To get through film school I worked as an usher at a beautiful old cinema in Brisbane called The Regent. When it was quiet (which was most of the time) I would sneak up into the projection booth and hang out with the projectionists and watch them thread the projectors with film. Seeing this process really made me fall in love with film – the clatter of the machines, the flickering light – the projection booth was a magical place. So when Avatar came along and ended the film projection industry I was pretty bummed. Over the years that followed the Regent shut down and film projection slowly disappeared and with it I think we lost a lot of the magic that went along with going to the movies. The Christmas before last I was at home in Forster and was surprised to notice they were still projecting with film. I spoke to the projectionist after the movie and asked if I could interview him and film some shots of the projector. It just so happened that it was their last week before they changed over to digital projection at which point he was out of a job so he agreed to let me film and this is the result. I hope you enjoy the film - I’m happy I was able to make a record of this beautiful process before it disappeared.
I was recently commissioned by Griffith University and moregoldcoast.com to create a live music video and a short documentary style video portrait on a Gold Coast musician by the name of Aquila Young. For the documentary the brief was to make a creative portrait of Aquila that captures her essence as an artist whilst also showcasing the Gold Coast as a unique tourist destination. Aquila and I chose to run with the theme of light and dark which is a theme that runs through all Aquila Young's music. To showcase the Gold Coast in a way that wasn't cliched I decided to film at iconic Gold Coast locations but at unusual times so that these spaces commonly used to promote the Gold Coast can be seen in a different light. To capture the theme of light and dark I decided to film in black and white and use high contrast light and shadow to visually tell Aquila's story. With the live video the only guideline was that it had to be filmed in an iconic Gold Coast location so we chose the Gold Coast Arts Centre. Both projects were a lot of fun to work on and it was a great experience capturing Aquila in such beautiful settings. I have included both videos below along with a few 35mm film photos I shot during the filming. VIDEO PORTRAIT AQUILA YOUNG - LIGHT AND DARK from Danny McShane on Vimeo. LIVE MUSIC VIDEO AQUILA YOUNG - VAGABOND LIVE from Danny McShane on Vimeo.
My parents live near One Mile Beach in Forster, NSW. It's a beautiful place and I really cherish the time I get to spend down there. To get to the beach from my parents house I have to walk past the house of Ron Robinson. Ron is an 82 year old Forster local with a passion for building model boats. Everyday I'd pass his garage on my way to the beach and see him working away on his model boats. I eventually got talking to him and asked if I could make a short film bout him. He's a great character and it was a really cool experience making this film and getting to know him. The film was edited by Pip Sugden, mixed by Seth Jackson & Joel Hodgkinson @ Soul Sound Design and the score was created by my brother Bryan McShane. Hope you like the film!
Harvey Jahnsen is a 73-year-old boat builder from Forster, NSW, Australia. He has been working out of his father’s workshop for the past 60 years. In addition to building boats Harvey also engraves signs, builds and restores furniture and is an expert wood turner. Over the years he has also worked as a professional fisherman, a truck driver, an oyster farmer and once even rebuilt an airplane that crashed into some pine trees near his home. In his younger years he also used to fly in kites behind speedboats at aquatic festivals and he was one of the original pioneers of this activity. Reflecting on this diverse set of experiences he told me he considered himself a jack of all trades but a master of only one – boat building because he was taught by the greatest boat builder that ever was – his father. In addition to his passion for woodwork Harvey is also passionate about timber itself, particularly rare and uncommon timbers. In his workshop he has a great collection of rare timbers he has gathered over the years including Kurrajong (Illawarra Flame Tree) and Corduroy Beech (which he tells me is fantastic for engraving). Despite being half blind and deaf in one ear Harvey still gets in the workshop every day and is renowned up and down the east coast of Australia for his beautiful woodwork. To this day he does all his work barefoot and eats oysters for lunch everyday that he shucks from the nearby lakes and rivers. I spent a day with him and shot 6 rolls of film watching him work and listening to stories in his beautiful workshop. Here are some of my favorites from the day.
We premiered Waiting for Postcards to a full house at the New Globe Theatre in Brisbane on Tuesday 10th June. Here's a picture of me awkwardly introducing the film: The film is now available online if you're interested in checking it out - hope you like it!
My video portrait on beautiful singer songwriter O' Little Sister premiered on Saturday 1st March 2014 in my friend Isaac's backyard. It was a beautiful night and a great way to premiere the film. If you're interested in checking it out its now online - hope you like it!
At the start of 2012 I spent 2 months carrying my film body and a big bag of film around India. Here's the results... Continue reading