DIARY (by Garfield Barnard, Producer)
the Beginning: This is, of course, a non-profit project
and a good excuse to have a party, with all funding coming from
my savings. There are no contracts or video sales involved, but
with a little help from our friends we'll be on our way to the largest
short-film festival in the universe! If any money has to be spent
on this project, just get me a receipt and I'll be glad to pay you
back. I need all the help and feedback I can get, so if you have
any suggestions, ideas, problems or questions please call me any
the plan is to throw a Kirribilli trivia reunion over a weekend
in November, enticing some of Australia's best talents with free
food & drink, and using the opportunity to film a Tropfest entry
for 2004. Easy. Pub Theatre regulars and other friends have graciously
agreed to attend, and perhaps take a role (if their busy schedule
Agius * Dominic Alati * Jan Armstrong * Tony Calder (TC) * Alan
Cinis * Neil Davies * Warren Evans * John Gaspar * Kym Goldsworthy
* Michael Harris * Robert Hood * Gary Kennedy * Scott Kiely *
Ron Lee * Wade Murray * Nikki Roberts * Barrett Skuthorpe * Karen
Smith * Mark Spain * Cat Sparks * Russell Taylor * Iain Triffitt
* Sue Tuckett * Vicki Walsh * Chris Wauchop * Bill Young * And
I missed anybody? If there is anyone else you can think of from
those seminal trivia nights fifteen years ago, please contact them,
or me, immediately.
(anyone can attend, but most important are the names highlighted.
If any date is unsuitable for anybody, please contact me immediately).
18th Wednesday - Special effects production meeting.
All went well. Effects supervisor CHRIS WAUCHOP, model builder WARREN
EVANS, monster maker NEIL DAVIES and CGI artist TIM NEWSOM met with
director JOSH GROOM and myself. Last-minute decision to meet at
my place instead of Century Tavern. Subjects discussed include actual
effects filming date (October 22), effects test shots (August 31),
number and scale of model buildings required, pyrotechnics, the
size of the diaorama required, and what we can get away with. It
was decided to shoot the final scene in four quick cut-aways: foot
stomping on building, clawed hand gripping train carriages (a bullet
train?), reptilian head turning away from camera, and foot rising
from building, followed by dragging tail. Only three or four seconds
of each. The practical effect of having a roof collapse on a group
of actors will be discussed once a venue is found. Neil already
has the head, arms, and feet of the monster, and will make a matching
23rd Monday - Tropfest tag announced - "HOOK"
- at author ROBERT HOOD's suggestion, we've decided to give the
Major a hook for a right hand. GARY KENNEDY insists he can get a
prosthetic claw, but just to cover our bets (and to appease me)
I'd like the newspaper sub-headline "AIR FORCE PREPARES OPERATION
SKY HOOK" or something. CAT SPARKS has volunteered to create
the fake newspaper front page, a photo of which will be incorporated
into the video cover. Not only that, TIM NEWSOM is looking into
getting the rights to use "Horror Movie" by Skyhooks over
the end credits. This would also have a subliminal meaning - when
the song was first released there was no film clip, so Channel Seven
put together a montage of Godzilla footage....remember that far
25th Wednesday - Set production & design meeting.
Costume provider GARY KENNEDY and assistant KAREN SMITH, sound &
CGI guy TIM NEWSOM, author ROB HOOD, photographer CAT SPARKS, transport
captain MICHAEL J. HARRIS, director JOSH GROOM and I met at the
Century Tavern, my shout. Josh has agreed to organise photography
and lighting, and Film Make-Up Technologies have agreed to help
us with basic make-up but we're still looking suitable studio/set.
Gary seemed confident in finding a suitable venue, but I'm making
enquires through corporate leasing, as well. We need at least 8
x 8 metres, well-lit, no windows, to move into for a week to prepare
the set before rehearsing on the Saturday afternoon, filming on
the Sunday afternoon. Everyone's help is required finding suitable
set pieces. Gary's extensive costume collection will supply us with
three matching soldier uniforms for the opening sequence, the Major
(or some other high-ranking uniform) with a hook for a hand, half-a-dozen
lab coats, hard hats, professorial tweeds, smoking pipes, I.D. tags
and associated props.
16th Wednesday - Actors/director meeting I.
The Royal Hotel at 156 Norton Street, Leichhardt after 7pm - my
shout. BILL, KYM, JAN, SCOTT and BARRETT finally met JOSH. MICHAEL
and STEPHANIE took a few photos, while I had dinner. Gary, Ron,
Wade, Alan, and Mark were unable to make this meeting, so a second
has been arranged for Sunday 27th July. Discussion included final
decision who's for what role and how that character can be portrayed,
and what everybody can contribute (not just performance, but suggestions,
ideas, props, anything). The entire meeting went well, no fights
started, no-one stormed out, everything still running smoothly.
18th Friday - Manager Fred Lukabyo has given permission
to use TCS car park for the opening exterior shots. All liability
and responsibilty falls to me, so DON'T break a leg....
