Sunday, May 30, 2010

Remember Fender Reviews

On the night of premiere, I made sure we had a rating and thoughts card for anyone to fill out.

Here are the reviews, I have omitted names and ratings, so here you will see thoughts from some of the 100 people that attended on the night.

#1 "Truely professional, creative and aspirational. Guys; have confidence in yourselves, as its the only thing bringing you down; sell your self and your creativity you have earnt it and yo definately deserve it! love me xx---P.T.O.---Speak up, you have earnt this-you created this and most importantly you deserve this. Your passion your spirit and your drive is evident. This is much more than many producers will ever deliver, and in one "short art house film" you have accomplished this. Congrats and don't forget us from the 'Bur' and facebook xx"

#2 Very Entertaining, Keep up the good work

-Pretty good acting
-very creative

#4 Very creative and very funny. I hope you follow your dream and do well in the future. You deserve to succeed.

#5 Well done! this was a great short film, the plot was clear and the characters were funny + shoed enthusiasm. Keep up the good work.

#6 A great idea to get everyone together to celebrate the project! you have a great film - thanks for letting me be part of it! Good luck with film festivals etc.

#7 Very witty, clever and thoroughly entertaining. Hope to see more. Keep up the good work.

#8 I will never forget Fender! Brilliant, loved it. Well done everyone involved.

#9 fender (ralph) is wonderful and the mother-too good

#10 As a low profile movie it wasnt too bad. Although it was ridiculous humour, it was enough to make you go "what the hell's he on". Overall it was a fair attempt. Could be generally funnier but what you have done is something exciting. Only concern, laughs were at extremely exagerated lines.

#11 You are amazing, you brought back a lot of beautiful memories, Not only did it have a good story, love the great humour too.

#12 Congratulations. All the hard work has paid off! you pulled it off! I loved your movie! I know its going to do well. you have just opened the door. and i hope success follows. You deserve it. all the best.

Friday, May 28, 2010

An Open Letter To The Remember Fender Cast & Crew

The films concept came to me back in 2006 at Deakin. The unit I undertook was Independent Production. We were given the task to create a dialectical film narrative. I took lessons I learnt in various classes about Video artists and documentary and fused both into what was a mockumentary. Influences included Yoko Ono’s 1966 bottom’s a video art piece spanning 80 minutes, were you only saw nude bottoms. I felt unease at this, that art could be formed so un-intelligently. Another influence was “this is spinal tap” I used elements of looking back on the life of an artist. and the last influence was a 1966 - Don't Look Back, by Donn A. Pennebaker about Bob Dylan's tour of England. I took elements of celebrity and naivety from that.  So the film was made over 3 consecutive night one weekend with friends who helped behind and in front of the camera. It was guerilla film-making at it’s ultimate. No money, no sets, no lighting. I got a good reception at a screening at uni but left it at that.

A couple of year later and after conversations about the possibilities one sunny Sunday in september over a bbq and beer, they had officially persuaded me to do it again, this time on a scale that would justify such a job. Anna and Iurgi are Remember Fender’s biggest fans, they took on roles on the production that without them this would not have existed. I want to thank you again for believing in the project and more importantly in me.

So in October of 2008 a script was in motion with Iurgi my supervisor and co-producer to kick my arse and critique me on every step of the way. Script was complete by Feb of 2009 while pre-production had got underway.

I want to thank Iurgi and Anna who saw something I didnt even see in the film. And that was pure potential. Especially Iurgi who was present at every thing we did throughout this film. He would be on set/location before me, chirping me up and making sure the job was done. You are totally professional Iurgi and a great film-maker in your own right, I am your biggest fan behind Anna. We work well, criticising each others works constantly which in turn delivers a higher quality of product we produce. I am very happy to call you my partner in everything we have done together. I know I have learnt a lot from him. Thanks. Iurgi and Anna would and still support me through film times and times were you just need a friend. On top of all that Iurgi would always travel up to 90 minutes at a time, even to his dislike of the Melbourne Public transport system. What’s even more, Iurgi continually makes the trip just to hang out and be an unbelievable friend of mine. I have nothing but admiration for you my friend.

I also want to send a massive thank you to my friend Steve Ramsie. Steve-O you are a magnificent jewel in what we call Fender. Steve came late to the team, but was invaluable. He started doing some sound for us. Steve is an intelligent film-maker who is as massive a film buff I know. He lives it He breathes it. We were stuck on editing Fender for a couple of months. It was after when we were well acquainted that Steve came to Iurgi and I with a massive 10 page document of how the narrative structure should work. I was so convinced that I stood back from the project and Steve along with Iurgi put together the masterplan he had drawn up and that Iurgi and I had Okayed. So thank you for all Steve and also for the support.

One very special thing had happened and that was Matt Kosub, who is an actor and was to play Ralph Fender. He was to go over to Japan to play in Blues Brothers. But that is where the special thing happened, he got a hold of someone he knew could play the part and that was Christian Cavallo. An excellent Actor who by the end of filming had embodied Ralph so much that we had an improvisational interview with him as Ralph, he nailed him perfectly and if you ever get a chance to see it, there are Fenderisims throughout it.

Another key recruit was that of Paul Congdon who, through the Frankston arts center where he and Iurgi worked together. A jovial character himself, he was absolutely perfect for Ray Fender, Ralph's brother. He gave us comedic relief and a strong character performance saw his character move from supporting to equal lead role. Paul has this natural ability to make a scene funny.

Through the leads we eventually got Sarah Watson as Ralph’s girlfriend Susie Archer. Sarah had performed with Christian in ‘Grease’. We were very lucky to get Sarah. Sarah has a professionalism I have not yet seen in an actor. She had a massive monologue and she nailed every word on the first take. She was the perfect accompaniment for Ralph’s quirky character.

