Film Projects

My new short film MyMy was just awarded the Renegade Films “Most Daring and Innovative Film” Award at the VCA Graduate Film Awards at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Thanks to Renegade, VCA, and our cast and crew!

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Emerging Filmmaker Award at My Queer Career – Mardi Gras Film Festival

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This week we had the honour of being awarded the Emerging Filmmaker prize at Mardi Gras Film Festival’s My Queer Career competition, for our short film “Continental Drift”. Thank you Queer Screen, and as always my Producer, Ruth Morris, and all our cast and crew!

I’m looking forward to engaging in a mentorship which was the prize we were awarded.


Continental Drift DV Footage

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Things have been very quiet on this blog for months, as I’ve been in pre/production for my short film Continental Drift. Plenty of interesting stories to tell from the process, but for now, while still in post, here’s a snippet about some of the footage we have been collecting for the project.

Most of the film is shot on Super 16mm film, however the protagonist, Adele, shoots video on her DV handycam throughout the film – a comment on how she as somebody with intimacy issues mediates her experiences through the camera, and the voyeuristic nature of being a tourist, as well as a way of getting inside her head as a character. Most of the time the footage is diagetic, inherent to the film, as video she or others is clearly shooting as part of the action. At some other particular times we are using DV footage as emotional atmospheres.

Michael Williams, our wonderful DOP, and myself went down to the bay in Melbourne last weekend to capture some sunset over the water and later the moon, both important textures in the film. Speaking of textures, some of the way the DV camera handles the light on water and other parts of the landscape is just beautiful! Who really needs all that resolution, all the time? This is ungraded, raw DV handycam footage.

Some pictures of our expedition…

Michael Williams, DOP, Fine Art Photographer, Beach Lover

Michael Williams, DOP, Fine Art Photographer, Handycam Appreciator

Continental Drift (working title)

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I’m just starting pre-production on my VCA graduate film “Continental Drift”. I’ll be taking a bit of a European, understated approach for this film, and creating a richly atmospheric visual style. The script is very close to final draft, and we’re beginning to look at casting, crew and securing our locations. I’m really happy to have the lovely Ruth Morris as my Producer, and Kathy Helme (my sister) on board as my fantastic Production Manager for the third time. Very exciting to be getting into the swing of things!

Coastline Settings in Continental Drift


Adele is a young Australian woman struggling to find herself after a break-up. She travels in Croatia in 2001, not long after Yugoslavia was torn apart by war. Staying in an empty hostel by the sea, she meets Antonija and Aleks, whose stories of love and loss reveal some of the painful fractures these conflicts created within families and communities. Contrasts between cultures and experiences mean that Adele becomes a catalysing force, creating change in the lives of people she has these intense, yet brief, encounters with. This moody, romantic drama, set amongst beautiful landscapes, and the rich culture and passionate people of the region, explores the uncanny intimacy that can develop between strangers, and the poignancy of ephemeral romance.

Coastline References for Continental Drift

Production Details

Director: Anna Helme
Producer: Ruth Morris
Shoot Dates: September 2011
Duration: 15mins (approx)
Shooting Format: Super 16mm Film
Location/Studio: Melbourne Metro & Bays

Production Stills – Shyness Is Nice

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Finally, a chance to post some production stills from my upcoming film “Shyness Is Nice”, currently in post-production. We shot on 16mm over three lovely days in Fitzroy, Collingwood & North Fitzroy. I still can’t quite believe what we got away with shooting in the supermarket during opening hours… here’s a blurb about the film:

“MAXINE MCQUEEN. WRITER. LIBRARIAN. DILETTANTE. TROUBLE-MAKER.”  That’s how Max likes to think of herself. But in reality, she saves her insouciance for the pages of her zine, and is a total geek when it comes to girls. Shyness is Nice is a short film about a quiet type who gently ponders the philosophy of love, while living in a fantasy world where romance and chaos swirl around her, sweeping her into the arms of cute girls wherever she goes. In reality, she is a shy librarian who thinks she is too awkward to ever find love, but maybe there’s a dork like her out there somewhere..

Max (Emily Goddard) & Frances (Annie Last)

Max (Emily Goddard) & Frances (Annie Last)

Ingrid (Kelli Jean Drinkwater) & Calvin (Zero)

Gerry (Paul Bourke)

Some of the hard-working crew... 1st AC (Rudolf Fitzgerald Leonard) & D.O.P. (Joshua Aylett)

Production Stills – Ghoulbert Gets Good / Vladimir Von Krow

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I finished writing and directing my first film of the year last week. Just got the rushes back, they look great! After working for 15 years with (mostly SD) video, shooting on film (16mm) is a revelation. The Kodak 500T we used looks grainy but gorgeous. I took the opportunity to be a bit more creative directing the camera than I have previously, using more moving shots, creating a very constructed, yet hopefully dynamic, comic feel.

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Rabid Tripped-Out Psychedelic Lesbian Koalas

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The session Kelli Jean and I have been curating for the Bangalore Queer Film Festival 2010, a survey of recent radical gender/queer and trans video from Australia, is finally finished! The festival in on this weekend, wish I could be there in India to see it… maybe next year! Here is a blurb and list of the great films which made it into the program. We’ll announce screenings for Melbourne and Sydney soon.

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“SCRABBLED EGGS” currently in pre-production

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Coroner's Report

Image from Newspaper Mock-Up Prop for "Scrabbled Eggs"

It’s 11:37pm on a Friday night and I’m at home working on my film… must be production time! Yes shooting for “Scrabbled Eggs” starts in less than 2 weeks. This is a digital image I just made to use in a mock-up newspaper that the main character, Missy Spelling-It will be reading whilst sitting in the cafe… More soon!