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The process diary of film director Glendyn Ivin

Filtering by Category: Puberty Blues


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

Hot off the press. More Than A Feeling, photographs from the second series of Puberty Blues. Available in hardcover and ebook. Or as a special volume with Flaming Youth and More Than A Feeling together. Way more info here. L1000003

It's taken a bit longer than I expected because of Gallipoli, but as I've been working through post production, I've been slowly getting a normal life back and I've been able to find the time and headspace to complete the book.

More Than A Feeling feels different to Flaming Youth (photographs from series 1). Not sure how, maybe in the way that Series 1 felt different to Series 2. I flick through the pages of Flaming Youth and feel an overwhelming pull of nostalgia. Flaming Youth feels as innocent as Debbie and Sue in Series 1. More Than A Feeling feels darker, perhaps revealing some of the sting of discontent that comes with older.

I think it feels more complete as a document and as a collection. It's more stripped back and perhaps like Debbie and Sue in Series 2 slightly more confident.

Excerpt from the foreword by Brenna Harding... There is a place on the set of Puberty Blues that escapes the chaos of concentrated pressure. Here, the background noise fades to nothing and the challenges of the day are lost for a brief moment. It is in this place that the quiet beauty of what we are creating is realised in the click of Glendyn’s camera. Suddenly we are not in the high-pressure world of a television set nor even experiencing the newest development in character, but instead in a limbo between art and life.








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Glendyn Ivin

We wrapped shooting Puberty Blues 2 last Wednesday. Spent the last day shooting as a 2nd unit / reduced crew of only about ten or so. It was a perfect way to end a little more relaxed and free than 'main unit'. What we shot wasn't really 2nd unit material, it was actually the last three scenes of the last episode of the series. I woke up the next day with bitter sweet feelings. I love shooting, even when it's stressful and everything seems stacked against you, I can always  look around and see where we are and what we attempting to do and I just get really excited by it all! But it definitely felt like it was time to stop though. I've been away from my family and friends in Melbourne for nearly 5 months and I feel like my time in the world needs to come to an end.

That said I felt a saddness for those wonderful characters I may never get to see again. I may never stand in the Vickers lounge room and watch Judy and Martin bicker or witness Vonny and Ferris fuck with each others minds. I may never sit in Sues bedroom and overhear Sue and Debbies most intimate conversations. I may never get to hang with Gary or Cheryl or laugh stupidly with Roger and Pam.

The characters of Puberty Blues feel so alive to me. I cant help but feel that even though we have packed up the props, dressings, cameras and lights that they are still there in those places, their lives continuing on regardless of whether we are there to capture it or not. I miss them all.



Glendyn Ivin

I took the first photo below at Matauri Bay nestled just below the northern tip of the North Isalnd of  New Zealand in January this year. On a warm summers night I watched a  bunch of kids setting off fireworks, having the time of their lives. I sat on the beach with my kids in amazement at how wonderful and free spirited it all was and how in Australia today this would be unheard for kids let alone being able to make it happen in a film.

I've shot quite a few fireworks sequences and trying to get an actor anywhere near a live firework is near impossible. The process ends up being so regulated with safety concerns and restricitoins (all for good reason) and the sequence I believe always ends up feeling a little 'sanitised'. But after alot of planning and tests I was so happy last Friday night that I was able to replicate that image (and a whole lot more!) not only as a photograph but as part of filmed sequence. And I might add in a highly controlled and safe environment. Satisfying!

Matauri Bay, New Zealand, Jan 2013


Kernell Beach, Australia, Aug 2013

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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

Not only did part of our Puberty Blues school location burn down recently... but what remains still standing has been vandalised beyond repair. Got to give the kids some credit though, they obviously worked very hard and put alot of time and effort into this particular project. Every room, every surface, inside and out of the entire school has been smashed, tagged and sprayed.

I can see their individual report cards now... "If only he put as much energy into his school work as he did his vandalism!"