Happy to say that Facon has finally been released online to watch and enjoy! Please watch and share!
Two updates from the festival front! Facon got a special mention at the Flickerfest Green Flicks section. Joshua Dang, Barbara Ings and I were thrilled to hear it, since there were really really good films in the section. Greenflicks was judged by Costa Georgiadis, Gregory Miller and Kate Harris. The judges praised Facon for its sense of humour dealing with environmental issues.
We’re also really happy about how well the film played at all the screenings. The Short Laughs Comedy sessions were sold out and it was great to be alongside such hilarious company!
The other great news is that Facon has been chosen to tour nationally. The full tour dates can be seen here.
I’m thrilled to announce that the film I wrote and produced Facon is having it’s World Premiere at Flickerfest. It’s an amazing accomplishment for the director Joshua Dang, producer Barbara Ings and the whole team to have achieved. Come along to support the film and laugh enthusiastically at the jokes.
Facon is being featured in the Short Laughs Comedy screenings and GreenFlicks 2017, so there will be three screenings that you can attend:
Short Laughs Comedy – Fri 13 Jan, 8.45pm
GreenFlicks 2017 – Sat 14 Jan, 4.30pm
Short Laughs Comedy 2017 (repeat) – Sat 14 Jan, 6.30pm
Tickets are $20 and it will be held at the Bondi Pavillion. Come along to watch some great comedy/environmental ideas and support the film!
‘Facon’ has been filmed!! I’m really happy with how it turned out.
You can see the full credits of the film on the IMBd page. Click on the film poster below to download the Press Kit. If you’d like to discuss the project or future work contact Josh for a private link to the film (UPDATE! You can watch it here: http://bit.ly/2qkGnb1.)
In 2013, I went to ATYP’s National Studio and wrote a monologue called ‘Facon’. In 2014, the monologue was performed at ATYP in the show Bite Me and published by Currency Press. In 2015, ‘Facon’ is going to made into a film directed by Joshua Dang!
Over the past few weeks I’ve been working tirelessly to adapt Facon (which was an all-rhyming monologue) into a screenplay. After lots of hard work we’ve finally got it polished.
It was always a dream of mine to have ‘Facon’ made into a film so I am thrilled. Please watch the crowd funding campaign video above and donate if you can spare any money.
I’ll keep you updated!
So before I went all deep in that last post I was going to show you what I made this semester during my Masters of Media Arts and Production. The point of this blog post is two-fold. Firstly, it’s for me to show off, and also put the spotlight on projects that may other wise never see the light of day again. Secondly, showing the creative products of one semester studying at UTS might help people who are wondering about the course or trying to figure out which courses to take.
I made two videos during my directing class. In this first video I had to shoot a scene from ‘Silence of the Lambs’ within an hour in class, using only other classmates as crew and actors.
How we wanted the scene to be played was up to our discretion and it’s pretty weird, but I like it. I had to drag one of my classmates, Francisco, on a skate board to get the shot in the corridor, which was cool.
For my final directing exercise we had to choose one script, from a collection of four, to direct for our final project. I’m happy with how it turned out.
Sound and Interaction
So if you thought those projects were weird you’re in for a surprise with these two, because they are much weirder.
During this course I had to make one audio piece and one interactive work. Working with John Scarpias and Barbara Ings, I made this experimental sound piece for the audio component.
‘Cults’ is an experimental sound piece that focuses on the Australian cult, ‘The Family’. It explores notions of passive control and psychological manipulation. Using a sixty minutes interview with the leader of the cult: Anne Hamilton-Byrne, as the sound mark, we created a rich and diverse soundscape that highlighted the surreal elements of this horrible section of Australian history. We utilised sounds that are usually classified as acoustic rubbish (dial up tones, static) to rework into a rich tapestry that evokes a sense of the dystopia.
For the interactive component of the course I made an interactive game on Hype. My interactive project was called ‘Miss Matilda’s Shop of Pretty Little Things for Pretty Little Girls’. The project is a comment on femininity and how video games are so highly gendered. I wanted to present the facade of a traditional ‘girly game’, the type of game that was offered to me as a child by Barbie and Polly Pocket, and subtly interweave violence and masochism which is usually associated with male gaming culture.
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Digital and Multiplatform Storytelling
Multiplatform Storytelling was a course created to follow Sound and Interaction for those who wanted to expand further into Digital Media. I took it as an elective because I’m really interested in different ways to use the internet and apps in fiction. However, UTS doesn’t specify that it’s a course that is meant to proceed the other. So I ended up doing both in the same semester which was annoying.
Stephanie Phillips, Sally Massos, Clare O’Halloran and I created Personality Punch Up for our project. It was made in Hype.
