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Monthly Archives: January 2014

A couple of months ago I had a psychological evaluation.  The psychologist told me I was in the acceptable range, but cautioned that I border on ‘manic’.

I admit, I like to keep busy.  And creatively, last year has been my biggest.  After returning from South America, I’ve put most of my energy into one project – the pilot of my sitcom The Real.

The Real - shopfrontIt’s a huge undertaking – essentially putting myself through my own devised course in television-making.  I have learnt so much – from the writing, rewriting, casting, running rehearsals, set-dressing, location-scouting, organising props, directing, coordinating cast and crew, editing, post-production, and a thousand other things.  I wanted to do as much as possible by myself.  But of course, filmmaking is the collaborative medium, the one that incorporates writing, theatre, design, music, and photography.  Even keeping costs and (production levels) to a minimum, 25 people have helped or worked on some aspect of the production so far.  That blows my mind.

The Real - Andrew Price & Brendan KellyI am incredibly proud of what we have achieved and thankful I was stubborn enough to just plunge headfirst and not give up during the (many) stressful moments.

I absolutely love directing.  But I never planned to be a director.  I got a video camera and started filming things to cross-train and supplement my screenwriting.  Rather quickly, it took over.  The four years I spent running around with a DSLR prior meant I hit the ground running  – I already knew a bit about f-stops and shutter speeds, the importance of light and framing.

The Real - Chris Ryan & Zack DruryI spent years reading books and blogs on screenwriting (and still do) – much of what I learnt, through repeated immersion, is now second nature, things I do without thinking, that I take for granted.  My directing is not there yet – I still feel like I’m faking it.  One of the main differences is screenwriting practice can be done in private – directing practice requires participants/guineas pigs.  I need to reach the same level with my directing – to that end, I’ve reading several books on directing (I’m good at applying book-learnin’ – in my teens I taught myself to juggle from a couple of paragraphs sans pictures in an old book).  I also spent three days last week in Melbourne at a ‘directing actors’ workshop.

And next of course, I need to find some more participants/guinea pigs.

The Real - clapper

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Faux Faux Amis tripped to Melbourne last week to begin Projet de Producteur (aka the Producer Project).  Over the course of 2014, we are recording one or two songs a piece with different producers, and then releasing them in various ways (options include vinyl, cassette, music videos, remixes, etc.).  The producers choose what song of ours they want to record, and then we invite them to weigh in with arrangement, style, and aesthetic considerations.  It’s always intrigued me how much influence producers have over a band’s sound, and I want to explore how different studios, styles and personalities can affect that.

Faux Faux Luke

The first recordings took place at Elephant’s Foot Studios with our good friend (and sonic whiz-kid) Nick McCorriston.  Nick’s tastes vary wildly, but he has a soft spot for punky stuff, so it felt like a good match for our initial foray.  We spent eleven hours getting down two songs.  Nick had loads of cool ideas, and I’m really pleased with the results.

Faux Faux Amis has been able to move quickly – only three gigs under our belt and we have a zine, a live video rig, recordings, and ummm, hats.  I love the pace (and am driving it), but more than that, it’s testament to both Kev and Chris’s skill as musicians, and how completely game they are for any whimsical scheme I suggest.