Me, Mona and Garry

My Very Own Starving Artist
Author:
Publish date:

I come back from three weeks shooting in the Northern Territory of Australia. My first wife greets me. "While you were away, I've had a wonderful time. Been out every night—parties, dinners, dates." "It's been three weeks—21 dates?" "Not exactly, more like 18 or 19."

The next day she has gone.

Miserable, I decide to move into the Stone House. Built by Italian masons, it is perched high on a hillside overlooking Sydney Harbour. Three of my close friends live there.

I share with Roger, who has his own 16mm Bolex and makes adventure films, Mike, who works for the Australian Broadcasting Corp. on documentaries, and Garry Shead, our own starving artist.

Image placeholder title

Garry's caricature of me

Garry never stops sketching. A boy on a bike, a bird in a tree—we all have our own portraits. Garry is penniless; in fact, his vocational guidance people said that he was unemployable. They were right.

Every Friday night, Roger, Mike and I take him to dinner. We suspect it's his only decent meal each week.

From time to time, Garry would make a dramatic piece.

Roll Camera
"You cold?"

"No. You cold?"

"A bit."

"Want to go inside?"

"Sure. You cold?"

Garry is incredibly grateful for the use of my pro filmmaking equipment, and one day gives me a large painting. "Thanks, Garry, but what is it?"

"The Bogle-Chandler murders. You can see the dead bodies in the grass."

We hang it up. It scares my advertising clients. I give it to my new mother-in-law.

Years Pass
I am in London. Garry has a government grant—six months studying and painting in Paris. He phones. "I'm making a feature film. Can you shoot it for me? I can pay for film stock and processing and a cheap hotel." A week in Paris; an offer we can't refuse.

When Tricia and I arrive, we're keen to see the script. Nope. Nothing. It's about a couple in Paris who are splitting up. Sophie is French, a well known designer. Tony is Australian, a would-be writer.

Day One
We are in Montparnasse. Sophie and Tony in the foreground.

"Can you discuss your marriage breakup? Sophie, you're upset. Argue, then walk away, across the road and down that little alleyway."

She disappears out of sight. "Keep the camera running. Don't stop." After eight minutes, the film runs out. Kerr-plat! We never see Sophie again.

No actors. Garry decides to film Paris—maybe we are looking for Sophie. As it's an Australia Arts Council film, we have permission to film the Mona Lisa. A pretty guide is explaining the painting. I'm filming her. Garry whispers in my ear, "Pan down to her knees." "I can't." "Yes, you can. Great legs. Short skirt. It's a statement."

Epilogue
And the dead-bodies-in-the-grass painting? Garry wants it back for a retrospective and swaps it for a "Drover's Dream" painting, now worth a small fortune. Look after it, Grannie.

Yes, Garry goes on to have many exhibitions, win major awards and prizes: he's famous—but not for filmmaking.

Related

More than 55 of the 2018 Fall Television and Streaming Series Rely on Blackmagic Design

More than 55 of the 2018 Fall Television and Streaming Series Rely on Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design today announced that the company’s production and post products were used to complete many of the fall 2018 season’s new and returning television shows and streaming series. More than 55 shows rely on Blackmagic Design’s digital film cameras; Fusion visual effects (VFX), compositing, 3D and motion graphics software; and DaVinci Resolve editing, color correction, VFX and digital audio software; as well as its switchers, routers, monitors and capture and playback devices.

Luxul_AMS-1208P

Jingle All the Way: Luxul's XMS-1208P Managed Gigabit Switch is Available for All CI Integrators this Holiday Season

Luxul, the leading innovator of IP networking solutions for AV integrators, today announced that it's giving CI integrators the gift of enterprise-level performance at affordable price points this holiday season. It doesn't matter if they've been naughty or nice, the company's XMS-1208P 12-port/18 PoE+ managed Gigabit switch — that delivers high-speed performance while enabling simple network expansion — is now available for all. And to ring in the new year, Luxul will begin shipping its AMS-1816P 18-port/16 PoE+ L2/L3 managed Gigabit switch in early January.

HoverCam_VV1

HoverCam Transforms Classrooms Fit for Future-Ready Students at Val Verde USD

HoverCam, an innovative technology leader in the digital education market, announced that Val Verde Unified School District (USD) in Parris, California, successfully installed HoverCam's Pilot digital teaching stations and CenterStage interactive flat panels (IFPs) in new STEM labs in the elementary schools, with plans for an eventual rollout to the district's middle and high schools. As part of the district's goal to create future-ready students, Val Verde USD chose HoverCam digital education solutions to address the rising challenge of updating classrooms and introducing curriculum with advanced systems that will prepare students for a rapidly changing career landscape.

ScreenShot2018-12-11at2.41.29PM.144822

The Sigma Holiday Sale Is Back!

Nothing makes gift giving as enjoyable as special prices on award-winning Sigma lenses and accessories; get the lens you’ve always craved or surprise a fellow shooter with the perfect present.

Riedel-Ruptly-Vans-3

Global News Agency Ruptly Relies on Riedel's MediorNet and Artist on Board New OB and DSNG Vehicles

Riedel's MediorNet real-time media network and Artist digital matrix intercom are providing the decentralized and redundant signal routing and communications backbone on board two all-new, state-of-the-art OB vehicles for Ruptly, a Berlin-based international news agency. Qvest Media, a world-leading system architect and integrator for the broadcast and media industries, designed and built the new broadcast van and DSNG vehicle.