Less than 24 hours after flying into Australia, I was lined up for my two day Guerilla Film Makers Masterclass. I can tell you I was quite nervous as among the group were film makers who had been cameramen for 40 years, actors with over 50 features under the belt and a director searching for his next feature, he had only made four features so far! So when I kicked off, my heart was beating pretty fast. I need not have worried though as I was among friends. The guys in the room were everything I love about film makers. Open minded, playful, generous, challenging, entertaining, thought provoking, and yes, as Pancho (who you saw lots of in the video) in search of greater truths, a worthy quest for anyone. And Pancho, who is exactly like he is in the video (bonkers, but in a good way), is an extremely successful photographer who became the darling of the festival as he worked so hard taking amazing photos and infected everyone with his charming personality.
The two days whisked away in a blur, separated only by a whistle stop tour to a genuine Aussie BBQ with G’Fisher AP Simon VanDerSpoel and his lovely family and friends. Boy do the Aussies have an amazing lifestyle. Makes me wonder why so many of them are in London!
Over these two days I became aware that in the room were new friends, and new possible collaborators. This was a truly unexpected gift and I look forward to seeing how things develop. I also took a call with the Aussie equivalent of the UK Film Council, about bringing one of the features I am working on, ‘From Beneath Us’, to Australia. And we made good headway. So it’s possible I may be jetting back sometime soon. And between us, I could not think of a better place to shoot the movie, if the guys on the seminar were anything to go by.
The festival Gala Opening was awesome too, and if you listen to the soundtrack, you will hear that when the audience clapped and cheered at the end of Gone Fishing, they also started stamping their feet too! That’s never happened before.
The picture on the video is a GREAT indicator of the tone of the festival and the Aussie film business too. It’s a shot of the guys who made Mankind Is No Island, featured on the blog a could of days ago, hauling festival director Toni Powell out of the Gala Opening, in costume for a new project they are promting – they are dressed as the Design Crimes Police. Gotta love em!
I have not fixed a date yet, but I will be running the masterclass in the UK in a few months, so if you would like to attend, drop me an email at email@example.com, and I will be in touch when I am back in a few weeks.
Onwards and upwards!
Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author