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Interview

The Macfarlane Brothers Interview

Lachlan and Austin Macfarlane are two filmmakers based in Brisbane, Australia. For over 14 years, they have been making sketch comedy shorts with heavy VFX. Now they both work tirelessly on their TikTok and YouTube Chanel – racking up millions of views and even starting viral trends. Read on for more.

You both have been making short films and content for over 10 years, what created this attitude to just make stuff and get it done?

“I started making films just for the fun of doing them when I was like 10. It was just doing things for the fun of it. By the time I got to the end of school it was even more of an incentive to make videos. Also, when you’re at Uni you only make 7-8 things and I feel you want to finish with more than that.” – Lachlan

“I started getting into editing because I was making Marvel trailers. The reason I got into VFX was because I wanted to make Doctor Who intros. It harkens back to us being kids and having lightsabre fights and thinking “wouldn’t it be cool if we could make actual lightsabre fights.” – Austin

Across your careers, you can see how much your VFX has improved. Is this from school, University or just teaching yourself?

“I would say both but mainly self-taught.” – Lachie

“In year 8 and 9, every lunch time I would do a VFX shot. I would shoot it on my laptop, and I would do stuff like shooting a door and it would explode. Another day, my friend punched me and turned into a lunchbox.” – Austin

What’s your process in making these insane TikTok’s and reels you create?

“We will write, shoot, direct, star in, all ourselves. We split up the post tasks because we each have our own strengths. I will usually do the VFX while Lachlan will do the editing.” – Austin

“We will try to film as much as we can on the weekend and then work on it through the week and then get started on the next one straight away. It’s ultimately just about maintaining that repetition.” – Lachlan

“We both have so many ideas but unless it’s something we instantly jump at, we don’t even film it. Our sister is a good judge…. If we show it to her and she laughs it’s probably going to be good…” – Austin

Looking back on film school are you glad you did it or do you wish you did your own thing?

“There are way more people saying don’t do film school than there are saying do it. I would say it depends… When I went to film school, I found it hard to stand out from everyone else. It was difficult, I think at my school you needed a big personality and to be different from everyone. But ultimately it got kind of easier as you get to know people and I found it worthwhile in the end as I got heaps of connections who later got me a job.” – Lachlan

“I think for Uni you get out what you put into it ultimately. I work full time now as a junior online editor and I wouldn’t have got that job if I didn’t go to Uni, and the programs I use at work I learnt from uni.” – Austin

Can you explain the whole Michael Buble story?

“We love him and have loved his Christmas album since we were kids. We made this TikTok where we take him out of the ice for Christmas. I opened my phone the next morning and he had sent us a message on TikTok and commented it. I will ride that high until I die and we are very chuffed about that” – Austin

What filmmakers really inspire you.

“The Daniels definitely. It was very inspiring seeing how they went from small little sketch stuff to features. They are a team of two guys and we have taken a lot of inspiration from their style and we took on that comedic black comedy tone. Also, Edgar Wright and how he shifts your focus so well and so uniquely.” – Lachlan

What are some of your favourite films?

“The World’s End is one of my favourite Edgar Wright films because it has that emotional side. Also, any of Alfred Hitchcock’s films are incredible. Ours are both the same basically as well.” – Lachlan

“Swiss Army Man is my all-time favourite. Parasite, Psycho and the 400 Blows. I love Belfast, Little Women, Whiplash and Star Wars.” – Austin

Where do you want the Australian film scene to move?

“I would like there to be more. I am very new to the industry, but I would love the public to be more into it and proud of it. Also, shows that it doesn’t have to be about Australia.” – Lachlan

“I love how many productions are happening on the Gold Coast.” – Austin

What is next for you guys?

“We are going to make bigger short films. But for now, we are just doing TikTok and YouTube. Next year we are going to try for the Screen Queensland Skip Ahead program.” – Lachlan

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Interview

An Australian Revenge Horror – Interview with Hayden Teremoana

I first heard of Hayden when I was at a filmmaking bootcamp, and someone told me of a short film that was recently made. The film was called “Final Girl” and was about a girl being chased by a killer through the different eras of horror. An incredible idea that instantly made me jealous. Now over a year later, Hayden is in the final stages of creating a revenge horror film called Tommy. After watching this film, I can safely say it has one of the most unique and refreshing styles I have seen in a while. Hearing his passion and love for this project showed me how dedicated he was to filmmaking. Read on for more.

Hayden Teremoana on set

What is Tommy?

“It’s Kill Bill meets Carrie. It’s a 70s style revenge horror about a group of friends who are hunted by someone who they have done wrong. He hunts them down one by one, getting answers about what happened the night before.”

Jordan Stott, Leo Buzac, David Nicolau, Chloe Small

How did this idea come to you?

“I will give you the dark and light version. The dark version is that I thought of this idea about 2-3 years ago. My Mum had passed away when I was about 18. Originally, it was about Tommy going after a group of friends who had something to do with his mother’s death. I wanted to play on the idea of toxic friendships and grief. The idea stemmed from me dealing with the death of my mother and projecting my emotions.

There was also a song I liked called Tommy and there’s an outro where there is a girl screaming an outro. I loved it and combined the two.”

What has been the biggest challenge so far of making an Indie short film?

“The biggest thing for me personally was delegating the tasks to other people and not just doing all the work by myself. I have learnt this year to start trusting other people with my vision. I try to make what I want to do as a filmmaker known to everyone so they can work with me. Also, as a director differentiating your focus towards style and performances. I could have spent more time getting those performances as intense as I wanted them to be.”

When you’re on set is there a specific way you talk with actors?

