Teaching my first ever Performance Workshop

Wade DirectingI don’t normally post about ‘day to day’ stuff here, but I wanted to write a little about teaching my first ever Performance Workshop. A little while ago, I was approached by the very talented Fern Nicholson about running a one-off “Intensive” for her school. NASA (Nicholson’s Academy of Screen Acting) has a great reputation, so I was excited to be asked.

The exercise itself was simple – the students would draft 5 scripts and we’d workshop each one. Fern had invited a collection of great indie directors to take this on (including Co-Conspirators of mine Peter Gurbiel and Damian Giglietta). After reading the scripts, I marked them up with notes and then thought about how I wanted each piece to be pitched and paced. The great thing about the exercise being that the students would perform the script their way, and then I would follow with notes.

I found that the exercise ended up being quiet theatrical in nature. The students would perform their particular scene for the class, and then once they had finished I would give them feedback. I discussed with them that I’m a big fan of being collaborative. I like my performers to have a sense of ownership of their deliveries. If they’re not happy with what they are creating, that can only lead to issues down the line.

So, after each script was performed, I would ask ‘How did you feel about it? Did it work?’. From there, they would feedback to me what they thought worked and didn’t work and we’d move on from there. Funnily enough, I spent the most amount of time saying I wanted things paced up. I also spoke a lot about how I don’t really dig lots of dialogue, preferring to work in a visual way where possible.

I was really impressed with how quickly the students took on my notes, and I found them all very effective at what they did. Fern’s influence was evident as they all had a very realist approach to both their performances and career goals. After we ran each script a few times, I spent about an hour chatting about the indie film industry and “making it”. It was a very frank discussion of the WA film industry and how things were moving in Australia.

I basically ended up saying what they already knew – the Arts is hard for everybody. It’s especially hard for creatives in WA, where we have solid funding bodies but zero commercial organisations. I said I couldn’t imagine being an actor in Australia, with it being hard enough being a creative. They asked me what I thought would happen and all I could say was that I didn’t know. The one thing I did commend them on was that they were making it happen. The best bit of advice I had was: Don’t wait. Get out there and do it. Make mistakes, learn, grow your network and be “politely aggressive” with producers and agents.

I found the whole experience really positive and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I found the students all really refreshing and I wish them and Fern all the best for future. I’d love to be apart of that future if possible.

WKS

VITOLA – The Celebration of Cigars, Drinks and Classic Jazz.

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A little while ago, I think I joked on Twitter that I should start a blog that explores three things I really love: Cigars, Drinking and Classic Jazz. Well, I might as well just do it whilst I wait for some film deals to happen.

I’ve never had a Hobby/Enthusiast blog before, so I’m finding the whole thing pretty exciting. I do also need to ensure that the “fun” aspect of this is always the most important – my partner’s always been very clever in telling me that “You should never make what you love your work”. I agree wholeheartedly.

That’s where Vitola comes in. My new publication is a stripped back and fun look into a culture (or a subset of cultures) that have existed for a long time. I will be presenting Editorials and Reviews on new Cigar, Alcohol and Jazz products. Well, maybe not new Jazz, as I really only want to cover Jazz from the 20’s to the early 60’s. It’s basically a blog by me, for me.

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That’s not to say it isn’t already getting attention. Vitola was live for 3 hours before I already had a major Cigar company offer me to review some stock for them. You can also follow the blog on Facebook.

Cigars, Drinking and Classic Jazz give me a tremendous amount of pleasure so I can’t wait to meet a lot of great people involved in these industries. I’ve been reaching out to the plethora of people I know, and I’ll be running a whole host of different interviews in the future.

My favorite aspect of the new publication is what I’ve called ‘The Combination': We combine a Cigar, a classic Drink or Cocktail and a Jazz Album and discuss how they all compliment one another. It’ll be somewhere between interesting and just a little wanky. So long as it’s fun, it’ll run on Vitola.

Be sure to stop be here: http://vitolamagazine.wordpress.com/ 

ENCRYPTION

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For years and years I’ve struggled to produce a production company that really captured what I wanted to do. 

I’ve dabbled in nearly every aspect of film-making, but simply making short form work after short form work isn’t really going to cut it. As you would of seen from my earlier posts, I like the idea of bringing storytellers and brands together. I especially like the idea of making branded content that doesn’t suck.

But, what I especially love the idea of, is creating worlds that sell. What if there was a company that created content and ideas? What if there was a service that could aid small and big companies in developing their IP’s into something people connect to? If people naturally connect to a world (IP) then there is a better chance they’ll pay for something connected to that world. What if it doesn’t have to be awful merchandise and cheap cash-ins? 

What if it’s stuff we want?

That’s what I hope to do with ENCRYPTION

I’ve mentioned before about our internal projects, which will start the company off. From there, I then want to start reaching out to companies and seeing what they’re looking for. It’s a crazy idea, but all good ideas are (unless of course, they’re aren’t). 

