success, just add commercials, by Garry Maddox - 1st
The Sydney Morning Herald)
You would have thought financiers
would throw money at the director of the hit Lantana.
three years on, Ray Lawrence has been unable to
get another film off the ground. Jindabyne, a
psychological drama that he has been planning
with Deborra-Lee Furness and Gabriel Byrne in
the lead roles, appears to be "permanently
postponed" for financing reasons.
who won the main prize at the Australian Screen
Directors Association awards in Manly last night,
accepts the constant funding struggles as the
reality for a film-maker in Australia.
fellow director Peter Weir presented him with
the Outstanding Achievement award for Lantana,
his previous film Bliss and his commercials work.
you're a successful film director in this country,
not necessarily working in America, you'd be making
a film if you're lucky every three years,"
he said. "If I was purely relying on that
for a living, I'd be broke."
he makes up to three commercials a month in Australia,
France and elsewhere. "Almost everything
I've learnt about films comes from making commercials.
You get to practise your craft and you get to
work with a lot of really good actors who are
also not making feature films."
the "I can't get by without my Mum"
deodorant campaign decades ago, he has made the
likes of the Goggomobile ads for the Yellow Pages,
the King Gee ads laced with sexual tension and
the milk ads featuring a retired milko still doing
believes there is often a snobbish attitude about
making commercials compared to films. "There
are a lot of idiots directing films and there
are lot of idiots directing commercials. There
are also a lot of good people doing both things."
with financing as tough as ever, he plans to persevere
with films. "I'm trying very hard to make
films that are about this country, that aren't
just quirky little things . . . Lantana proved
we can make films that other people can't just
because our culture is so different. People are
interested in different cultures - similar but
said Lawrence had shot at the target only twice
with Bliss and Lantana, and "they both hit
for excellence in a body of work went to documentary
maker Curtis Levy (The President Versus David
Hicks) and film and television director Sue Brooks
(Japanese Story). Best direction of a first feature
went to Paul Currie (One Perfect Day) ahead of
Darren Ashton (Thunderstruck), Khoa Do (The Finished
People) and Jan Sardi (Love's Brother).
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