For our next Director 101 Interview we learn more about the latest recruit on The Gate's roster, directing sister duo, Canister. We explore their inspirations, experience and the processes behind their beautifully crafted work.
What do you enjoy most about shooting for brands?
Really getting into the nuts and bolts of a brand and their audience and creating work that pushes it to the next level- think Lacoste- Crocodile Inside. And the best is when brands trust you to do that
Which project has been your most informative to date?
Each project or even pitch pushes the boundaries of knowledge- that’s what keeps us coming back for more
Do you enjoy collaborating with other directors?
As Co-Directors as well as stand alone directors sometimes working together will push a project in a direction that just one imagination wouldn’t fore-see
How do you push a script to exceed client expectations?
It’s like a Sculpture as well as Collaboration- stripping back in some areas and pushing hard in other areas like visual or message making sure it resonates with the target audience and doesn’t feel like just another piece of comms
Which clients have been a dream to work with?
The best are the ones that trust you- but even the challenging ones sometimes push you into unknown territory that result in great work.
Have you had to work in any challenging locations? How did you handle it?
We once shot a video for Swarovski at the mouth of the Amazon where they'd built a school to teach kids how to preserve water. At least a 24 hour journey to get to a remote town and 2 days to shoot amidst steadicam technical difficulties with a 5 person crew...! It was an incredible experience but a steadicam glitch when you're what feels like a hundred miles from a big city in 35 degree heat was pretty scary! Luckily it was resolved by our great cameraman (who was also strapped to the camera for hours per day in the scorching heat) and his assistant. Hopefully the completed film captures the serenity of the location and locals regardless of what was happening behind the camera!
What can film do that other other media forms can’t?
Film has two senses connected: sound and visual- with these it is a powerful toolbox from making you cry/happy at the cinema.. to tasting a smooth loop of ice cold ice cream..
Who is the most important and / or influential person for you in the world of film right now?
There are too many to mention- with the world of social platforms sometimes the most inspirational work can come from a creative’s bedroom production in Columbia or to something shot on mobile- it’s all about the stories and creating powerful stories that connect with the realtime world around us..
What concept, idea or technique do you think is most underused? Which is overhyped?
Haha.. coloured smoke, drone zooms, fluros, but then.. There should be no rules- sometimes the thing that has been done to death can have a revival in a powerful piece..
What recent technological innovation has had the biggest impact on your work?
I think growing up on a tiny island of Tasmania, made us realise from a young age that you can not always have the technology or budget you would wish for- so our work is much more about ideas/ DIY- technology will always be faster and better and make our lives easier- but stories and images last forever..
How do immersive forms of filmmaking set to influence your work?
The immersive world is really an exciting new area we want to start playing with.. Who knows!
Do you think filmmakers have a responsibility to make challenging, socially conscious work?
Yes I think with the tool box we have, that hooks into your emotions, and tells you “the truth” we have a responsibility-- and there are some jobs we have had to say no to as we know that the message we are being asked to transmit it often young influential people is a mis- use of this powerful messaging.
When inspiration is waning, when creativity is sapped, how do you stay inspired?
Music/Pinterest/Cool locations. But sometimes you have to disconnect from the social feeds and go for a run.. And this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZeWOAliA6Y
How do you know when your story is finished and it’s time to walk away?
There is a baking time for all projects.. Sometimes it’s not perfect- but if you keep in the oven for longer it’s gonna buuuurrrnn..
What non-film medium inspires your work?
Music, Fashion and good art
Is the evolution of your style a conscious or subconscious process?
A bit of both.. Some is natural with what you learn along the way, your experiences in life and work and some is trying to move away from certain areas that you are getting pigeon holed into- especially as female directors- there comes a time when you are getting a beautiful shine on a lipstick for the millionth time and need to get away..
How do you balance meeting commercial objectives without sacrificing your art?
Trying to stay as true to your audience as you can.. The very best commercials are those were the style of the creative and directors run riot more or less.. But then at the end of the day you are walking a fine line and half the skill is not loosing your balance to one side or the other.
What’s going on in your world when you’re not looking through a lens?
Exploring life and the world around us.. That’s the best inspiration when you’re totally disconnected..
What’s your advice for emerging filmmakers wanting to make their stamp in the industry?
It’s nothing to do with the kit or the camera. It’s the cliche but just do whatever you can with whatever is lying around, make a lot and surround yourself with people who want to do stuff with you and eventually it will happen!
What are you most looking forward to with your adventure with The Gate
Well the best thing about adventures is you never know what lies ahead.. But like the life of a director that’s what keeps you coming back, the unexpected friendships and joining forces to make unexpected work! Thanks so much!
Do you have a script that would be an ideal fit for Canister? Get in touch and let's make it happen...