Oh, and Barrow is nearly done too. It’s looking incredible. 

 

On Serial Dramatic TV

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The best cinema happening today is on television. 

I know you’ve heard that before, but I can’t help but feel it’s true. Every major TV series there is, I’ve come to late. And each and everyone of them I’ve fallen in love with. I love stuff that’s dark, compelling  and paints it’s characters in a very grey way. Hence, I love Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones.

Now, I’m falling for True Detective. 

There’s a lot to be said about letting your characters breathe. There’s also a lot that DOESN’T need to be said. All three of these shows never rely on dialogue, and what dialogue there is, is very, very good. Cable television is now being called “creator driven content” and it shows.

There is real heart and soul that gets poured into these projects – and you can sense it in every frame.

There is such a huge divide between Serial Cable drama and Network drama. In fact, it’s kind of embarrassing to finish watching an episode of True Detective and then catch a little of some Network show. Artistically, they just can’t compete. 

The other wonderful thing, is that the millennial generation has grown up on these great shows and it wants them now. Which means it’s our job to cater to the demand.

I’ve been working on two very different IP’s at the moment – both of which are online serialized live action shows. Both of which cater to the audience first and foremost.

All I’ve wanted for years is to direct “My First Movie”.

But now? Man, I want to make the kind of TV that I’m watching. The kind of TV that is better than movies and people want more of.

It’s a new Age of Cinema on your laptop and I couldn’t be more excited.

WKS  

New Directions and 2014

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Whilst this blog doesn’t get a lot of Love, I’ve decided to keep it around. You’ll be seeing different things on it from time to time.

I know I should of done the the “hip” thing by now and moved to tumblr, but this works for me. That, and I find using tumblr really irritating.  As someone who tweets like mad, but really never blogs – I’ll stay with this.

There’s never a lot of news I can really reveal without doing it the kind of justice it deserves – I’m always in development of something fun, but I’ve learned to only talk about it when it’s good and ready. It does sound like a huge tease, but it’s the best way to go.

What I can say is that I’m going to Adschool. I’ve always loved both Advertising and Marketing, and I’ve wanted to marry that love with my films.  I’m obsessed with Branded Entertainment, and I think we’re living in a time where you can make high quality content that sells stuff – which doesn’t have to suck.

Hell, Fallout: Lanius at the end of the day was a 20 minute ad for Fallout: New Vegas. Albeit, a few years late.

This little blog has had over 60000 views, which I really thank you for. If you stick around, I’ll even try to blog on it once and awhile.

WKS

 

Blog re-design. Pre-Production on ‘BARROW’.

In the first time in a long damn time, I’ve changed up the look of the blog.

Not sure if it’s working overall, but it’s nice to have a change. Oh, and the Official page for Barrow is now live on Facebook. So come on by and say ‘hello’.

Pre-Production is pretty insane at the moment. We’d be stuffed if it wasn’t for Pete Gurbiel’s hard work in making the film happen. And he’s not even a Producer, but an incredible Director – and here he is busting his arse to make our film happen.

I have to say ‘BARROW’ is such a different experience for me. It’s elements are all so removed from what I’ve done in the past. I can only hope all those elements come together. We’ve just announced Caris Eves will join the film, and of course we have the incredible Amanda Woodhams playing our lead. They make a striking pair.

Also, the background image for the blog is from The Last of Us. It’s by the amazing artists at Shaddy Saffadi. If you haven’t played the game – just do it. It’s incredible.

I am really, really going to try and put down more thoughts here. Provided anyone wants to read them, that is.

 

 

 

 

 

A Long Overdue Update (The Owl, Fallout: Lanius and BARROW)

God, I am terrible at this. For real updates, follow me on Twitter: I use that all the time.

So, what’s happened? Well, our film ‘The Owl’ Won Best Film and People’s Choice at the WA Screen Awards. It also picked up amazing reviews from both Xpress Magazine and FilmInk. Now, we’re off to the Festival Circuit. Check out the Trailer below.

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We released Fallout: Lanius and it went Viral. We had a huge amount of press and it’s opened so many doors it’s not even funny. We had stories all over the world (inclusive of Forbes, MTV, Collider and Joblo). The response was insane. To see the film in full, see below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCrM1_7wnDU

I’ve been meeting lots of amazing people, and I can’t wait to get started on the next film: BARROW. We’ve been in development on this forever, and it’s finally coming together. We’ve got an amazing Cast and Crew – all we have to do is shoot it. Easy, right? I can’t say much about the film, except that it’s really different from either ‘The Owl’ or ‘Fallout: Lanius’.

It’s a horror/thriller/procedural with…bugs. Lots and lots of nasty bugs.

More soon.

WKS