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The target audience of Personal Punch Up is school aged children. In the game you are asked to choose between two groups of historical figures. You are then given facts about the historical figures and are asked to choose which historical figure will win in battles against each other.
By asking children to battle historical figures we hoped that, under the guise of a game, the children might learn about the figures and their lives.
My favourite thing about this project however is that I finally got to apply my experience as a spoken word poet in a more commercial type setting. We also went super well, which is always nice.
So there you have it. This is what I made in one semester at UTS doing the Media Arts and Production course. One thing I love about UTS is that they do really encourage you to do very experimental projects and urge you to think outside commercial media products and mediums. The only downside of this is that sometimes you can end up with a lot of strange little projects that don’t add up to a portfolio as such. If you’re a UTS student trying to choose which subjects to do next semester, I hope this helps.
After I reviewed Lena Dunham’s first film ‘Creative Nonfiction‘ (2009), I knew I wanted to review Lena Dunham’s break out film ‘Tiny Furniture’ (2010). It has been said that the high praise received for ‘Tiny Furniture’, led the Creative Writing graduate to receive the notoriety needed to grab the attention of HBO (producer of GIRLS). The film premiered at South by Southwest, which led to it being awarded Best Narrative Feature.
The bildungsroman follows twenty-two-year-old Aura during her ‘post graduate delirium’. Aura returns after studying film studies at a Midwest liberal arts college to her New York family home.
The film shows considerable growth from ‘Creative Nonfiction’, released only one year earlier. Many similarities, as with lots of Dunham’s work, arise. Again Dunham includes a great deal of nudity, a central character who is (we can only assume) similar to Dunham, a focus on sexual relationships and ‘coming of age’ themes. Many of these factors are present in ‘GIRLS’, ‘Tiny Furniture’ and ‘Creative Nonfiction’.
‘Tiny Furniture’ illustrates considerable finesse in the cinematography. No longer are we subjected to bad lighting and the wavy hand held camera of ‘Creative Nonfiction’. The shots are often wide and there is impressive framing of interior space. Scenes within Aura’s slick TriBeCa apartment are powerful. The costuming emphasizes Auras black sheep status within her household. The mis-en-scene places Aura, often shown without pants and with unkempt hair, against a slick, white, modernist apartment. This juxtaposition of clean and derelict, demonstrates how Aura is seen in the household; as disruption of order and bringer of chaos to an otherwise idyllic household.
Tiny Furniture is filmed in a mumble core style. Dunham often chooses to cast from her inner circle and use non-actors. Within this film it definitely works. There are strong performances made by both Aura’s sister and mother, played by Dunham’s real life sister (Grace Dunham) and mother (Laurie Simmons). The scenes between the family are natural and organic. Their lack of acting training is unnoticeable, which is either a testament to their innate acting abilities or Dunham’s directing prowess. The ability to get great, natural performances out of non-actors is no feat to be laughed at. Additionally, the physical resemblance of both Grace Dunham and Laurie Dunham (they are both tall, thin and clean) in comparison to Aura further reifies Aura’s otherness in the family context.
Alex Karpovsky and Jemima Kirke from GIRLS are featured in the film. Karpovsky (Ray Ploshansky in GIRLS) plays Jed, a YouTube celebrity called the ‘Nietzchian Cowboy’ who stays with Aura. Jemima Kirke (Jessa from GIRLS) plays Charlotte, plays Aura’s friend since birth. Charlotte is a very similar character and displays very similar mannerisms to Jessa. Interestingly however Charlotte is portrayed as an annoying overbearingly friend, while Jessa is more of an aloof flaneur.
In terms of storytelling, I feel what really ties the movie together thematically is Dunham’s discovery and reading of her mothers diaries, written at the same age. It is through these diaries that we see that no matter what generation, the twenties are somewhat lost, meaningless and yet meaningful discovery years.
The films ending is poignant and solidifies an otherwise character driven narrative. Aura and her mother lie in her mother’s bed, a contested space that symbolizes her mothers approval.
Aura recants the tale of how she has earlier had unprotected sex with a man in a pipe on the street. Aura’s mother shows concern about her lifestyle choices. Aura questions her mother about the people who she wrote about in her diaries. The mother, who has often been shown as harsh and unsympathetic to Auras choices, hardly remembers them but when provoked begins to tell of strange encounters with sometimes toxic friends.
What I suppose I’m most attracted to in Dunham’s work is her complete lack of vanity in her storytelling. Every character is both glamourized and reduced to there most annoying trivial form. Although her characters are clearly self-obsessed, there self-obsession isn’t exaggerated and they make no apologies for it. What comes through in all Dunham’s films is a lively mind and a great creative capacity.
Tiny Furniture is a film that is well worth a watch.
Have you seen Tiny Furniture? What did you think? How do you see it in the larger context of her other work?