Exclusive: Interview with Filmmaker David Black
Mackans Film has through the web interviewed the Australian indie-filmmaker David Black, who has worked during the Covid-19 pandemic. His works include Toxic Alien Zombie Babes From Outer Space, Sinister Symbiosis, and has Klink, Klunk, Klonk on the way.
Present yourself like where you live and who you are and what you work with.
I’m a filmmaker in Melbourne, Australia.I’ve made music videos for the last 12 years and moved into movies around 4 years ago. Since then, I’ve made around 30 short films, a tv series called Horror House, and have 2 feature films being finished off at the moment.
What do you work with? In which media and how do you do it?
I always work with a team to make films. It all starts with a script and then a team is put together. I would say that we hit most types of media from drawings for the storyboards to music for the soundtracks, to sculptors for the props ….. Basically, filmmaking is where many different art forms come together to make the final product.
How has your work in film been affected by the pandemic?
The pandemic has meant that we can’t get a crew in one place to shoot a film, as per usual, so we have had to do some creative thinking in order to keep going. We’re now relying on actors to self-shoot and are using a green screen and SFX more to put shots together. For all the drawbacks though, it has opened our minds to more possibilities. Seeing as we aren’t able to get people together in one place, we decided to work with actors from all over the world. We’d always worked remotely with some artists, such as editors and composers, but now, we are also having actors in places from New York to New Delhi.
How has the pandemic forced you to be creative to tell the stories you want to tell?
It has. Our latest film is a feature called “Toxic Alien Zombie Babes From Outer Space“, which has been written so that it can be shot under the current conditions. Our previous feature, “Badass Bunyip” was just a couple of days worth of shooting from finished. It had to be put on hold because it needed the main actors together at the same location where the rest of their footage was shot. Toxic Alien Zombie Babes is using quite a number of different techniques to be filmed that rely on technology. Each scene was scripted with the idea of how it was to be shot, so this doesn’t present a problem.
Short films are far easier to produce maybe in a pandemic. You don’t need a crew on over a hundred personnel to tell your story. Making short films, what would you say is the downside versus the upside in the area?
We shot one short film during the pandemic where we only had to rely on 2 self-shot pieces being put together. It was far easier than doing the feature film we are currently shooting. The sheer amount of shots that are being organized is mind-boggling, and sometimes it is difficult to explain what is needed remotely. I’ve scripted this so that only key scenes are vital to the film. That way, if some of the other scenes don’t work out, or if people don’t deliver on time and to standard, then the film can still go ahead.
One of your latest work, Sinister Symbiosis, how did you get the idea for the short film?
Sinister Symbiosis was shot before the lockdown and only edited up after we were in quarantine. I’ve produced one short film since that was shot during lockdown called “Klink, Klunk, Klonk.“ Sinister Symbiosis was originally shot for an anthology that was exploring fetishes. We ended up with some delays with this film so it missed the deadline. It is a film that stands on its own though, so releasing it was no problem. It was also quite timely because with the lockdowns, fewer films new films were coming out and it helped us keep the ball rolling.
Horror films seem to be a thread in your films, how have got your inspiration for your work?
I moved into horror films from having been in a theatrical horror rock band so it was a natural move. I have done other types of films such as comedy and sci-fi, but I’ve kept mainly with horror due to a love of the genre and also because the horror community is very supportive. There are numerous horror blogs, hosted horror shows and conventions for the genre so this means that I have outlets for the films. If I was to do a comedy for the next film, I couldn’t promise the actors much in the way of placing the film and getting publicity. That makes it harder to find actors and crew. I’ll need to make a bigger name for myself in order to get the public interest to move away from the horror genre, although, I do love horror that much that it isn’t in my plans for now.
For anyone interested in David Black’s work, here is his Youtube-channel.