Luke Doolan comes from the digital DIY generation - taking on any number of roles (Director, Editor, and Cinematographer) to produce smart, slick films. He has won multiple AFI Awards for editing ANIMAL KINGDOM, and for writing and directing his own short film MIRACLE FISH. MIRACLE FISH caught the eye of the Academy Awards in 2010, and took out prizes around the world, while his work on the big budget Baz Luhrmann epic THE GREAT GATSBY (As 2nd Unit Director) showed his skills transfer from indie to blockbuster. Doolan grew up in desert and crocodile country, spending his childhood in Australia’s Northern Territory, before moving to Sydney. He is based in Los Angeles for the time being.
How did you get into short filmmaking?
I really wanted to get into filmmaking from an early age and when I moved to Sydney after high school, I kind of fell in with a bunch of like-minded people. Short films were a way to teach ourselves how to tell stories on screen. I began to dabble in editing in high school and headed mostly down that path. Editing for gifted (and not so gifted) filmmakers gave me a front row seat into what works and what doesn't - and allowed me to stay around the fringes of the film industry until I had a chance to tell a story of my own.
Favourite short film of all time?
It’s a tie between “La Jetee” and “Instead of Abracadabra”
Most valued asset onset when making a short film?
Spatial awareness. Don't bump into people while they're working.
Top tip for emerging short filmmakers?
Keep the story simple, focus on HOW it’s told.
In three words, describe your first short film
Dumb. Scary. Valuable.