In an encouraging sign, a busy period of interesting jobs directly followed my disaster work year. I spent two weeks in Sydney catching up with all my family, whilst working on the feature film Venice, Written and directed by Miro Bilbrough, Venice is being produced by my sister in-law Karen Radzyner in our first project together. It was a really lovely film to work on, I joined a small hard working crew towards the end of the shoot, Bonnie Elliot was behind the camera and having lots of fun and getting remarkable results once again with an Arri Alexa.
My five minutes of fame on the back of my big brothers film The Hunter occurred when Dan came to stay with me in Adelaide. With his lead actor Willem Dafoe having completed his part of the Australian launch, Dan still had ongoing engagements. As a sign of support I nervously joined him him for a Q&A after the preview screening, something he was now fluent and confident at doing, but it was a wierd situation for me. We were also interviewed and photographed together, the brother’s angle seemed popular in my home town, and Adelaide’s only newspaper ran the picture large, so everyone I know saw.
In other good news, I was accepted into The Society of Motion Picture Stills Photographers along with Jasin Boland, the first Australian’s to become members of this honorary organisation. The L.A. based SMPSP has only 35 members from around the globe, and new members must have at least 10 years of feature film experience then find sponsorship by 2 other members before submitting a portfolio for approval by the Society. There is not a great deal of official recognition for the production stills photographer out there, no awards that I am aware of, a simple photo credit seems rare, so it felt great to be accepted into the society and connect with my colleagues working in this specialised genre of photography. I now get to put SMPSP after my name on all future film credits.
Discussing the SMPSP and stills photography with Robbie Buck Radio ABC 702.
I have never really pushed the circus side of my career, but jobs continue to come in and I have a policy of always saying “yes” to work. Circus Elements is a new Adelaide entertainment company run by Juliette and Scott Griffin. They are a lovely couple, and also very organised resulting in lots of work for their stilt and unicycle based characters. When dressed up as a 10 foot chef at a busy public event there is the constant threat of a nasty child getting too excited and tackling me to the ground, but it is fun challenging work, and perhaps not surprisingly, rather well paid!
My dream job tropical island manifested itself perfectly in the form of MABO. Produced by Blackfella Films,the project dramatises for the first time the Murray Islander’s life and historical native title claim. In our second production together, Rachel Perkins is directing, who’s work I love. The Eddie Mabo story is also a testament to the work of my father Garth, who as an academic and writer has campaigned for human rights and native title for indigenous Australians his entire career. On just a weeks’ notice, and with lots to get organised, I will be starting the shoot on remote Murray Island, in the Torres Strait off the coast of North Queensland, Australia. Pack goggles and snorkel.