Multi-AACTA Award winner David Michôd wrote and directed the feature films ANIMAL KINGDOM and THE ROVER. He also directed (with Jen Peedom) the acclaimed documentary SOLO. As writer, director and/or producer, his short films have played festivals and won awards all over the place. David is currently in post-production on his 3rd feature film, WAR MACHINE, starring Brad Pitt.
How did you get into short filmmaking?
In my early twenties, while worrying about what the hell I was doing with my life, I applied to film school at the VCA and, fortunately, got in. Everything rolled on from there. It rolled slowly and painfully for quite a while, but it rolled.
Favourite short film of all time?
Two-Out by Kriv Stenders - two prisoners share a prison cell, one falls in love with a plastic bag. All one shot. Gloriously simple and moving.
Most valued asset onset when making a short film?
Gratitude (at the risk of sounding like a space captain). If you're grateful for the opportunity you have to make a film and you communicate that gratitude to the people working for and with you, no problem is unsolvable. If you're a yeller and a bully or you behave on set like making films is your destiny or entitlement, the world will turn against you in whatever way it can. Oh, and adrenaline is a pretty valuable asset too. Making films is hard. Being on set should be simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating. If it's feeling easy, it probably means you're not working hard enough.
Top tip for emerging short filmmakers?
Just keep making stuff. Stick close to your filmmaking friends and peers and get involved with whatever they're doing in whatever capacity. Be prepared to ride out the penniless patches. And read books (and I don't mean read how-to-make-films books, but read real books about everything other than movies - cinema is a visual medium, but storytellers need to be literate).
In three words, describe your first short film
VHS, punch and crunch.
What are you working on at the moment?
Re-inventing the wheel.