#15 - Cos We Can (Directing Team)


This episode we chat with Fran Derham and Clare Plueckhahn who make up the directing/producing partnership Cos We Can. They've worked on a range of projects including Horseplay, So It Goes, the award winning feature documentary First Love, as well as commercials for Schweppes, Kmart, and Rip Curl

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Highlights from this Episode:

On working together:

Fran - "...in this day and age, with dwindling budgets and tighter resources, you have to be really flexible in what you can do and achieve for a certain amount of money. And being a team works really well in that respect, because Clare shoots everything we do and directs and then I produce and direct. Clare picks up where I’m not good and then I pick up where she’s not good."

On what to look out for when picking collaborators:

Clare - "Finding someone who works well with you but also in contrast to you."

Fran - "And also someone that you enjoy spending time with. Because it must get to a point for everyone where you have to sit down and evaluate why you like doing what you do, and what makes you want to continue doing it. And I think obviously creating something really amazing and that process is one of the most satisfying things that you can do, but also having fun everyday, with what we love doing. We love going on road trips, we love coffee in the morning, we love going out for wine and dressing up and going shopping, we like Pinterest, we like all the same things and it is so much fun working together."

On the relationship between directors & DPs:

Fran - "One thing I learnt by being on set of a Drama, is that I feel like the director and the DOP are a team anyway and I find it fascinating that it has to be divided into those roles."

On making their first film:

Clare - "It’s the first thing we’d ever done with film, my background is with stills and advertising so it was kind of a whole new experience for us. And it was super fun, the ignorance drove us forward. We just didn’t know what we didn’t know and people would say well you can’t do that and we’d be like, why not?"

On documentary:

Clare - "The most gorgeous thing about documentary is that you go through a journey of learning and taking on so much. But then the people within the documentary have so much perspective on their lives after doing it... you never get that kind of birds eye view of yourself until someone takes a photo of you or makes a film of you, about such a crucial part of your life."

On assistant directing:

Fran - "I’ve been Assistant Directing ever since we made First Love where we realised we didn’t know what we didn’t know. So essentially I had to go back to basics and teach myself the processes that you need to know for film and understand how everyone else operated in the film industry. I was a production assistant and an assistant director with freelancers, and that’s just taught me so much."


  • Fran and Clare — Mad Max and Ex Machina

  • Clay — Altman

  • Chris — It Follows

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.