Mack Struthers is a Brisbane based writer and director in his second year at QUT. Recently, he premiered his web series, Greenlit, at cinemas in Brisbane and Sydney. Mack has spent over a year working tirelessly on this series – writing, organising and funding this show. Read on for more.
Can you just introduce yourself and your roles in film?
“My name is Mack. I have been making films since I saw Interstellar and thought the soundtrack would go really well with some Lego stop motion. I primarily write and direct. As a young creative, I do all the other things so that I can write and direct more. “
What is Greenlit?
“Greenlit is a 6-episode comedy web series created by me and shot in January this year. It follows a team of writers trying to get their series off the ground into production. Over the course of a year, we have been making this series. I think a total of 50 people have been involved.”
What has been the biggest challenge as the creator?
“Being a good leader. I think there is a misconception that directing or creating what you want. I think there is better value in learning to bring the best out of people.”
How did you go about funding a web series?
“We had two primary sources of funding. Bonds’ reach out grant and a QUT grant. Myself and four other people decided we need money for this project and started researching underutilised grants. A lot of organisations want a tax write off for supporting the arts and will only get a couple hundred applications for these grants. If you apply to as much as you can, it is likely you will be able to get some money together.”
What was the biggest thing you learnt from making Greenlit?
“It’s a marathon not a sprint. Realistically, me and 4 others worked every day on this show for at least an hour and sometimes up till 12 hours for a year. Finding the thing that can keep you going and going for a long time is of utmost importance. Another thing I learnt is compromise. Filmmaking is collaborative and restrictive. You will get your best work when you start compromising.”
Do you have a favourite film, writer/ director and show?
“Synecdoche New York or Before Sunrise. Director is Andrei Tarkovsky and Dennis Villeunve. The show is a tie between Bojack Horseman and Mr Robot.
What writers, films and filmmakers inspired Greenlit and you in general?
“The Office, Community and a little bit of Mr Robot in terms of style. Avengers Endgame was also such a fun point of reference because all the tropes are so stupid and cheesy and fun.
Most annoying thing people do in the cinema?
“All the classic ones, being on your phone, talking. But I think the most annoying thing is when people nearby me are trying to be funny. If you are sitting on the couch at home, you can make jokes then.”
“When I saw the new Doctor Strange movie, there was this guy in the line who wouldn’t stop talking to me. During the movie, he was talking to me THE WHOLE MOVIE.”
Where do you want to see the Brisbane and Australian film scene move in the next 5 years?
“I think people forget that what protects the film community the most is legislation. The Australian Writers Guild have been in battle to get all the streaming platforms to invest a percentage of what they make into Australian only content. In my ideal world, some of those things get passed and we stop having Marvel films exclusively and English TV cause the land is cheap. We start getting new Australian content.”
What is next for you?
“I am doing some corporate work which is always interesting… I will try to do a grad slate for QUT. I am currently planning on doing two web series. One will be a play that my friends are doing at the fringe Festival called Call Girls. And I am also not prepared to walk away from Greenlit.”
If a film genie came to you, and gave you one wish, what would it be?
“I think it would be this series I have been writing for over a year now. It is called Come Apart and it’s not a comedy but kind of experimental drama.”
Go watch Greenlit on Youtube right now!!!