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The process diary of film director Glendyn Ivin

Filtering by Category: Development


Glendyn Ivin

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.

Feel good

Glendyn Ivin

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.

Young and full of the devil 2

Glendyn Ivin

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

Words from a wise guy

Glendyn Ivin

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.

by Charles Bukowski

via Ted Hope via

Welcome to Hoaxville

Glendyn Ivin

No, you are in the right place. You haven't clicked on the wrong the site. is now Why the change...? Well I originally grabbed 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!

True Love and Chaos pt1

Glendyn Ivin

Lately, I have been drawn to images and films and that explore or portray ideas of 'chaos', as broad as this sounds it fits very specifically into the development of a few film projects and in particular Cherry Bomb.

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.

What I really like about this film are the two characters who are totally engulfed by chaos, literally, smashing glass and crashing cars, and yet they remain totally at ease and focussed, almost hypnotised by one another.
Please click out and watch the clips in the largest way you can!
Also check out the equally impressive 'Making Of'. I think seeing the process behind making Nuit Blanche made me appreciate the film even more. Even though most of it's trickery is revealed, there is surprisingly more comping and FX work going on that I first thought. Making the narrative and the romantic spell of which the couple are under (of which no computer effect could enhance) even more impressive.
I dont know... maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic!

Cherry Bomb

Glendyn Ivin

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.

Cherry Bomb has taken along time to come together, partly as I was swept away with Last Ride. I find it really difficult to work on more than one thing at time, something I need to get much better at. Progress is slow, but I'm really happy with the direction this script is heading in.

My Directors Commentary on the Directors Commentary.

Glendyn Ivin

I had a great time last night recording the commentary for the DVD with two close and very dear friends. Greig Fraser (DOP) and Jack Hutchings (Editor). It was great Greig could be there as he is now based in LA. Just by chance he flew in yesterday and was able to make it. One of those great spontaneous meetings. If we had planned it for months, it wouldn't have happened this way. Very cool.
I hope we gave good commentary. It was more like a conversation than a shot by shot commentary. We watched the film with the sound down and I realized towards the end that we probably only had 15 minutes of film left and we hadn't really discussed the things I thought we would. But it was a good experience, and I hope the people who take the time to listen when its released will get something out of it. I did lay awake last night going over all the things I could have, should have, would like to have said if we did it again...
In prep for the session, my buddy Jolyon put me onto this great podcast about the 'Art of Commentaries' at Hollywood Salloon. It's nearly 3 hours long! But these guys go into great detail and play sections of really interesting and great DVD commentaries, as well as some really terrible ones (Arnold Schwarzenegger "... and here I am... erm, riding a horse...") . The Podcast is really comprehensive, entertaining and well worth the time.

Last Ride Soundtrack in stores August 10

Glendyn Ivin

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.

Book > Film > Book

Glendyn Ivin

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.

The screening in Sydney went really well. Had a good Q and A afterwards in which Denise participated in briefly to a warm round of applause. I have done a quick interview with Denise and it's now up on the 'News and Press' section of the film website. I think it's a nice follow up from her blog article I linked to a while back.