This month SQ talks to early career producer Danielle Redford and director Cameron March who will be heading over to the Cannes Film Festival this year with their short film The Neon King which will screen as part of the Short Film Corner program.
What are you working on at the moment?
D: I’m developing a feature project with Jordan Lynagh, the writer and co-producer of The Neon King, as well as another feature with one of Neon’s lead actors, Julian Curtis. I’m also working on a web series with a really talented group of writers and directors, including Manon Lewis and Damian Overton. I’m also involved in the development of feature film Where Is Daniel?. As well, I’m working with a Sydney filmmaker to sell her two feature films on a worldwide scale, which means reaching out to strong distributors on a territory by territory basis and developing a release plan which allows for the films to reach their full potential.
C: I’m currently working as a producer at The Dreamers, a production company based on the Gold Coast. At the moment we are working on two nationwide ad campaigns along with a TV feature piece around a prominent motorsport athlete. I am also in the very early stages of development for a feature with Elizabeth Simard who starred in The Neon King. Danielle, Jordan and myself are heading to Cannes in less than three weeks, so there are a lot of meetings, marketing materials and projects to organise before we leave. Our distribution for The Neon King continues to run in the background as we eagerly await to hear back from festivals both domestically and across the globe.
Who are you working with? And why?
D: I’m working with a mix of old and new – people I’ve worked with on projects before and people who are fresh. I keep getting blown away by the calibre of talent both in Brisbane and abroad, people who are passionate and dedicated to their specific craft. Working with so many talented individuals is a privilege and I hope I’m still working with these people in the years to come. For me, when it comes to choosing projects and teams, it’s about passion – the way we click together and how our skills can complement each other’s work.
C: I’m lucky enough to be working with a wide range of people in the industry at the moment. The best part about being at the start of your career is being able to meet so many new faces full of talent and knowledge. It’s been extremely humbling to learn from some veterans in the industry, even if it is only a chat over a coffee to discuss your plans for the future. I’ve found so many people are willing to give the next generation of filmmakers the time of day to tell you how they made it in this crazy industry. I’ve also been lucky enough to be surrounded by a multitude of passionate young filmmakers producing some unbelievable work.
How did you get to this point in your career?
D: I’ve worked in film distribution on a domestic and an international level since the beginning of 2011, and then completed the Griffith Film School’s Bachelor of Film and Screen Media Production. For me, the mix of having a distribution background and then honing in on the area of producing and production has been an interesting journey. Both areas have opened up opportunities to me and relationships, and I feel like they’re now inseparable in the projects I’m a part of and the work I hope to continue to do.
C: My passion for film began with media studies back in high school. It helped having the best high school film teacher in Queensland, shout out to Muz! Murray James would push us week in and week out to be producing high quality work at a young age. Studying the Bachelor of Film and Screen Media at Griffith Film School was a great opportunity to build my network over the course of the degree. We had a great support network from our lecturers and fellow peers. They have also been extremely helpful in the lead up to Cannes, introducing us to veteran producers Trish Lake and Pam Collis. They have been providing us with little nuggets of gold with their extensive experience and knowledge of the festival.
What’s been tough? What’s helped you on your way?
D: Film is a rollercoaster of highs and lows. There’s moments where I’ve felt on top of the world, no matter how hard or impossible the job, and other moments when I’d like nothing more than to give it all up and find satisfaction in a job far less… ridiculous. What’s helped in the tough moments is, again, relationships – the partners I have who can share the load and brainstorm creative solutions, and also the input of those much more far along in the industry who are generous with their time, wisdom and experience. One thing I love about the Brisbane industry is the sense of openness for those who are willing and hungry to learn. I’ve been able to knock on the door of producers whom I deeply respect and have them offer their perspective in certain areas, and that’s made all the difference at times between hitting barriers and finding ways through.
C: The toughest part about choosing to pursue a career in this industry is being told you’ll never get a job. The harsh reality is there aren’t a multitude of jobs out there. However it’s motivated me even more to succeed in this industry. I’m a firm believer in making your own luck and I think that’s so important in this line of work. Especially if you’re just starting out, no one is going to throw you a bone so it helps being self-motivated. Being able to deal with rejection is another must, so that you can learn and grow as a filmmaker. Danielle and Jordan have been a tremendous help in supporting myself in the early stages of my career. Regardless of the negatives I wouldn’t do anything else, filmmaking is my one true passion and I hope to build a successful career from the industry I love.
D: We travel to the Cannes Film Festival with our short film The Neon King next month (it’s taking part in the Short Film Corner) and are also in the middle of its festival journey. Learning how to navigate the international festival space is challenging and crazy and we’re finding our way through bit by bit. Cannes will open up opportunity for conversation, learning and relationship building – after that… we’ll see!
C: Cannes Film Festival is the next big ticket item on our calendars. This is going to be an unbelievable opportunity to meet and network with others filmmakers from all corners of the globe. I’m also waiting to hear from the International Filmmaking Academy to see if I have been accepted into their month long workshop in Bologna, Italy. This would be an unbelievable opportunity to be mentored by Danis Tanovic and Claudia Llosa and build on my network with the other participants in the workshop. Beyond that, hopefully some exciting new work with the relationships formed overseas.