“Leading up to shoots, I build more of a person relationship with them. I want to make sure they are comfortable with me because there is a big theme of the sexual assault. I am very collaborative in the way that I want the actors to feel like they have written the dialogue. I also like to put more emphasis on their personal experience in their past to come to an agreeance to bring this certain moment to life.”

When you were writing this script, what was your structure and plan writing it?

“The way that I worked through was that I focused on how I wanted each character to die. I had the grand death scene for each character written first and worked backwards from there. It had to feel like a fluid sequence of events.”

Chloe Small

TALKING MOVIES

I can see your love for horror in Final Girl and Tommy. So who are your favourite horror filmmakers and favourite horror films?

“Tommy is a Giallo inspired film. I love films like Suspiria, it is so over the top with colours and becomes this neon nightmare. Also, Mario Bava was a big horror Giallo director – Blood and Black Lace are amazing.  More modern horror directors are Mike Flannagan. He is great at making horrifying sequences without sound. Not necessarily a horror filmmaker but Nicholas Wendig Refn for the Neon Demon which is a stunning horror film. Gaspar Noe is a big influence, I have been watching his films a bunch recently. Before I started writing Tommy as well, I watched I Spit on Your Grave. I would also say Wes Craven as well.

“My favourite movie of all time is Brides Maids. I have watched it 100 times.”

The worst thing that people do in the cinema?

“Take off their shoes and socks and put their feet on the seat. It’s absolutely feral. Put the dogs away we don’t want to see it.”

The Future

Where do you want to see the Australian film scene move?

The Tommy Crew

“I love so many old Australian films and TV shows. I just watched the old Heartbreak High. The depiction of Australia was so real back then. We have just had a 20-year gap where we have been a little bit westernised. Our country has so much culture that people just aren’t exploring. We are rapidly modernising everything around us that we are forgetting the stories we need to tell.”

Is there an Australian horror movie that you think needs to be made?

“I would love to do Australian Horror Story. I have actually thought of at least four seasons that could be done and I want to focus on that once I’m finished. Especially the outback and how terrifying it is. Australian Horror Story needs to happen and I’m going to make it happen.”

If a film genie gave you one wish to do anything you want, what would it be?

“I would make a TV show based on Dead by Daylight. One thing it has is their lore. Especially about the characters and the killers. If you made this show it would outweigh all the old horror villains because there is so much depth to these killers.”

What is next for you?

“I am hoping to get into being a first AD to try and get some first-hand experience from directors and on bigger films. Also just writing a heap of shit and hopefully in the next five years I can make another couple of films. Hopefully try to establish Australia as a horror scene. My end goal is to be known as one of the best Australian horror directors.”

“I need to shoutout my entire crew and every other director of all the grad slates. I am so excited to see these new experimental films.” 

Jordan Stott as Tommy

Make sure to follow Tommy on Instagram and pay attention for it’s festival release!

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An underappreciated masterpiece

There are a lot of movies out there that I would recommend for people to watch. Hundreds. But there’s a movie that I could recommend to everyone, no matter what their taste is, I know they will at least enjoy it. Up in the Air.

Up in the air has this perfect balance of drama and comedy. It hits you with these truly depressing scenes but then contrasts it with hilarious performances by Zach Galifianakis, Jason Batemen, J.K. Simmons, Danny McBridge. I mean the cast is insane. But Jason Reitman uses everyone perfectly. He seems to just know the right balance with everything in this film.

I feel like this movie doesn’t have enough hype around it. I honestly believe it is an almost perfect dramedy and here is 4 reasons why:

4. The Music

There is one song in this film called “Help Yourself” by Sad Brad Smith that is truly incredible. Go listen to it. It has this weird sense of happiness and sadness, kind of like Hey Jude. When Jason Reitman uses it, it just adds this weird bitter sweet feeling to Ryan’s life. As if even he knows how depressing his world is and just doesn’t want to admit it.

3. George Clooners

George Clooney has this very specific niche in his acting. Something that very few actors have and is extremely hard to master. Charisma. George and Brad Pitt always come to mind when I think about this. George has this ability to make you like him no matter what. Even if he is a complete arsehole, he still makes you care for him. I think it has something to do with his eyes. Every time I look at him, he just looks like a sad puppy dog.

Anyway… His performance in this is so subtly brilliant you may just miss it. At the beginning of the film, we see this shell of a man. No attachment to anyone, no fucks given, no compassion. He is focused on one thing and that is his job. However, throughout the movie we see his shell crack – if ever so slightly. Looks with his eyes, smiles, these little reflections of a man who is beginning to learn what it means to be human. It is not a Daniel Day Lewis transformation but something much simpler and potentially more challenging. A slow and progressive change into someone who cares.

2. The themes.

This may sound weird, but no movie has scared me as much as Up in the Air. Ryan’s life genuinely makes me feel uncomfortable. And that’s exactly how this movie wants you to feel. It presents you with this man who is completely focused on working and nothing else. He doesn’t care about his family or friends. All he wants is some capitalistic and empty goal of 10,000 miles. Jason Reitman shows the audience what’s important in life by presenting them with this sad and depressing life of Ryan. He doesn’t hammer you over the head with the message, but subtly reminds you what’s important by showing you what you are not missing out on.

  1. SAD SAD SAD

I don’t know about other people, but I find this film very depressing. There are these 3 scenes in Up in the Air that show this almost nihilistic attitude toward life. That things just don’t matter and there is no point caring about anything. But what makes this worse is that Ryan changes. He transforms to become a proper human and is still beaten down by the people and world around him. Truly heartbreaking… especially when its George Clooney’s puppy dog eyes.

Not to mention that one scene… BRUTAL.

Could I write more about this film? Absolutely, but I need to keep editing my short film so this where I leave you.