Hugh Sullivan speaks to me about his first feature, The Infinite ManRead More
In addition to being a really awesome film, The Edge of Tomorrow had some sweet practical effects which you can see on this B-Roll footage
The Catacombs of Paris are a truly remarkable place, and if you've ever needed a reminder that everyone is the same, then a place where the skeletons of six million people remain should surely do it.
After a bunch of sink holes started collapsing buildings in Paris, people thought it'd be a good idea to maybe reinforce the foundations of the city, and that perhaps the mining of limestone from beneath the city could be responsible for the aforementioned destruction.
Whilst there's only a limited number of avenues with skeletons, there's a labyrinthine network of tunnels underneath the city.
Overall the Catacombs are awesome, but it's pretty depressing to see that some scumbags have vandalised some skulls. What would motivate someone to do that is beyond me.
If you're ever in Paris, definitely check it out.
I still can’t write articulately why I feel so powerfully about the death of Robin Williams, but perhaps its this quote from Dead Poets Society that has had a serious impact on my life;
We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
That I’ve dedicated my life to writing and telling stories is a consequence of that movie and finding it at a time in my life when I needed to.
It’s a reminder that we’ve gotta keep chasing that elusive flame.
As gut punched as I feel, all I can say mate, is thank you.
Now I’ve gotta see about a girl.
Since learning about the Halo 2 Alternate Reality Game (ARG) "I Love Bees", I've always been a fan of interesting marketing campaigns for movies and games.
In addition to These Final Hours' ARG, which you can check out here, Motherboard has teamed up with Vice and the marketing company to make some interesting prequel shorts prior to the release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Whilst some are stronger than others, it's great to see new things being made that expand the scope of these worlds.
As great as these are, I do wonder how the marketing departments prove return on investments of these videos.
How do these convert people who are on the fence, or weren't interested in the films and put bums on seats?
Either way, it's still great to know that there's platforms for these to exist.
I got to meet Richard Kiel today who was most famous for playing Jaws in the James Bond series.
Can you tell us how you got to make your first feature film?
[Laughs] Who let me do that exactly? How it happened I guess, was putting myself in the right place at the right time, and having chiselled away at the last ten years or so before it, with a few backyard features, a few self funded shorts, a few funded shorts. Constantly trying to develop my craft as a writer/director and I think that there were other projects that I thought were maybe gonna be my first funded feature film that fell by the wayside. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason and I kind of look back at the disappointment I had in those projects falling over but I really felt like they deserved to fall over, and this one withstood the fire and brimstone of development because there was enough meat on the bone, enough of a cool central idea and enough of an emotional journey that the main character was going to go on. Just all the right elements and at the end of the day just a really interesting story and a very basic premise of ‘what would you do on the last day on earth?’. I think all those planets aligned just in the right way. Ever since we put the first draft, which I call the vomit draft, that I just vomited out of my system into the inaugural Springboard that Screen Australia were running, with my producer Liz Kearney. Ever since we put that in, literally it felt like the right people read it, the right people gave me the right encouragement and told me to really stick at it. It wasn’t great on the page, but there was enough there for people to really tell me to “stick with this one Zak” and “you might have something here”. It was getting into that in 2009/2010 and in being able to make a short film through that development scheme, called Transmission, where I just felt like I was working at a higher level than I ever had before, with the most experienced crew we could get, great actors and everyone getting paid the right way. Doing a film properly. It really solidified Liz and my relationship as a director-producer. I feel making the short and chipping away at the feature, and then the right people then saying “yes” to the feature to get the bit of funding we needed from ScreenWest, followed up by Screen Australia, followed up by MIFF (Melbourne International Film Festival), everything just sort of came together, with just enough money to pull it off.Read More
Can you tell us how you got to make your first feature film?
It evolved from a short film that I made a few years ago. I was making a short about the lives of two war survivors from the war in Singapore in 1942 and as a part of making that film I ended up interviewing a lot of war survivors and POWs, and it sort of sucked me into this world of individuals sent off to foreign, hostile lands where they had no idea what was gonna happen. What I found in all these stories they told me, was a common through line of young people feeling vulnerable and not knowing wether they were going to survive. I felt that was something quite universal. Most of us have never been to war, yet we could possibly tap into the sense of fear, unknown and the vulnerability that these young people were experiencing. For me a lot of war films are the big events, the big spectacles but their stories were all about the intimate; the personal; the universal. And that was something that really attracted me as a screenwriter to this story.Read More
Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice and need.
"How can you look at life and not feel like it's a noir? There's only one end to this, and you're doomed."
- Nic Pizzolatto