A Week In The Life Of…. Samuel Bright, Director Of CLIPPED Music Video Festival

Photo credit – Mclean Stephenson
I’m Samuel Bright and currently reside in Sydney and work as an editor at one of Australia’s longest running post-production companies called FSM. Having been there for almost three years now, it has been a privilege to be alongside and learn from fun talented people on a daily basis. While music has also been a big part of my life, around 5-6 years ago I took a little hiatus from songwriting in order to focus further on filmmaking. Since then I’ve been freelancing as a director and producer to build a portfolio of work that includes a strong gravitation towards music videos, a special and limitless art-form. Shortly after the completion of my first few clips it became apparent there was a lack of support, promotion and celebration of music video culture in Australia. This realisation lead to the steady development of a unique music video festival concept called CLIPPED that launched at Vivid Sydney and of which I am the founder and principal organiser. This has lead to a variety of events including one at The New Globe Theatre in Brisbane as part of BIGSOUND and then recently another in Canberra (as shown below) with MTV Australia.

Monday

 

Mild panic sets on the final Monday in the lead up to our event CLIPPED Music Video Festival at the NFSA after the realisation that there are no more weekends left before showtime. I’ve taken this week off from work to devote every hour to the production. All my freelance creative projects are on pause and today I’m liaising with the venue event manager Sam Dignand (also a filmmaker and musician in the band TOYO) to make sure the bands who will be performing, have all of technical requirements met in our performance space. We double check that the Radiohead 35mm print for Daydreaming (Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson) has arrived, which thankfully it has!

 

Tuesday

 

MTV Australia provides us with their selected content for the MTV Upload installation and the quality of the work is extremely high. I manage to find time for a short notice interview at Ultimo with Adam Shirley of 666 ABC Canberra and it delves into everything from our previous event for Vivid Sydney to music video trends and technology. I didn’t ramble on too much so I can’t complain. Lastly we confirm that our supportive hotel partner (Hotel Hotel) have all of the rooms locked in for our special guests and bands. The rooms in this place are amazing by the way.

Wednesday

We’re finishing the final downloads for our compile of video content from local Canberra filmmakers and artists that we have selected to exhibit. This gives us time to convert the film formats, as you can imagine it can often be a mixed bag with different videos coming from all over the place. Got another radio interview coming up tomorrow in Canberra, so I warm up my vocal chords for some smooth sweet talking. Continue working with our PR extraordinaire Jess Carroll of Inmocean (which was an everyday occurrence) to continue build awareness about the event. We also got final confirmation that we’ll be premiering two music videos live by production company Filthy Look Films and Latenitefilms. One is for an artist called Dean Lewis and the other is for American doubles.

Thursday

Despite the plane to Canberra being delayed by an hour and realizing it would have been quicker for me to drive, I count my blessings that amidst some nasty patches of turbulence, the winged metal structure I found myself on, didn’t fall out of the sky. On arrival to the NFSA I am given the grand tour by Sam Dignand and am particularly impressed with the facilities and infrastructure here. I setup my laptop in their office and continue to plan the logistical side of the upcoming event whilst trying to remember to eat. Later in the afternoon we do our first 35mm test of the Radiohead 35mm print and it plays like a ‘dream’, which is great because if it didn’t that would be the stuff reoccurring nightmares are made of. We workshopped then locked our schedule times, so our special guests and crew were aware of when they need to arrive and be available.

Friday

The AV companies come in to setup all of the staging and audio gear for the live performances by Thandi Phoenix plus Rat & Co. I do a television interview (put on a button up shirt to rise to the occasion) for WIN News Canberra where myself and one of our local guest speakers Jimmy Ennett (Crux Media) talk about the importance of this event and ways the local creative scene is being involved. After this is done the venue team set up all of the music video exhibition screens and playlist the content so it’s ready to go. Our visionary VJs (Danny Wild & Carla Zimbler) arrive and are ready to rock within the hour. Finally and most importantly the drinks bar is constructed (with a popcorn stand) so that everyone is kept in a salt induced hydration loop this evening. Bands do their sound check and it all goes according to plan. After a little team briefing the doors open and audiences begin to arrive. Audiences are treated to a night of live music, VJs, screenings, an exhibition and lets not forget the 35mm print of Radiohead’s Daydreaming. Even an impromptu appearance by a local hip-hop legend Rac Rila (who recently worked with TYGA) managed to get the audience hearts racing. He got the memo to keep classy and like the VMAs turned up with a glamorous entourage. Lets face it entrances are everything. The event wraps up and I direct a number of interviews with Thandi and guest speakers for our post-event highlights video. The end is celebrated with some drinks and food at Hotel Hotel with some of the performers, organisers and even our special MC Sebastian Alvarez.

Saturday

This morning was for sleep-ins (which I missed out on) in the amazing apartment but instead spent wrangling footage from the night before. However I did indulge an amazing breakfast at Mocan & Green Grout before the drive back to Sydney, with one of our talented live cinematographers Aleksei Vanamois. After the journey of making some progress wrapping up the financials for the event, I sent thank you messages plus made calls to the brilliant team members, who helped execute CLIPPED Music Video Festival at the NFSA. Without these folks the magic ain’t happening folks.

Sunday

Sunday should be a write off. Do not disturb.

Highlights

Realising dreams and goals in executing such an ambitious event whilst working alongside amazing talented people, in particular at MTV AustraliaNFSA and Inmocean  Lastly being somewhat affiliated with Radiohead (as I’m a big fan) through CLIPPED Music Video Festival was definitely an honour, especially when knowing that this will probably be the only time the 35mm print will ever be screened in Australia.

Lowlights

Being an artist at heart, organising events is not exactly something I set out to do intentionally however I did see the need for such an event to exist. The only real lowlight I’d say was that producing these events takes me away from enjoying it as an audience member and of course working on my more experimental creative projects.

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