The process diary of film director Glendyn Ivin
Filtering by Category: Development
I was cleaning up my office and came across a dusty VHS tape of my student film Neverland. I made the film as part of a Post Grad in documentary (a course that sadly no longer exists) I completed in 1998 at the Victorian College of the Arts, an amazing institution that soon may also not exist. The year I spent at film school is up there with one of the best years of my life. I spent that year totally immersed in film, primarily documentary film. The VCA totally changed my life and set me up for the opportunities and experiences that have followed. Although Neverland is a little 'clunky' in places I really enjoyed watching it again after many years sitting on the shelf. At the time I made it I was obsessed with 'longitudinal observational films'. Documentaries that are filmed over a period of years and that take us deep into the lives of characters that no other kind of filmmaking can match. To this day I still believe that observational film / Cinéma-vérité is the most compelling and legitimate form of filmmaking. Fullstop. Films like Crumb, Paradise Lost, Bastardy, anything by the Maysles's brothers, or anything by the Pennebaker or Wiseman. Actually I'll stop this rant now... it's another post another time. Needless to say, Neverland was my attempt at longitudinal observation, shot over two weeks (course limitation), not two years.
Some of Neverlands' themes (growing up and growing older and the resistance to the responsibilities with which that brings) are themes I'm still fascinated with as a filmmaker and are ideas I'm exploring in much greater detail with the films I'm developing at the moment. One part of Neverland I was really drawn to at the time and I think still stands up is the interview with Eli at around 8 minutes where he is applying the final touches to his mohawk in the mirror. It's a sequence where what he is saying and what he is doing (literally) mirror each other. Where Eli's vision of his life in a broader sense and the details of his immediate life collide. I saw Eli a couple of years ago walking along the street. Still with a mohawk, still in leather. Looking older, but still 'the same'.
Eli above, Ron below.
Ron went back couriering and road for at least another 10 years. I would see him occasionally around the city. I haven't seen him for while though, but I imagine he still could be out there now pushing those pedals at a furious pace.
Life is chaotic at the moment. There doesn't seem to be enough minutes in the day, and my work / family balance is most definitely out of whack. But I was very happy to give 3 of those precious minutes over to this wonderful short film that a friend emailed me. Such a beautiful balance of tone. Playful but underpinned by cool ideas big and small. It made me feel good.
I think it's a Wim Wenders book of photographs called Pictures From The Surface Of The Earth where in his introduction he asks the reader to view each photograph as the opening frame of a movie. Not a still image from a film, but the opening frame from the opening scene of a film. It's a really interesting exercise to get you thinking about 'stories', about the things that may happen after a particular image. Or, as in the photos below, what may have happened before...
Photos by John Luke Smalley
if it doesn't come bursting out of youin spite of everything, don't do it. unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don't do it. if you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen or hunched over your typewriter searching for words, don't do it. if you're doing it for money or fame, don't do it. if you're doing it because you want women in your bed, don't do it. if you have to sit there and rewrite it again and again, don't do it. if it's hard work just thinking about doing it, don't do it. if you're trying to write like somebody else, forget about it. if you have to wait for it to roar out of you, then wait patiently. if it never does roar out of you, do something else. if you first have to read it to your wife or your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your parents or to anybody at all, you're not ready. don't be like so many writers, don't be like so many thousands of people who call themselves writers, don't be dull and boring and pretentious, don't be consumed with self-love. the libraries of the world have yawned themselves to sleep over your kind. don't add to that. don't do it.
unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don't do it. unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don't do it. when it is truly time, and if you have been chosen, it will do it by itself and it will keep on doing it until you die or it dies in you. there is no other way. and there never was.
Last week I finally finished the 'Soundmaker' short film. It's had a much longer post production period than originally planned, but I'm really happy with the finished film. Overall it's a been a great experience. I'll post (or link) to the film when I can... soon. Offline, Music, Grade, Online, Sound...
