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.
Synching up the first and and last shots of some of the great films. Surprisingly (or perhaps not) in many of the examples the first and last images sum up the entire story. It’s like you really only need these two images and nothing in between to explore the ideas and the theme of the film. I also love just how beautifully enigmatic they are. Like the beginning and the end of a film is the time when you can be most poetic, lulling the audience in and out of the experience…
Thank you Jacob T Sweeney for taking the time… I could have watched a whole feature length of just these moments…
Select pages from a visual and tonal document I put together to hand out to cast and crew in the lead up to shooting Gallipoli.
Made up from a selection of archival material, paragraphs from Les Carlyon’s wonderful book, poems from some of the great war poets and my own photographs.
Jo Ford our production designer has said (half jokingly) that she wished the project wasn’t called ‘Gallipoli’ as it brings with it such an immense amount of scale and preconception that it overwhlems with expectations. So I found an alternative title which helps establish an idea and an over arching theme that is constant throughout the project.
I was recently interviewed for the upcoming release of Gallipoli and the journalist was interested to know aboutt my End Of Days photographs he found here and here on Hoaxville.
Afterwards I thought more about what my photos have been in the past and what I’d like them to be alot more of in the future. The End of Days series was about finding some space at the end of each shooting day. A moment of stillness after the intensity of shooting. A visual excuse to take a deep breath in and out. To reflect on the days events, what worked, what didn’t and what needed to be done for the next day.
I think this is what I want more of in the way I approach photography. Not so much trying to ‘capture a moment’, more the photograph is the moment. A practice of trying to take time to ground myself and be present in that time and place.
Below: The beginning and end of Day 56 of filming Gallipoli (Mt Eliza beach).
I finished Gallipoli last week… Kind of unbelievable. For over two years it’s been this monolith project that ended up consuming every single part of my life. This time last year I was wondering “…how on earth are we going to make this?” and now it’s done and I’m wondering “…how on earth did we make that!”.
Normally I’m quite sad when a production is over. But I’m happy to say I was quite relieved to walk out of the post house for the last time. Not because I hated it, far from it, but I was just super tired. I’ve put everything I could into making this series as good as it can be. I’m exhausted now in a way I have never felt before (one of the reasons why this blog has been a little neglected). I’m spent.
Luckily, I’m really happy with what we have made. It’s epic when it needs to be (the script always had a scale that scared us all) but ultimatley it’s emotionally driven and intimate in it’s tone and nature. Hundreds of people across all departments put a huge amount of energy into the series, above and beyond what I could have expected. As a director to be supported by so many truly talented people is humbling.
Eight hours, on air sometime (early-ish) next year.
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.
Rosebud shot in her natural habitat with a new piece of old Leica glass (M 90mm Summicron) and also my first dip into Lightroom since Apple killed off my favourite piece of software, R.I.P Aperture. It was so good while it lasted.
Two heroes of mine punk rock singer Ian McKaye and photographer Glen E. Friedman discuss photos from Glens new book My Rules. Glen E. Freidman released one of my favourite photo books back in the day Fuck You Heroes. I’m looking forward My Rules.
And just cos… here is Ian McKaye belting out my favourite Fugazi song (and one of my favourite songs ever) Instrument.
I came across this wonderful episode of the BBC’s What Do Artists Do All Day featuring the photographer Tom Wood. I new nothing about him but was so inspired by his photography and his straight forward, honest and down to earth approach to making pictures. His longitudinal studies of his everyday surrounds is really incredible. Reminds me to photograph the regular things around me. The modern ugly cars and buildings in my street. I love how these documents can take on more and more meaning as time passes, things change and what currently seems mundane may one day seem remarkable.