The process diary of film director Glendyn Ivin
Full moon and a crisp morning for my friend Mikes birthday up in the country.
There is an old saying in edit suites, You never really finish an edit, you simply abandon it... With this in mind we locked the Safe Harbour edit on Friday and I'm happy to say the edits feel much more loved than abandoned.
I had the pleasure of working with editor Mark Atkin whom I had never worked with before but I have enjoyed every moment. Cutting television (like shooting it) is an intense process. We had about 10 days per episode so there are a lot of quick structural decisions up front and then as much massaging and finessing with the time you have left.
I have grown to love this pace and energy where a lot of decisions come from instinct. You explore and idea and then quickly commit either way. I'm always surprised by how much you can get done under pressure and the amount of freedom this provides. Like everything on Safe Harbour, my intent was to embrace the restriction and make something beautiful out of it!
After a gruelling but wonderful six week shoot we wrapped production on Safe Harbour on Monday. Finishing a shoot is always bitter sweet. I love shooting. But even though I see every moment on set as a privilege and something to be cherished it is ultimately exhausting and in the end it just needs to stop. The creative, physical and the emotional energy just runs out.
I'm totally inspired and proud of the people I had around me on Safe Harbour. A superb cast and crew all dedicated to elevating what we had on the page to something above and beyond what our budget and schedule allowed. So very cool. I really do appreciate all the hard work and attention to detail. It really is amazing work. Thank you!
My body is tired but my head is buzzing, constantly mentally flicking through the thousands of images we have captured and how they might be best assembled in the edit...looking forward to it. So much beauty.
And thank you Brisbane! I've really enjoyed shooting and living here over the last four months!
Occasionally in advertising on a project comes along that is really special. Over the past 8 months I directed a campaign for QANTAS focusing on two stories of loved ones being reunited via QANTAS's new 'Dreamliner'.
As the cast in the films are 'real people', from my point of view the whole campaign was about establishing authenticity, but still create a story that has a guaranteed emotional payoff.
The most important part of this process was the casting of the family and the young couple who feature in the films. This was perhaps the most intense casting I have been involved in as the 'cast' in the films are all non-actors and were the result of a casting call that took in all of Australia and alot of Europe. The search ultimately landed with the Charlton family in Fremantle, W.A and with Imogen and Michael based in London.
Below is a photo I took of Anna on the first day we met. Weirdly, Anna's Mum, Jackie who lives in England was the first person I interviewed on Skype at the beginning of a long week of intensive casting via Skype.
We were very lucky to discover Anna and her family. Such cool people whom I'm so glad to have met.
Imogen and Michael (below) had been living apart for almost a year. All of the surprises and reunions in the films were captured for real as they happened. Needless to say a lot of 'secrets' were juggled throughout production so as to keep actions and reactions fresh and the emotional responses behind moments real and unfiltered. The whole production was a little like shooting a documentary, but with a full crew and two cameras!
I loved shooting in both Perth and London. Both have such unique light and geography, providing a beautifully natural visual contrast between the two countries.
I was also super lucky to be working with two of my favorite cinematographers. Germain McMicking (above) and Sam Chiplin (below). Double the beauty!
My producer and friend Karen Sproul (below) celebrating her birthday while scouting London in the freezing cold.
I wish all commercial work was as enjoyable and emotionally satisfying as this was...!
During production of Seven Types of Ambiguity I created a portrait of each actor in an attempt to discover some the mystery or ambiguity of their character. This became a process of exploring the character's 'tone' in a single image and then distilling some of this into their performance and presence onscreen. Each of these images became a touchstone in creating the look and feel of the series.