Creating engaging films is a mission bigger than any one individual. Our team of film connoisseurs are diverse in experience, nationalities, diverse in the very essence of who we are. But in our differences comes a shared understanding of the power of film. We believe in autonomy, not autocracy, and through this we can constantly question the status quo.
I’d rather show you who I am than write about it.
For me, it’s the visual elements that are more powerful, especially in terms of allowing people to be better connected and understood. The more you show, the less you need to tell. I guess that’s why my job is a Mad Men type film with me in the role of Don Draper, except without the suits and swagger. It’s my role to oversee the creative side. I sometimes have to make a number of tough decisions that can sometimes hurt the feelings of others. But if I’m going to stay true to the goal of the company, to create meaningful and purposeful content, I have to embrace those difficult emotional challenges. Sitting down with a good strong coffee throughout the day tends to help; it’s my last remaining vice.
What I’ve learnt is that the spirit of human beings will never fail to surprise me. Telling stories gives us the opportunity to meet truly remarkable people, and we all have the innate ability to empathise with one another and to learn from our respective challenges and triumphs. For instance, as a longtime self-confessed man-child I often wondered how the responsibility of fatherhood would play out. As it turns out, I can change a mean nappy, a very necessary skill I’ll hopefully be able to share with others.
Moving to Australia from Canada certainly opened a myriad of doors for me. I came to continue my education in the field of health, which I did, but I also found love, started a business, met amazing people, had wonderful experiences, and never left! I’ve always loved how travelling to new and interesting places keeps us curious. In my case, it lead me down a path I don’t think I ever would have taken had I stayed in Canada. Waking up each morning, kissing and cuddling my boys, I feel truly blessed.
I let my passions guide me, in both my personal and professional lives, and because of this I think my job is like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Everyday I’m given the opportunity to test myself, to take on challenges that purposefully push me out of my comfort zones. I’m guided by adventure, I strive to be brave, and I hope to have courage in everything that I do. It gives me a chance to continuously build on my skillset. I might even find out that I’m surprisingly good at more than just mishearing lyrics! We live in an amazing place, in a time rich with opportunities. And if I’ve learnt one thing, it’s that dreams are meant to be lived.
I’m enthralled by the power of the imagination. I love how through only our minds we can travel to new worlds, learn new things, and create new objects. Maybe that’s why I have such an affinity for memorising random facts. I want to know as much as possible about all the amazing achievements and inventions people have made throughout history. It’s why I know the names of every single King and Queen of England since William the Conqueror.
Collecting facts is also a large part of my job. If it were a film it would be a historical drama, filled with lots of writing and research, but with the potential to become an action-packed, swashbuckling adventure. I’d like to think I’m the hero, defeating bad guys and going on all sorts of incredible journeys, but it’s more likely that I’m the plucky sidekick, bumbling along, not really knowing what’s going on, but still good natured and keen to learn.
Obviously, I’m a big fan words. Words are openended, giving people a chance to generate their own distinct meanings and ideas. Yet, I love the visual side of things just as much. Images bring people together; an image is relatable, a defining moment that guides people to share in an experience or idea. In 50 years time, when I’m sitting on the front verandah of my tropical island treehouse, I’ll have figured out how the two fit together so well. I’ll have solved this “chicken or egg” situation.
You should never ask an editor what it’s impossible for them to give up. In our eyes, footage can be cut and replaced and moved around a timeline in whatever way we think will tell the story most effectively. In my personal life though, the impossibility of giving up sleep is an entirely different question. Well, it was a different question. As a new father, I’m slowly learning that sleep can also be cut and replaced and moved around to whatever time means my whole family can get some rest. Despite my lack of sleep, I’m finding that I’m not scared by fatherhood or the challenges it presents. The only things that never cease to scare me are snakes and planes. And to a lesser extent, the fact that Samuel L. Jackson agreed to be in a movie called Snakes on a Plane.
My father moved around a lot for work. This meant I spent most of my childhood in Indonesia and my teens in Russia. I moved back to Australia for university, where I studied to become Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State. Well, maybe more accurately, I studied a degree that would one day allow me to become the guy who looks over some poor technician’s shoulder and tells him to “enhance” the license plate security footage in every spy film ever made. In my defence it was either that or find some way of monetising my Ron Swanson-esque talent for scaring off perfume salespeople in shopping centres.
I’m not going to say that my job’s complicated, but if it were a film it would be a psychological thriller. There’s a lot of information to process, and you never know what’s lurking around the corner. In the end, my trusty detective team and I always solve the problem. We know we can tackle any obstacle, like that pesky guy Weather, and the weird vortex that sucks up time and deadlines. I think I might be the only one that gets a kick out of a good to-do-list or spreadsheet though. There’s really nothing better. Except maybe dog memes, bad puns, dancing in the car at traffic lights, and rapping to ‘Gold Digger’ by Kanye West. They get me every time.
Sometimes the thriller takes place overseas. The best stories are told between the pages of a passport, and it’s one of the main turning points in the film when I realise that I will only become a truly great detective if I travel to as many places as possible. My fear is that one morning I’ll wake up and realise that it was all just a dream. Although, I guess it would make for a nice change from what I currently think about when I wake up: should I get up and have breakfast, or binge on social media instead?
I have many talents, all of which are essential to my job as a world champion eater. I’m sorry; I meant, my job as a cinematographer. Although food is important. Very important. It’s essential. People need it, animals need it, aliens need it. Without food, life would not exist. I’m constantly surprised by food. And people. Sometimes I’ll be listening to a person so intently that it looks like I’m not really paying attention. But what I’m really doing is learning everything I can about that person, getting to know them through how they communicate and present themselves to others. I’m very empathetic like that.
I’ve come to realise that my job is really a touching, romantic film about the relationship between a hardworking man and his beloved camera. They have a close relationship, envied by all, and together they make lots of beautiful baby videos that eventually grow up and go out to do great things in the real world. The man and his camera are very proud. But then one day, in a shocking and not at all stereotypical twist, the man is introduced to a newer, younger, hotter camera. The man wishes to continue making, nay, nurturing, as many videos as possible. And in an amicable yet dramafilled agreement, the man and his original camera go their separate ways.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? I think I’ll call it “I See You...And I’m Recording.”
If I wasn’t working for TheStoryBoxes, I’d probably be teaching. It’s a scary thought, not because children terrify me or I think that I’d be a bad teacher, but because it means I wouldn’t have the amazing job I do now. Much like film noir, with its detective plot elements and evolving protagonists, my job is about solving problems for my team. Everyday I’m doing something different, whether it’s giving the cinematographer a hand with a BCam, working in accounts with the managing director, or helping the producer organise a film shoot. I’m basically a detective; with my notebook in hand, I can solve anything. Yet, unlike the Humphrey Bogart protagonists of film noir, I try to do each of these jobs with creative flare and a smile.
Before moving to Australia, my life was more akin to the dark aesthetic of film noir than its thrilling plot twists. I grew up in Toronto, Canada, a place I thought was cold, grey and smoggy. What’s more, I come from a family of hunters, which combined with the weather, made me think of zombie apocalypses and the end of the world. I think I’d survive a zombie apocalypse though. I’m surprisingly good at axe throwing, and with my keen problem solving skills, I’m sure I could protect the human race. Plus, I live with a doctor! The zombies don’t stand a chance!