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The process diary of film director Glendyn Ivin

Filtering by Category: Music


Glendyn Ivin

Over the last few years composer Stephen Rae has created a whole world of music for me. We met on Beaconsfield and hit it off immediately and since then we have worked on both series of Puberty Blues and most recently Gallipoli. That's around 19 tv hours of drama! Along the way we have become good friends and it's a collaboration I value dearly. Stephen has just put up the soundtrack work for Puberty Blues and Gallipoli on Spotify. It's beautifully evocative work and it forms a huge part of the tone and the drama of those shows. To me the track Streams is the heart and soul of Gallipoli. Similar to the track Sea Hassle in Puberty Blues, once we found that track it seeped into every frame of the show. Even when it's not playing, I can still hear it. I need to do another entry of the process of working with Stephen because I love it so much. Essentially our approach is to write a large portion of the music first (as opposed to after the shoot during the edit). For both Gallipoli and Puberty Blues I had selections of music to work with during pre-production even before we had shot a single frame. I usually send Stephen photos I have taken of cast, locations and other details I find along the way. These help form a discussion about tone and from that Stephen creates long improvised pieces of music which I listen to throughout production, while in the office in pre and then constantly on set while shooting. For me, it's alot easier to see the images, if I know what they sound like first.

There is a great sequence of Stephen working on the Gallipoli 'collectors editions' behind the scenes and there is a great clip of Stephen working on the music for series 2 of Pubes HERE.

And I just found this sneaky iPhone clip I took of Stephen working on the first episode of Puberty Blues... such a great time.


Glendyn Ivin

I was a 14 years old when I first saw Pink Floyd's Live at Pompei. It blew me away then and it still does now. The clip below has been such a strong influence on me as a filmmaker over the years. I like the pureness of it all. It's more about capturing the energy that is there, rather than trying to fabricate what isn't. It's about tapping into the essence and documenting it in the most unaffected way.

It's funny how random things inform and inspire what we do. It's usually (and hopefully) such a random mix of things that the culmination of them all manifests to become something new and not derivative of the sources.

One week into shooting Puberty Blues 2, I'm drawn back to have another look at Echoes. This clip is like a compass to me. If you want to cut to the chase, jump to 6:30... Magic happens.

Do yourself a favour and watch the whole film here... (Directors Cut!)


Glendyn Ivin

I only heard the band for the first time a few weeks ago and it was love at first listen. My buddy Mike bought me (and my other buddy Stu) a ticket to go and see them live as they were touring Australia and then through a sequence of good fortune the opportunity came up to photograph them as well! Backstage portraits of Damian, Sandy, Jonah and some chaos in the pit. So nice to meet you guys.

Thanks Micro!


Glendyn Ivin

Spent some time in Sydney over the last week with Stephen Rae who is composing the soundtrack for Beaconsfield. Being a story that takes place predominatley underground, early conversations were about 'elemental' and 'organic' sounds. The sound of rocks, air and water and music that forms in and out of the environment. For the past few weeks (amongst our discussions about cameras, watches and motorbikes) we have been working through demos and musical sketches and these ideas are now becoming more defined. Through Stephens sonic explorations we have settled on the clarinet as one of the key instruments. I must admit I've never been drawn to the clarinet, I tend to steer clear of  'reed instruments' in general, (except I'm quite fond of the oboe), but  the way Stephen is using it is really different. Then I realised there is a whole album I love that uses the clarinet in a beautifully textured and ambient way. So I'm really looking forward to see how it all keeps progressing.

Below: Sydney mid afternoon storm, recording studio flowers and Peter Jenkin (lead Clarinet of the Sydney Opera) recording clarinet sounds for Stephen to compose and edit with. 


Glendyn Ivin

Along with another great album that's also having a significant anniversary, I can't believe this week marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Blood Sugar Sex Magik by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

This is an album that had a real effect on me. It defined a very distinct time and place in my life.

I was already a huge fan of the Chili Peppers with Mothers Milk, and I was literally counting down the days for the release of Blood Sugar. A friend actually got an advance copy on Cassette(!) and I can distinctly remember the first time I listened to it. I was in Newcastle, studying design at University, living right on the beach in a tumbling down terrace. My girlfriend and I sat on our lounge room floor vying for the sweet spot directly in-between the speakers.

I remember being quite struck by how different it sounded. This wasn't the Chili Peppers I was expecting. The punk / funk was gone and it was more like funk and hip hop and had it had a 'rawness' to it. It sounded more like Public Enemy than say, Bad Brains. But by the end of that first listen I was totally and utterly hooked. An album so epically broad and appealing and yet so intimate and warm. It's an album that introduced me to a world of sounds, musical ideas and influences. Blood Sugar Sex Magik went on continuous rotation and quickly became the official soundtrack to my summer of 91-92.

I think the album still stands today. And although I feel old in saying this, it's now a 'classic', where sadly most (all?) Chili Pepper albums post Blood Sugar have not been.

But this post is really an excuse to put up Funky Monks a film documenting the recording of the album. It's easily one of my favourite rockumentaries. There is something immediate, organic and very cool about it. And perhaps because the album has become such a classic, Funky Monks serves as an oppotunity to be a fly on the wall to witness the alchemy taking place.

When I was in L.A a couple of years ago I went and found the mansion that Blood Sugar was recorded in and subsequently Funky Monks was filmed in. Listening to the album you can 'hear the rooms'. It gives the record such a unique ambience and tone.

I went and stood outside the house like a stalker it was some kind of sacred site. I peered through the cyclone fencing in the hope of hearing a distant echo of Blood Sugar being recorded, but all I could hear was traffic... just like at the very end of THIS TRACK (turn it up right at the end!)


Glendyn Ivin

So good hearing the West Memphis Three were finally released from prison over the weekend after 18 crazy years. I have kept up to date with the three guys over the last fourteen years or so after I first saw the documentary Paradise Lost back in 1997 at the Melbourne International Film Festival. I remember that night very clearly. I remember the cinema (The Forum) the seat I sat in (6 rows from the front, middle section, two in from the left aisle) and that I don't think I moved from the edge of my seat from the very first frame, till the last, I don't think I breathed either. Quite simply, Paradise Lost changed my life. It's one of the most, if not the most engaging film I've ever seen, it's the film that convinced me to quit my job and apply to film school.

If you haven't seen Paradise Lost, stop what you are doing right now and begin. Or better still buy it here and enjoy part two Paradise Lost 'Revelations' as well. I can't wait for Part three 'Revelatioins', which I'm sure will be getting a re-cut right about now. A trilogy 18 years in the making, and now with a happy ending!

Hard to imagine how these guys can adjust to any kind of 'normal life' after losing their childhoods and for one Damien, spending seventeen out of the last eighteen years on death row, for a crime he (and they) did not commit. I wish them all the best!

Tons of info about their release and the campaign to set them free over the years over at

Also, where I be today without the soundtrack to Paradise Lost!?


Glendyn Ivin

I think I have contributed to a hundred or so hits to the you tube clip below over the past few days. It's one of the coolest live performance clips I've seen. I saw Blondie last week on tour with the Pretenders and my friend Adalita supporting (who by the way is releasing her debut solo album early next year and it's amazing! More on that later though...)

Blondie may look a little different these days, but man she is still the Queen of Cool!

I want this song in Cherry Bomb!