27th Sunday - Actors/director meeting II.
Leichhardt Royal Hotel, 1.00 pm Sunday afternoon. Actors ALAN &
MARK and special effects people NEIL & TIM attended to discuss
the film test late next month. Josh was in Kenya, Gary was in Adelaide
and Ron was in Canada. Everybody was invited because they screened
a couple of our short films in the hotel on the day. "The Making
Of A Film" was judged best movie! "Coven" and "News
For Wombats" will be screened late September.
30th Saturday - Actors/director meeting III.
The final actors meeting, introducing Josh to Alan, Mark, Ron, Russell,
etc. Royal Leichhardt Hotel for lunch - my shout - about 3.00 pm
at 156 Norton Street. Wade Murray is currently in Hong Kong. It
may also be the best time to discuss cutting the script down to
a workable seven minutes. I've just received Rob's cut, and in combination
with my cut and Josh's cut, I'm sure we can do it. Due to a major
computer virus, my e-mail system is a little stuffed up, but with
Michael and Tim's help it'll back up-and-running in no time. Tim
is awaiting reply on availability of the Skyhooks song "Horror
Movie" - he seems very confident that it won't cost much -
and Nikki Roberts has joined the team as make-up artist.
September 14th Sunday - Another virus! Due to Warren's
flu, the special effects test has been postponed till today at 61
Hilma street, Collaroy. WARREN, CHRIS, NEIL, TIM, JOSH, SCOTT, STEPHANIE,
MICHAEL, GARTH and me over at Warren's place anytime at 1.00 pm.
Tested for the right explosion look, the right collapsable models,
the right camera speed, etc. We spent most of the daylight hours
working on the "foot" shot, deciding on a harmless miniature
bang made from LEDs and match-heads. We got the final excellent
example shot around 5.00 pm just in time for people to start going
home. The monster's claw and head will be shot against blue-screen.
Although everything went well, we didn't get the actual shots that
day. That's Sunday October 12th. Warren & Chris have found a
substance that breaks apart like cement, Neil is making a monster
tail out of foam rubber, and Tim is supplying the pyrotechnics.
8th Wednesday - Interiors confirmed! The Australian Academy
Of Dramatic Arts have offered us a couple of rooms to use on Sundays
and Saturday afternoons - free of charge! Located on the third floor
of The Centre, 46-58 Holt Street, Surry Hills, Josh and I have an
appointment to see the spaces on Sunday afternoon after the film
comp at the Royal Hotel. We start arranging for set pieces on Monday.
Next Wednesday at TCS has been confirmed by Mr. Lukabyo - get ready!
10th Friday - Our first little hitch - Gary Kennedy and
Russell Taylor have swapped roles due to Gary's work commitments.
12th Sunday - Leichhardt Royal Hotel, 156 Norton Street.
1.00 pm upstairs in the bistro. Not really a meeting, but the second
round of shorts in competition including "Coven" and "News
For Wombats" were shown - my shout, as usual. Appointment to
meet VICKI WALSH, the manager of the A.A.D.A. at 4pm to inspect
the spaces with TIM, MARK, NIKKI and me. JOSH couldn't make it due
to other film commitments. The rooms are perfect! The good news
is the two rooms chosen at the Academy are right next to each other
- one room draped entirely in black, the other exactly the same
size. We have them most of Saturday and all of Sunday. Let's get
those set-pieces ready.
15th Wednesday - Filming opening exterior sequence.
Shooting at TCS/CCN taxi base 9-13 O'Riordan Street, Alexandria.
10 pm till 1 am. On time and on budget so far! Why so late on a
week night? Fewer cars, fewer people, fewer problems with public
liabilty, better control of the environment. We required only five
or four camera set-ups, so we finished a little early. Soldiers
played by TCS employees SCOTT AGIUS and BARRETT SKUTHORPE, with
WADE MURRAY acting as security, RUSSELL TAYLOR as the Convenor,
director JOSH GROOM, photographer SCOTT KIELY, make-up artist NIKKI
ROBERTS and myself. GARY supplied his Jeep to arrive in, and STEPHANIE
supplied lights to see it. MICHAEL J. HARRIS was also required to
play the Convenor's driver in military costume. The crew and actors
gathered around 9pm at the nearby Green Square hotel, 936 Bourke
Road, Alexandria, about three blocks from TCS base. Actors were
all asked to bring black trousers and shiny black shoes/boots and
GARY supplied the miltary shirts.
19nd Sunday - Filming final effects sequence.
