"Lighter than concrete and more flammable than wood": Fish directors reflect on their industry

  • Production
  • April 15, 2019
  • StopPress Team
"Lighter than concrete and more flammable than wood": Fish directors reflect on their industry

As part of StopPress' Production Month, five directors from Flying Fish answer questions about inspiration, career highlights and the format of film. 

GREG PAGE /  FISH

Why is film such an incredible format to work with?

An idea can change or evolve. Sometimes naturally, sometimes it’s needed. Nothing is static or glued down. As a director, I get to wrangle and guide that process. Like herding cats, something else I’m awesome at.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

It depends on what kind of inspiration I’m after, I might get it from the supermarket, the kids, the traffic, my inner worry, in my shedio, or it might show up while I’m mowing the lawns. I don’t ever want to get it from just one place.

Career highlight so far?

Love the word career. Like that one time a water bottle got under the brake pedal of the van. I was careering then too. I don't have one, I have a montage. I’ll show you if you like.

RYAN HERON /  FISH

Why is film such an incredible format to work with?

Lighter than concrete and more flammable than wood.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Dozing. Running. Music. Deadlines.   

Career highlight so far?

I once lost a good friend and cameraman for thirty hours in the Strawberry Mountains. While the search party was underway we stayed at David Crosby's house (of Crosby, Stills & Nash) fame. Said friend's GPS had been programmed incorrectly and he'd spent the night high up a pine tree hiding from beers and wanking to stay warm. It was great to have him back and so Crosby threw a party. A real highlight. The next day one of Crosby's bobcats attacked our dog. Swings and roundabouts.

PAOLO ROTONDO / FISH

Why is film such an incredible format to work with?

Making films incorporates so many different disciplines and art forms, that all thrown in together for a unified purpose.
The range of skills is incredible, from high-tech i.t. to designers, to photography to the most ephemeral creatives such as actors or musicians.  
All totally necessary to communicate something to an audience, and capture their imagination. 
Plus, all these different types of skills bring different kinds of people and perspectives, the people are wonderful.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I tend to get inspired by totally different things all the time. 
There must be some unresolved question or desire inside me that makes me daydream and suddenly... an idea. 
At the moment I'm valuing 'boredom' and 'not being stimulated' all the time so that I may allow my sub-conscious stuff to pop its head out.

Career highlight so far?

As an actor, it was returning to Italy and winning a 'Best Actor' prize at Rome Film Fest in front of my family. 
As a Director, it was making my first feature Orphans & Kingdoms and premiering it at the Civic.

GREGOR NICHOLAS / FISH

Why is film such an incredible format to work with?

It’s a unique fusion of so many art forms - photography, performance, lighting, music, choreography. 
And there’s a thrill in collaborating with so many talented and passionate people. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Dreams. Watching waves. Watching trees. My dog.

Career highlight so far?

  • So far there is no single highlight, but a few stand out …
  • Sleeping in Sophia Loren’s bed — when she wasn’t there.
  • Getting flown to Casablanca to hang out with Martin Scorsese in Morocco.
  • Receiving a two-minute ovation at the Palazzo del Cinema at the Venice International Film Festival.
  • Sleeping in Jodie Foster’s bed — when she wasn’t there.
  • The Museum of Modern Art selecting my short ‘Pacific 3 2 1 Zero’ for their Permanent Film Collection.
  • Sleeping in Francis Ford Coppola’s bed — when he wasn’t there.

JEFF WOOD / FISH&CLIPS / FISH

Why is film such an incredible format to work with?

I feel like I’ve spent most of my early years dabbling in nearly all aspects of the creative process, film combines all them together & there’s nothing more powerful. It’s the subtle balance of all of the ingredients that I find really interesting. Directing is like gambling, it’s a heady mix of opposing emotions that keeps me wanting more. Fascination, frustration, passion, heartache and endless potential. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My number one source of inspiration would have to be music, it’s like the essence of a feeling without the pictures. I also get a lot of my ideas from travelling and photographing my surroundings. My partner Fawne and baby boy is also a huge source of inspiration for me. I have a lot of old books with illustrations that are really inspiring, (basically things not on the internet). If I ever get stuck on an idea, I find that a big walk or hot shower can be really helpful. 

Career highlight so far?

There have been so many highlights in my career, I really do love my job. I'd have to say shitting my pants while coughing on set, with a terrible case of gastroenteritis in the Philippines was not a highlight, but it was certainly memorable. Building a twenty foot typographical structure on top of a mountain in Cape Town was a thrill, running lights off a Land Rover battery while shooting at a school in the Kenyan Mountains was definitely a highlight and directing Helena Bohnam Carter as Voice talent, in the same studio as Toast Of Britain “Yes!” was recorded. 

OLIVER GREEN /  FISH 

The most inspiring thing about working on film?

The ‘get shit done’ nature of the people you work with. A confluence of talented people that all pull together. It’s nice being near that kind of industry and energy.\

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from the high level of just about everything floating around these days. Holy shit there are some talented people out there! Check out Slowthai. A UK rapper with a vision and the single minded courage to see it through… for example.

Career highlight so far?

Playing some small part in a Vogels ad I directed getting 2 million-plus views and starting conversation about the social fabric of this country.

DEAN HEWISON /  FISH & CLIPS

Why is film such an incredible format to work with?

The emotional impact it can deliver punches way above its weight! Plus it's a time-capsule of life and storytelling.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Weird dreams, boozy conversations, striking imagery, and the feelings I get from watching other films.

Career highlight so far?

The two films I've made with my daughter — The Sleeping Plot (48HOURS national winner) and Judgment Tavern (part of NZ's Best— are both personal highlights for me. 

JAMES SOLOMON /  FISH 

Why is film such an incredible format to work with?

Film is a great format because it covers so many different disciplines, from writing and storytelling to all of the different technical arts involved in practical filming, and all of the digital workflows involved in post-production. This means it is rarely dull. The hardest part is marketing, which is why I have put off answering these questions until the last minute.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Inspiration is the second hardest part (next to marketing). Creative ideas can normally found relatively easily in the shower but visual inspiration often involves far too much time spent on the internet sifting pearls from mud.

Career highlight so far?

In the old days, it used to be running around with a camera hanging off of things. Nowadays perhaps when big complex shots come together or when we pull off a really nice piece of craft. I once got Ma’a Nonu to tackle me for a charging Ma'a Nonu shot — he went pretty gently though.

SALLY TRAN / FISH 'N' CLIPS

Why is film such an incredible format to work with? 

Film allows you to explore many different creative paths. Singularly or, all at once. Story, performance, music, lighting, design, wardrobe, psychology, everything in our daily lives is transformed and recreated through someones imagination, or ideals.  It never gets boring. 

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

People. New, random, temporary, reliable, creepy, all types of people.  The ones you like, and the ones you don’t like have opportunity to inspire me.  When I’m more open to new experiences, I often travel to places I haven’t been, that could be local, or that could be offshore, and it’s the people who inspire me. 

Career highlight so far? 

Screening my feature film Timeslow in an interactive sensory experience with live band and foley to a sold out audiences in NYC. Although (the film and aspects of the performance wasn’t perfect) I was felt somewhat satisfied by the event.  

Want video ad delivered fast and with no faff?

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

The State of Adlandia – part two
features

The State of Adlandia – part two

From driving business to delving into data, advertising agencies and clients have plenty on their plates as the new year begins. It can be a complex world out there with constant technological developments, the changing expectations of customers and the tension of creating effective campaigns. Georgina Harris spoke with agencies and clients to get a general overview of today’s landscape: what the latest challenges are, recent trends and what the community would like to see from 2019.

Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2019 ICG Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit