#5 - Tom Swinburn (Director/Cinematographer)


This week we chat with Melbourne-based director & cinematographer Tom Swinburne from Amalume Films. So far, Tom has shot four microbudget feature films. These include Metaffliction (which you can now watch for free online), and Pretty Good Friends (which is due for a limited theatrical release very shortly). The fourth feature is set to be his directorial debut, and as of the time of the recording he was just about to head over to Indonesia to shoot it. We talk with Tom about deadlines, risk-taking, and the ins & outs of shooting a mumblecore-inspired feature with only one or two crew members.

A quick note: We actually recorded this episode back in mid 2014 when we were first experimenting with the idea of creating The Movie Pack. Because of this, the format of today's show is a bit different, and the references to dates are no longer accurate. Since we recorded this episode, Tom has successfully filmed his feature and is currently working on the edit. We'll be sure to keep you posted with his development, and we plan to have him back on the show once it's ready for release to talk about his experiences shooting the movie in Indonesia.

Stay turned for next week's episode where we're joined by animator & director Bernard Derriman to talk about the wonderful world of animation, and working for one of the largest studio's in the world.

Points of Discussion:

  • Mumblecore

  • Non-traditional script formats

  • Micro-budget filmmaking

  • Making films outside the system

  • Working with improvisation

  • Transitioning from cinematography to directing

  • The importance of deadlines

  • Surviving as an independent filmmaker

  • 3D Movie Maker

Chris Pahlow

Chris Pahlow is an independent writer/director currently in post-production on his debut feature film PLAY IT SAFE. Chris has been fascinated with storytelling since he first earned his pen license and he’s spent the last ten years bringing stories to life through music videos, documentaries, and short films.