So meet two of my friends Luca and Marco Finanzio. the only cast members that got a gig from the old film. Luca and Marco have this amazing chemistry together, they kind of know what the other is going to say. They also have an unbelievable ability to ‘spin shit’ ! Something I know Luca and I used to do also as youngsters. They were a perfect fit for the agent and producer Leon and Charlie King. From the first film the really had their characters down, so for this version I wrote some of their characters into their lines. For two men who have had no experience at improvisational acting, my hats of to you. 

We also had the beautiful pleasure of welcoming Gaye Meadows who would play Rosaline Fender into the mix. She was superb. Gaye has this beautiful motherly aspect to her, comforting, warming and always smiling. She did a fantastic job of creating the warm Rosaline.

Anna Meadows playing a younger version of Rosaline in one cameo scene was fantastic, She was very professional and is always a pleasure to work with giving her all, wether it be acting, producing, costume, make up, first a.d-ing,, she was truly amazing and an amazing friend through the filming and still is. And good luck to Anna Meadows and Sarah Watson on being part of the musical ‘Dusty’!

One little man I cant forget to mention is Rafael. Yes that tiny little actor over there. (points) Here are some facts you may not know about him, he is an actor -yes, he made his debut as a one year old -yes, and lastly he knew all of his lines - ma-ma,,he-he, and my fave wah! Thank your Rafael and hopefully one day you will see the film and understand it. Thank you to Natashia and Damian for allowing to use Rafael in our film!

I want to also thank David Muscat who is now in the UK looking for acting work who laid down the voice of Ralph’s father Frederick, it was a long process to get him as we had 5 actors who could do the job. David got it eventually because of his quirkiness. that fitted fender perfectly.

I also want to thank Cameron Myrtle for producing a beautiful and quirky film score. He spent an amazing amount of hours refining the score along with Iurgi producing him. Originally the score was produced 4 years ago by Bruno Montesano and I. but Cameron took that and all the notes and references I could give him and created his own pieces. Cameron your music fills all the holes in the film, it links all the emotions and conveys the feel a director wants an audience to have. He is very talented. it is perfect. A massive thank you.

I also want to thank Paul Azcue, who played a cameo. Matthew O’Carroll who contributed two of his songs. Dianne Jeffery for her equipment and also Spencer Barnes who were down for England for one of our shoots and helped. John McAuslan who put together a distinct colour grade to the film, he delivered the look I always had visioned in Fender, Excellent work. Haimar Olaskoaga who in Spain went out of his way to produced a professional Sound Mix. Also Inaki Txiko who also in Spain acted as our second unit and got shots of Donostia to represent when the film moves there and also photographed the film poster dictaphone for us. My brother Jason who also worked on the film as a production assistant and on sound and who would drive around to all the local locations and get up nice and early to help on sets.

I want to send out a massive thank you to My mum, who without her would not have had the support and drive to continue with this film for the last 2 years. She is magnificent and supportive, all a young man could ask for. I know I have given her some headaches along the way so thank you for putting up with me.

I want to also give a massive thank you to my brothers Jason and Benny who are magnificent and continue to give me support and love. Throughout the shoot and the planning of this event they have been an ever presenting bundle of help, with a hand in everything you see here tonight, projector, sound, etc.

Lastly I want to thank Benny for catering for tonight, taking days off to prepare and cook up a storm, that I know everyone loves. You out did yourself. An Amazing cook.

I am forever grateful for everyone in the extended Fender Family. I would gladly do it all over again and not change a thing.

That is maybe a little re-write!

Enjoy your night.

Dean Marando
28th May 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Undrafted Rambling

Sometimes I clearly have something to say,
Sometimes I tend to jot jibberish,
I like to interact, with the words in my mind,
the numbers in my heart, counting the seconds,
I still love you Melbourne
We have so much in common,
Four seasons in one day,
I feel sorry for the ones that are tempered,
Creativity is inspiration, is an open mind, is blood, oxygen and water,
At it's primal, humanity is a creation, an evolving mess, caught in it an ever flowing dislike for one-another, for war, greed, and discourse.
Like an undrafted rambling, life exists
Like the thoughts of an individual
we are all up in the air, we float around through the misanthropy, through the need for company, through the love and lost.
Struggling to search for the ends of the universe,
to discover the science that makes us.
To have everything is to have nothing
To know all is to have nothing
Everything is nothing,
Nothing ... is something.

To bleed, love, fear, laugh, cry, feel is to Be

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Triangle (2009)

Jess: [first lines - consoling her child] Oh you're just having a bad dream, that's all baby. That's all it was. Bad dreams make you think you're seeing things that you haven't. You know what I do when I have bad dream? I close my eyes and I think of something nice - like being here with you. 

Okay so I viewed Triangle, English Director, American speaking characters, set in Australia. Not a bad combination if we are talking film culture, but it irritated me in this film. Why on Earth do we see (Melissa George-Australian) playing an American on the Sunshine Coast meeting up with American friends. It had me dazzled and nearly made me forget to view the film as it should be.

The film has had a long wait for release and one of the reasons I believe is, it doesn't know where it sits along the lines of distribution. Having said all this, I was attached to the film as soon as she (Melissa George) 'boards' the narrative! A psychological thriller that works. I have not seen too many of them in recent times. My feeling is they just don't work, flashbacks and forwards are too intrusive. This one does.

I won't give very much away because it will give away the storyline of the film and you really need that to strum along with the beats. I think apart from my negative thoughts on the directors choice to take a slice of many nations pies and you can get past that, the film works and it is entertaining and will make you think. Give it a go.