No, you are in the right place. You haven't clicked on the wrong the site. GlendynIvin.com is now Hoaxville.com. Why the change...? Well I originally grabbed www.GlendynIvin.com as a URL for the obvious reasons, mostly cos, like, it's my name and it seemed the right thing to do at the time. But for some reason the idea of publishing blog content under my name never really felt right. HOAXVILLE feels to me more like a destination, a place you can 'visit'. Under this new banner my plan is to post more often on a slightly wider range of things. HOAXVILLE will still be my process diary and a place to dump the things that have caught my eye or inspired me. But HOAXVILLE feels a little broader, a place than can grow and slowly manifest into something bigger. Lets see how it goes.
In migrating all the content from the old site to here alot of the formating has gone. I've gone through and fixed the last page or so of posts, but the nature of blogs feel like they should exist in the here and now. So from now on I'm loving the freedom Wordpress has given me over Blogger. Bigger pictures, better layouts and total control, well as much control as my crummy html skills provide me with.
So please update your bookmarks and enjoy!
Earlier today I saw this amazing short film over at Boing Boing. I wouldn't usually be drawn to this overly technical style of filmmaking, however, Nuit Blanche wears it's bells and whistles proudly on it's sleeve, yes it's FX we have all seen before, but here the visual audacity doesn't take away from the simplicity of the idea and more importantly the emotional connection between the man and woman.
I have been working on the 2nd draft of my script Cherry Bomb, a film I was working on before Last Ride was sent to me. Cherry Bomb is about a bunch of teenagers who rob a bank in Brisbane, Australia, in 1978. It's based on a true story.
I first heard the story on talk back radio 5 years. The headline news story at the time was about some prisoners who had recently escaped from a Perth jail and the radio host was asking callers if they had ever been 'on the run'. A caller named 'Pat' rang up and told his story about what it was like to be on the run from the police when he was 16 after robbing a bank. I was so taken by the story, I was driving at the time and I had to pull over and just sit and listen to his story. Over the next week or so, I tracked Pat down and flew to meet him in Brisbane. My producer for this project Jane Liscombe and I optioned his story soon after.
The photo above is of 'Pat' aged 15, (That's Alice Cooper make-up he's wearing!) one year before he and his 15 year old girlfriend and two other friends robbed a bank and (almost) got away with over $40 000. The photo below is from the same time. I find these images, and a bunch more I photographed from Pats childhood photo album amazing. If I can get a sniff of the atmosphere and the energy of these random polaroids in the script, I think I'll be on the right track.
When I was fifteen years old I found a discarded cassette tape on a train station bench.
It was black and scratched, like it had been stepped on, and all there was to identify it, was a hand scrawled ‘SPK’ on the label. At home I slipped the tape into my walkman and my head was filled with the rhythmic buzzing and electric screams of nightmares. I liked it. It took me some place else, even though I had no idea where that place was.
The moment after seeing the film Candy I walked into a record store and bought the soundtrack. I love that film and how the soundtrack played an essential role in telling the story of those desperate souls coming together and then apart again. The music took me to another place, but this time I felt I had been there before.
Some of the first ideas I had for Last Ride were music. For years I collected tracks and made compilations to inspire or possibly use in the film. I had planned to use pieces of music, rather than have music composed. I really resisted it. But towards the end of editing the film, I realised the film wanted and needed an original soundtrack.
Paul Charlier composed the music for Candy and was the only person I had a strong desire to work with. When he sent me his bio and music reel I was surprised to see in his dark past he was in a band called SPK! There was more than one reason why I had been drawn to work with Paul.
From the time Paul saw a cut of the film, to where we were sitting in the mix, was just over four weeks. This is an amazing feat from any musician considering the sheer amount of work that is required. Especially, as Paul and I had never met and therefore, we hadn’t had all those thousands of conversations that you usually have with regular collaborators, in order to develop our own language and atheistic.
I encouraged Paul to find ways of making the music sound ‘broken’ and incomplete, to leave the hum of guitar amps and organic imperfections that come with the writing and recording process. The work then was to find perfection in the imperfection.
Paul’s music brought a new and different life to the film. The music is like the film’s breath, or the blood pumping through it’s heart, or the sound of that heart breaking. The sound of all those things that you don’t know what they sound like until you hear them. A huge thanks Paul.
I have been up in Sydney for the Sydney Film Festival over the last week and it was nice to be wondering along King Street Newtown and see the re-release of Denise's book on display in the window as the staff pick! Very cool to see the book which has been out of print given a new cover, a new title (sans The) and hopefully a new life.