Clayton Jacobson – Kenny

I came across something very interesting the other day…I got in contact with Clayton Jacobson – the director of Kenny. I thought it would be interesting, especially considering Kenny is a sort of documentary. Its more of a mockumentary but the film has lots of truthful elements. You know what , I reckon it is a doco…regardless!! Read below the little interview I had with him!!

  • Do you think the Australian film industry is heading in the right direction?

Not sure the industry ever heads in any specific direction in Oz – its so cottage based – we are not like Hollywood or other countries when it comes to film making. The media knows this which is why every new Hit is proof positive the industry is thriving and every failure is proof positive we are doomed. Hollywood never makes such commentaries. But I’m an optimist and the more accessible technology becomes the more readily film makers can tell their stories the more our craft improves. I think we are getting braver we are starting to tell more compelling stories in varying genres. 

but more importantly Entertainment is no longer a dirty word here – for many years Worthy was the order of the day – due mostly to gov funding desires to be socially relevant and accountable – rather then servicing an audiences desire to be entertained – we have found the right balance now i believe.
and it can only improve.

  • Is it a good industry to be a part of at the moment

You need a tough hide to be a part of this industry at any time – nothing is ever real till the cameras start rolling – its an industry built on fantasies and gatekeepers – movie making is a subjective artform made by committee and getting all the ducks to line up is near impossible 90% of the time.

  • Is the quality of Australian film getting better or worse??

again technology is driving this – in fact its never been easier to have you film look wonderful – which means we are easily bored which of course forces us to tell more engaging stories – effects no longer wow us – better stories – many more films being made – how does your get noticed – have a better story. the real key is finding effective ways to find your audience thats the biggest challenge now – good work can get lost in the mirth. 

  • And an outline of the process Australian filmmakers go through to make a movie. Is it a hard or easy process?? (like your situation with Kenny).

in my case i did everything on kenny including catering from time to time so it was hard work but also for-filling – all film making is hard as Terry Gilliam once said film making is a slow motion catastrophe – its takes years to make – the average films has a gestation life of 5 – 8 years. 

in terms of outlining the process
write and idea – find someone to back it with money – find you cast – get your crew and start filming = thats the easy part and its hellishly hard. the real difficultly is getting it distributed marketed and sold internationally.
i was exhausted when i finished KENNY – then i realised i had at least another year of selling it to the world.
the financial rewards are not so great either – films in OZ generally have to make as much as 16 times their budget before the film makers see a return.
so bottom line if you are entering the industry to relax – make money – or age gracefully – FORGET IT!
but if you like the energy of constant change and the ground moving under your feet and the feeling of blood cursing through your veins – you might enjoy film making. one film maker told me  “i hate making films but i love talking about making films” most film makers including me do it purely because we feel driven and we fear what lies outside of the experience. meaning “what the hell else am I good at”
I think it is a very insightful interview that not only lets us in on the Australian film Industry but what its like making a documentary for an Australian filmmaker. 
Thats all!

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