Tell us a bit abut your background.
I make short films and music videos, and I currently live in Sydney.
When did you first get interested in films and filmmaking?
When I was a kid I got to go to the set of a Boom Crash Opera music video and I remember the art director had made these huge angel wings. That is my first memory of being interested in film as a career. Someone was hanging off a cliff in these angel wings, and it seemed like something to look forward to.
Then I saw Ulla Von Brandenburg’s work ‘Singspiel’ in 2010, and it really suspended me – it was a very clear moment which made me want to work with video and film.
What is your documentary I Will Treasure Your Friendship About?
I Will Treasure Your Friendship is a short documentary about a man called Rayson Light, who I met whilst living in Sydney’s Kings Cross. Rayson had a small paper advertisement stuck to the window of a photo developing shop. It had a photo of Ray and Elvis, and said to go to his Youtube Channel to see some of his meetings with Elvis.
I got Ray’s number somehow and we had coffee, and I began filming him. That was four years ago, and my producer Bill Bleakley and I filmed over three years. Originally I thought we were making a short film about Rayson’s Youtube Channel and his connection to Elvis, but it became a lot stranger. There was a lot of singing and palm-reading.
Ray loves celebrity, and he told me that he knew murdered Sydney nurse Anita Cobby, and that after her death he became adopted by her family. Our film is about Ray and his relationship to fame.
Who are some of the cast and crew in the movie?
The crew was just my producer Bill and I, and in post-production a friend (Freeman Trebilcock) from Melbourne helped co edit the film. Rayson himself is also a collaborator, as a lot of the film is made up of his footage. He’s an avid camera man, and often films our meetings with him, and uploads them to Youtube. His videos have really great titles like “One of the luckiest men in Australia.”
Do you have a certain creative and directing style?
My directing style can be traced to having croissants on set, and American drip style coffee.
Why do you think movies are important?
One aspect which I come back to a lot is cinemas ability to be a vehicle for conversations about issues our society is dealing with. I saw Nightcrawler and as I’m currently working in news and reality tv as a day job, it raised a lot of questions for me about how I’m contributing to news as spectacle.
Where can people see your film?
We finished the film in 2016, and it’s just starting to get its festival release. Locally in NZ, it will be playing at the Arohanui Film Festival which we are super excited about!
You can stay up to date of the digital release, by following the Swagman Films Facebook page, which is a film collective I am part of.