Forest Falls chat to the team behind our latest filmclip, Archipelago Heart.
Brett and Matt, you are the dynamic duo behind Quiet Giant. Obviously you work as a team, but what individual roles do you play in the production company? Do you have similar perspectives and can finish each other's sentences, or are you polar opposites? Who's the disciplinarian and who's part of the fun police?
Brett: We both definitely have our own talents to bring to the Quiet Giant team. My passions lie in the producing and logistic sides of the production. Matt and I work really well in developing ideas together and will also work even better whenever we bring on other key creatives for certain projects. I would say 90% of the time we are pretty much thinking the same thing and those last 10% we spend arguing about where we will be getting lunch that day. Naturally being the producer I am more of the disciplinarian, but we didn’t start Quiet Giant to sit in an office and do busy work, it is definitely about getting out there, having fun and working with all the amazing people we have been lucky enough to meet along the way.
Matt: Brett is the kind of guy that doesn’t get mad; he gets disappointed. I think most of the time, decisions I make are mainly made to try and get Brett to like me. But in all seriousness, we have been working together for about 5 years now, figuring everything out along the way and it’s been great to have someone to bounce ideas off with a different perspective. My passions have always been in cinematography and all things camera and lighting, but I also write and direct when I need to. I really enjoy working with directors to create the overall concept of the work that we do. Brett and I don’t always finish each other's sandwiches, but we tend to think alike when it comes to logistics of all things production.
This is the second time you've worked with Forest Falls on a film clip project. How has the process been different, if at all, between the making of the clips for first Heavy Hearted Girl and now Archipelago Heart?
Brett: Besides the great working relationship we have enjoyed between ourselves and everyone at Forest Falls, I would have to say the process between these two clips couldn’t have been more different. With Heavy Hearted Girl we had around 12 days turn around, from the initial phone call I had with Jon, to when we delivered the final product, and with Archipelago Heart we had a bit of time to sit back and breathe a little with an extended concept development stage. We both spent a lot of time talking ideas with Jon leading up to our pitch with the rest of the band, and then Matt took everything on board and came up with one of the biggest music video projects we have attempted so far.
Matt: I’d been sitting on a few concepts and ideas for this project for a little while, but didn’t quite have all the pieces or right music that suited those ideas. Then Jon sent me a link to what was an early version of Archipelago Heart, and I basically got goosebumps because of how well my ideas matched the music I was hearing. It was uncanny, and I was so excited to develop this idea for the band I immediately sent Jon a few images of what I was thinking when I listened to the music. From development to final completion of the music video was about 7 months, so going from less than 2 weeks for Heavy Hearted Girl to 7 months for Archipelago Heart, I hope that we have used the extra time wisely and not only the band, but their fans, get a lot out of the new clip.
One crucial part of the initial planning stages is of course to listen to the song upfront. What words would you use to describe what you thought and felt when you heard Archipelago Heart for the first time? Did it conjure up any particular imagery in your minds?
Brett: All I could think of when I first heard the track was that I just wanted to keep listening. It just seemed like one of those songs you hear on the radio and you don't want to leave your car until it's finished. Imagery wise, it gave me the impression of a great journey or that someone searching for something. A little bit otherworldly and I guess epic would be the words that I would use.
Matt: I listened to the song so friggin’ much when I first got it!!! And after my first listen, I knew I had to use every beat and element within it to create an epic clip. On a boring plane ride to Perth, I had the song playing on repeat, brainstorming ideas and developing the concept. I’d have to guess but I think I’ve heard the song over 1000 times and I still love listening to it. That has got to say something about how great this tune is.
Naww, thanks guys. Without giving too much away about the filmclip for Archipelago Heart, what would you rate as the best scene or moment in the filmclip that you would want viewers to look out for and remember?
Brett: As much as I love all the locations that we managed to squeeze into the clip, I would have to say the ending is definitely my favourite part. Our actress, Tegan Crowley, absolutely kills it with her performance that creates such a powerful ending to the narrative. Shooting that scene was such an amazing moment to experience with the wonderfully haunting score created by Jon to set the scene, and the beautiful visual projections, Tegan was able to bring it all together with her performance. I think it's pretty safe to say everyone was mesmerised during the takes.
Matt: Holy crap, how great is Tegan!! Tegan and I had a couple of great in-depth chats about what I was thinking about and how I felt the character would react to what she was seeing and feeling in the final sequence, but I could never imagined what she could bring to that scene. But I will say that Tegan was only one part of a great team that we were able to put together for the production:
- Quinten, Justin, and Will in lighting.
- The two James’, Bonnie, and Jack in camera.
- Kirsten and Benji on set design and construction.
- Jake in VFX.
- Jak in costume.
- Zak and Andy doing behind the scenes.
- Lily, the beautifully creepy little girl, and Bernie, her Nan, for making her costume and being her chaperone.
- Stefan, our amazing editor.
And everyone else who helped out to create every single amazing scene in this clip!! If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t even have one scene to pick from to be a favourite.
And finally, our fans have noticed some pictures of an astronaut helmet popping up in all kinds of places - can we ask where on Earth (pun intended) did you manage to get your hands on one of these? Or is it top secret information...?
Brett: Astronaut suits, we found out, are rather hard to come across in Australia. I looked for nearly 2 weeks scouring every prop store all across Australia to find the right suit. We even toyed with the idea of importing one from America at one stage as they have an amazing selection that we would have loved to get our hands on. In the end we found a suit right here in Melbourne that Matt retro-fitted to get our final look.
Matt: I had these amazing ideas of a spacesuit that was a mixture between those in 2001: ASO, Interstellar, The Martian, and other sci-fi greats. After Brett came back to me and said that anything similar would be basically 4 times our total budget for the whole clip, it was decided that a compromise was in order. Filmmaking is a fickle beast when it comes to having specific ideas and visions whilst maintaining a budget, but I love the challenge of achieving something feasible, and I really think we were able to produce an amazing hero suit which endured rain, mud, sweat, explosions, and still came out unscathed and undamaged. I think that suit could actually withstand a space walk.