CHRIS WAUCHOP, WARREN EVANS, TIM NEWSOM, NEIL DAVIES, JOSH GROOM,
SCOTT KIELY, MICHAEL HARRIS and myself, filming at 61 Hilma street,
Collaroy, at 12 noon. Still on schedule, still under budget! We
wrapped it up by 6.00 pm, with several large explosions and blue-screen
shots. We've now got a beginning and an end - now we need the middle
26 Sunday - We checked out the sets and available props
with manager Vicki Walsh Friday arvo at 6.00 pm at The Centre, level
3, 46-58 Holt Street, Surry Hills, the Australian Academy of Dramatic
Art. Josh Groom, Tim Newsom, Neil Davies, and myself. Besides the
set, we have just as much extra space for make-up, costuming and
9th Sunday - Begin preparing studio/set - Props required
include banks of computer monitors, looped read-outs and pictures
supplied by TIM NEWSOM, coffee mugs, ashtrays, water jugs, six clocks
representing world times, banner, map, and other props supplied
by GARY KENNEDY. The Academy has offered a suitable conference table
15th Saturday - Level 3, 46-58 Holt Street, Surry Hills,
the Australian Academy of Dramatic Art. Those pesky drama students
insist on being educated, so unfortunately the rooms will not be
available until around 5.00 pm on Saturday, but we've still got
all of Sunday! Sorry if we have to cram. There will be people, or
signs to direct you to the set. Besides the set, we have just as
much extra space nearby for make-up, costuming and catering. Parking
is reasonable on the weekends - the parking bays are free on the
weekends according to Vicki, as well a parking in nearby Devonshire
street. I'll be happy to pay any parking fees, but any parking fines
incurred will have to be the individuals responsiblity (that didn't
sound too ruthless or mercenary, did it?). We have a set completely
draped in black already, and a bank of nine television monitors
are being organised through Richard Newton at Videowall audio/visual.
With sharp "Thing"-like dialogue and the brilliant talent
we have involved, how can we go wrong? The videowall should arrive
around 4.30 pm. Dinner on Saturday by 6.00 pm. Rehearsals, final
costume and camera set-ups from around 5.00 pm till evening. Free
food & drinks. Everyone's invited!
16th Sunday - Primary filming from noon till early evening.
Free lunch around 1.00 pm and dinner around 6.00. Wrap party. Free
grog. Everyone's invited!
- Editing & opticals.
- Sound & music.
- Note to Cast and Crew
Monster Trashes City has NOT made it into Tropfest. Don't
forget, last Cannes Film Festival the short film prize was won by
"Cracker Bag", a Tropfest loser (I don't envy the judges,
with a thousand movies to choose from). Our film WILL be sent to
dozens of other festivals and conventions world-wide, I'm discussing
the possibility of it being shown through Dendy theatres. I'll keep
you up-to-date if we do win anything, and I'll get you a copy of
the video by mail (or I'll invite myself over for dinner one night
using the video as an excuse).
some consider genius is often nothing more than good luck. I'm lucky
because I have no enemies. I have a lot of friends who dislike me,
but no actual enemies. It's impossible to achieve anything worthwhile
without the help of others. I'd like to thank Scott Agius, Dom Alati,
Jan Armstrong, T.C., Alan Cinis, Neil Davies, Warren Evans, John
Gaspar, Kym Goldsworthy, Josh Groom, Robert Hood, Gary Kennedy,
Scott Kiely, Ron Lee, Steph Lennon, Wade Murray, Tim Newsom, Chris
Newton, Nikki Roberts, Barrett Skuthorpe, Karen Smith, Mark Spain,
Cat Sparks, Keiron Summers, Russell Taylor, Iain Triffitt, Sue Tuckett,
Vicki Walsh, Chris Wauchop, Rocky Wyzenbeak, Bill Young, and everybody
else! Somebody asked me how many people worked on the film - I said
about half of them.
film was dedicated to Godzilla, celebrating his 50th birthday this
year, to Roger Corman, arguably the most influential man in Hollywood
today, and to the creator of 'Bambi Meets Godzilla', Marv Newland,
who proved the most simple short film can be remembered forever.
happily assemble the best creative forces available - the writer,
the director, the actors - all hands combine to fashion an outstanding
short film, perhaps the first of its kind. Viewers will look at
this work with varying degrees of pleasure and interest, then toddle
off to bed. If all goes well, the critics will say 'Above Average'
and his friends will say they're proud. Then suddenly it's all over,
to be vaguely remembered for a few hours, a few days. Roses bloom
longer. There is no elevator to success - I tried to take the stairs.
To a solitary man, good friends are everything - like jockeys legs,
they are few and far between." Garfield
Monster Trashes City
premiered at the Sour Grapes Film Festival 2004
at the Fox Strudio Comedy Store in Sydney on Saturday, July 10,
August it was shown on Channel 31 in Brisbane,
Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra.
at The Second Scoop Of Eyescream at the Paddington
RSL club on Halloween Sunday 31 October, as part of a
program that included: The Bomb (Sixxx Legs), in
which a perverted scientist peers into his microscope to view his
own private peep show of an insect strip club called 'Sixxx Legs'
(directed by Eddie White, SA); and Apocalypse Meow,
in which a lonely fugitive battles to keep his insanity in a hostile
future world (directed by Chris Newton, NSW).
DVD is on the way!
seeking further information on the film or wishing to organise screenings
may contact Barnard's Star Productions by email at email@example.com.