorgeous tracking shot where the sisters are talking as they walk along the beach and you see it all through a rickety, broken fence line along the sand dunes. So much character in that fence - I found it hard to focus on what the women were saying.

Also, the opening images were so powerful. They really set up the whole tone of the film. And a great monologue from the husband too.

What's it left me with:


Thank you Allen. Fun to see a young Diane Keaton, among others. Love your work Di!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I'm starting with this movie because it was so... bizarre, quirky and unexpected.

I have a confession to make. I haven't watched a lot of Woody Allen in the past. I know, I know, you're probably saying " What? You call yourself a director and you haven't watched Woody Allen?" and you know what... this blog is probably going to be full such embarrassing little secrets get out... but hey - that's what 365 is all about!


First impressions: I have to say, I was NOT attracted to the story or the characters by the trailer. In fact, I had written it off as a story I would not like. And do you know why? Because I wasn't interested in some story about a guy who gets it off with three gorgeous women at once who each and every one of them could (clearly!) find someone better. That was my first reaction. And it was strong, I know!

But the fascinating thing about this movie was that although I continued to have that opinion, as the movie progressed I found myself able to simultaneously NOT like the choices that the character's made - nor the glib way in which woody approached it through his narration - and yet, little by little, despite myself, I found myself identifying with the characters. I felt empathy and sympathy for them. I didn't get LOST in them, as I have in the past - moved by their passions, tears and laughter etc etc - but I did grow to like them. To admire them. To feel for them.

And more importantly (for a comedy) I had a lot of fun watching it! In fact, I definitely think it's worth watching and a great, fun, quirky comedy. I recommend seeing it. I came out of the cinema and the first thing I did was call my best friend and tell her she Definitely had to see it.

It never left me in stitches - but almost every time he did a reveal or went for a comedic moment - I chuckled or laughed out right - sometimes more than those around me (again, something I'm rather notorious for - that and telling the characters off when they are clearly sabbotaging their chances of happiness/a good life etc etc) and once or twice, I groaned!

So all in all, a great movie.

What did I learn from Allen, the cast and the movie?
I learnt that you don't HAVE to loose yourself completely in a cimematic experience in order to enjoy it. I learnt that you could have a completely satisfying experience from a rolling chuckle. I learnt that sometimes, the comedy is in anticipating exactly what is going to happen next - even if you feel like there is a big magic marker arrow pointing to the trap/embarrassing moment/reversal the character is about to walk into.

I also noticed the performances from the three women were fluid and warmed to by all - if not rock your world deep and meaningful - but really solid. And enjoyable. Thoroughly enjoyable.

I also learnt that a director/writer can stamp their style, their voice into a piece so fully that even if you didn't know their work previously at all, you will come away, inexplicably thinking to yourself... geeez, that was SO Woody Allen.

I also came away thinking: I must see more of his body of work.

Pretty good result when I had a no-way-not-ever-just-not-my-type-of-story kind of reaction to the premise, huh?!

So DAY ONE was a success. I wonder what's next.


365 movies - the concept

Ok, firstly, let me introduce the concept.

I was talking to a photographer friend of mine and he said a phrase which I'm sure I've heard before, but for some reason, it stuck with me and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind since...

"What better way to get better at making movies than by watching them"

he was referring to also watching the Special Features and especially any interviews with the filmmakers themselves - be they the writers/directors or producers.

Now I've always had a bit of a love affair with watching movies.

I wouldn't say so far it's been an addiction... but I have the sneaking suspicion that that is only because I haven't fully given myself over to it (as opposed to coffee which I can't stop drinking since I came back from my recent italian viaggio)

And then a couple of days ago I had this idea.... I am committed to making movies. Like, I have given my life to it as surely as I have given my life to my partner and fiancee who I am about to marry in, oh, about 7 weeks! AND I know that in some areas I have a natural talent, a flair and a passion and that is starting to get out and about to people in the industry... but I still feel that I have A LOT to learn. No, correct that, I KNOW I've got EVERYTHING to learn!

And I had this idea.... what if I watched ONE movie EVERY DAY for a YEAR???
How much more would I know by a year's time?
How many more works by directors I love and director's I've as yet not heard of would I have been able to see? Worlds I would have encountered? Characters would I have discovered that titilated, disgusted, intrigued, made me fall in love with...

And ever since that nasty little possibility slid into my brain in the shower... I have not been able to throw it out. I forget about it, I think about other things, become absorbed in my writing, watch a movie on tv... and then, out of nowhere, it comes BAM.
How good would that be???

But I didn't jump on it straight away because I was scared. I was nervous of declaring this crazy intention to the world. Beginning a blog, doing it for a while and then life coming along and all my good intentions might get submerged by the benal, the important, the other things...

and today, on cheap tuesday while my partner was playing ultimate frisbee, I went to VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA and I couldn't help thinking... that would be a great movie to start this experiment on. Coz it was so... unexpected. Bizarre. Quirky....

So let's start.
Today is DAY ONE of 365. The movie is Vicky Christina Barcelona, directed and written by Woody Allen.

Inspiration and tinklings of movie magic coming your way,