Expat Entrepreneurs: Part 2
Part 2 of The Stable’s feature on expat entrepreneurs highlights what great work Aussies are doing overseas. Here, Liz Murphy reveals her three favourite spots and what went into the creation of them.
We’re always told that Australia punches above its weight creatively. That helps Australian creatives to shine at the awards. But we’re not the biggest market in the universe. We’re not awash with creative opportunities. And we’re not the “home” of international brands, music videos or film production.
The Australian creatives who “export” themselves are doing some wonderful work in their new homes. Here is the second half of The Stable’s story about expat life as a creative – the work that expat life enabled.
Hohes C: What do you get up for?
This was a bit of a mammoth project – and my first proper “trendy vignette” film. I wanted to make sure that, even with only a shot or two of various stories, that it still felt very real and emotional to watch rather than just pretty. Any brief that starts with, “We want to be the Nike of orange juice,” is going to get your attention.
McDonalds: First Dance
This one was super fun to make. I had a lot of flashbacks to my first proper dance with a boy. It was a hot summer night in Canberra in 1993, to the tune of Achy Breaky Heart.
I’m obsessed with the nuts and bolts of narrative storytelling at the moment – so I was definitely in my happy place with this one. I also had a lot of fun shooting in “Pollywood” (Poland) – I’d highly recommend shooting there.
Grief Encounter: Bear
This spot was made for child-bereavement charity, Grief Encounter, to show how difficult it can be for a child to cope with a parent’s death. It was an interesting one to tackle because I didn’t want to just create the clichéd super-sad charity film vibe. It needed light and shade, intrigue and interest to capture the audience and really engage with them. We did a few sneaky things to craft more of a struggle in each little moment. We overfilled the milk bottle he had to pour from and had him wear loads of socks under his boots to make them quite tricky to take off, for example. It was rewarding as a director to work on a more serious subject matter than usual.
This was a global spot out of Germany for the release of the new Porsche Cayenne. It was shot in Croatia and Slovenia by director Rob Chiu and DOP Paul Meyers. The footage was sent to Shanghai where I spent a week on the assembly. I met up with Rob in Poland, where he was shooting another spot for the director’s cut, and then we spent a week in Hamburg, Germany working with the agency and client on the final cut.
I really love spots that tell a story, so this was a great opportunity to cut something with a narrative. It was shot beautifully by Paul Meyers and director, Ed McCulloch, in Montana.
The DOP on this project, Khalid Mohtaseb, had met the real-life couple in the film, Terry and Becky, several years ago when they were extras on a commercial shoot in Lone Pine, California. Becky has been blind for over 20 years and Khalid had been documenting their story. They created this semi-fictional narrative music video in collaboration with director, Salomon Lighthelm, based around the idea that one of the hardest things for Becky to give up after going blind was driving.
Working for Yoko Ono and MOMA was a dream. Both are NY icons and iconic-ally NY. The work was also very artistic, an invitation for an event at MOMA for part of the Yoko exhibition, based on an original invitation she’d made for a happening. It was very cool to work with something based on her work and something that had boundaries and limitations. Plus, I loved the tactility of working with paper and photocopies and got to see it played across screens at MOMA.
Every Girl Counts for One.org with Droga5. This was a wonderful challenge because it included graphic animation that transitioned into live action – and because I had such a good team to work with.
Coca-Cola. Working with ink and stop motion. Working off some illustrations they’d commissioned but an open brief.
Blackmores with Paul Bruce at The Monkeys was really creative but truly commercial. It was such a fun collaboration, a hybrid job with live action, stop motion animation, graphics, illustration – I really enjoy that.
Schreiber has also directed her first film in Europe recently, for Karma Co-op. This was a truly global production. Pre and post-production was done in NY, production was managed by Photoplay in Australia, the client is in Switzerland and the film was shot in Lithuania.
Guinness: Made of More – Liberty Fields
Mr+Positive produced this with Stink Films and the help of the great people at Cutting Edge Japan. Heaps of fun. Come up for the RWC!
This was a line production for Goodoil. Great change to show off what we can do with some great people in this great city.
Mr+Positive Tokyo produces stills in addition to helping out with all things Japan. It was a dream to work on Vogue in Tokyo and I think the photos reflect that bliss.
Cate Blanchett: The opportunity to work with Cate Blanchett again was amazing. I was commissioned by United Airlines to create an editorial story to accompany the interview for MS Blanchett’s debut on Broadway with the STC production of The Maids. United Airlines produces a monthly magazine for first and business class, a readership of a million per month.
There is a well-known men’s fashion label based in Brooklyn called Knickerbocker, a factory born brand established in the late ’50s. The factory served as a studio – it’s so authentic and atmospheric. It’s more than a label. It has its roots deeply in community and an acute eye on sustainability. I loved meeting guys running the place, especially Andrew Livingston, who facilitated what was required for the shoot.
Getting to choreograph a music video in Los Angeles is a massive thrill – and a huge endorsement of your abilities. You’ve been picked out of quite a crowd.
Working with the most famous female rapper in the world right now? That can’t be put into words.
This article was first published by The Stable on 26 August 2019.