Q&A with Tom Graham, Warehouse Cinema Director. Warehouse Cinema Short Film Competition 20 June, 13-19 Leslie St, Brunswick.

Words - J Forsyth

Images courtesy of Warehouse Cinema

Warehouse Cinema's short film competition screening is this Friday 20 June.  A Brunswick warehouse, food, booze, films of the short variety for people who wear shorts, have short attention spans, are short or just like short films.

WE APPROVE. Thank you social Gods!

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I hassled Tom Graham, Warehouse Cinema's Director to enlighten us on his person and the project with a slap bang q&a.

J Forsyth: How did Warehouse Cinema begin?

Tom Graham: Warehouse Cinema began as most things do, over lunch. I was working at Monster & Bear, who you’ll know as the venue sponsors for this event, and we got to talking about ways to expose more filmmakers to the great production facility that they have up there in Brunswick.

Somehow we got to talking about film festivals and I decided to run with the idea. We threw a few things around between the four of us and the next thing I know, we’re looking at available domain names. That, in a nutshell is how the idea for WC was spawned. And then, as things of this nature do, it just evolved from there.

JF:Who is involved?

TG: It began between the four of us, myself being one and then Sarah, Josh and Ryan who co-own Monster & Bear.

JF: How did you come up with the location for Warehouse Cinema?  Is it likely to change/pop up in other places?

TC: The location for this event obviously came around due to WC being spawned at Monster & Bear. This being the first WC event, we’re not entirely sure where things are going from here, but we have some great ideas.

Don’t hold me to this, but it’s likely that the Short Film Competition (and possibly a music video competition) will run annually at the Monster & Bear facility. But again, we’ll let the universe decide what happens next with WC. At this point in time, we’re looking forward to the event on the 20th and are focusing all our efforts on that!

JF: How did the partnership with The People’s Market and Monster and Bear Productions evolve?

TC: The partnership with The People’s Market came around pretty organically really. I spent a few great nights at the Collingwood iteration of TPM back in the day, and was super excited when I heard that they would be putting on a St Kilda venue over last Summer, I’m a Southsider. But when that didn’t happen I figured it had just fizzled out.

I got in contact with them anyway and they took to the idea immediately. So far they have been great to work with and I couldn’t have found a better match for what we’re trying to achieve with Warehouse Cinema. I’ve also really enjoyed perusing some of the Facebook comments on posts from both WC and TPM with people being super psyched to see them back in action, they do amazing work.

JF: What is the next project for Warehouse Cinema after the short film competition?

TG: Alright, you kept pushing, I’ll bite... There are talks to hold what we’re tentatively calling Reject Cinema, which will be a joint effort from myself as WC and some great guys who run a ‘best of shit cinema’ podcast called Eject Podcast. It’ll pop up in various venues throughout Melbourne, and without giving too much away it will be cult classics and ‘weird shit you’ve never heard of but will more than likely love, whilst drinking a beer with your friends’ type films.

What we really want to do is to create an ongoing event, a community, where people can come together and watch something that they may have seen before or have never even heard of, but will be encouraged to live Tweet it, to hurl zingers at the screen, to discuss the films with friends and to make new ones all at the same time. Again, without giving too much away, Brett (who will be handling much of the curation should this all go ahead) is a cracked genius with an insanely in depth knowledge of this kind of cinema. You’ll love it, trust me.

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JF: Do you like dogs?

TG: Love them. Wiry little mutts get me every time. If I’m feeling a little more up-market, I’ve never met a Frenchie I didn’t want to pat.

JF: Cats?

TG: Not a huge fan. However my pals have a cat named Landon (Yes, as in Shane West’s character in a Walk to Remember….) and he’s about the only one I’m likely to love. Also, someone in my apartment block has a cat who, if we leave the front door open, will happily make himself at home on our couch. Ok, you got me, they’re alright.

JF: Will you be making an event just about dogs and cats? Or perhaps farm animals?

TG: I’m actually pretty allergic to them both…. so animal event, probably not. However I’m not ruling out a CatDog Marathon - I’m a 90’s kid. Having said that, don’t spend too much time thinking about the physics of CatDog!

JF: Are you a film nerd?

TG: I would like to think I am, to an extent, but having said that, it’s hard to define what that is. I mean, one of my main early film inspirations was/still is Tarantino, and I mean, that guy is a film nerd! But in a sense I am, I enjoy films more when I know weird shit about the production. IMDB / Wikipedia trawls are a must after every film I see.

Did you know that Richard Gere was originally the front runner to play John McClane before Willis. Image how awful that would have been! Yipee-Kay-Ay Pretty Woman.

JF: Do you think its possible to have a favourite film? And if so, what is it?

TG: I think it’s possible, but you’re not going to find an answer with me. I would probably be able to narrow it to a Top Ten, but that would still take me a long long time!

JF:What is it really? (if you thought we wouldn’t tell anyone).  If it helps, mine is Robin Hood, the Disney cartoon.

TG: Good choice, it’s a classic. I’ll give you 5 favourite directors and you’ll get a sense of what I’m likely to like: Tarantino, Scorsese (early-mid), Soderbergh, Fincher & Nolan. They’re canons that I’m likely to re-watch multiple time, to analyse and to learn from. They’re also pretty big names, I’m not fused though.

I’ll happily watch a film that I know nothing about, have never heard of the Director and don’t recognise the actors. If it’s well written and well made then I’m bound to have something to say about it, even if I don’t necessarily like it. I’ll watch anything - to an extent.

JF: What is your favourite film genre?

TG: Let’s go opposite, I generally don’t do Horror. Was a wimp with it as a kid and that’s rolled over into adulthood. However, I’m not against it as a genre, and I’ll touch on them from time to time, but generally, I steer clear. Go on bullies, take my lunch money if you must.

JF: Do you ever find it difficult to pronounce genre?

TG: I don’t. But now you have me thinking about it, so probably from now on I will.

JF: How do you feel about romcoms? (be honest, we wont judge)

TG: I honestly think they’re an important and un-discardable part of Western Cinema. The whole point of filmmaking, I believe, is to tell stories (or apparently to make a shit-tonne of Money making bad sequels), why should RomComs be judged? My partner’s family watch Love Actually every Christmas, this year just gone we watched it twice in a week.

I think we can all agree that they are cheesy, often poorly written, and more than often very un-realistic, but we’re talking about them, people share moments together because of them and they just further the knowledge that Hugh Grant can wear the shit out of a sweater.

JF: If you were Woody Allen’s step-daughter do you think you would end up marrying him?

There’s a lot to say about the man, and probably much more appropriate forums than this - so I’ll leave that one to the imagination. Maybe come and chat to me at Warehouse Cinema dear readers, if you really must know my thoughts on him.

Tickets are selling fast so jump on the Warehouse Cinema site and BOOK BOOK BOOK! Or just book once, whatever.