Why did I type that?


Jast is not a word. So why did I write it down?

Well, because you ask I will make up an audacious reason that is far from the truth. And when I have finished answering with my audacious answer, you will give me a look and ask “Really?” Then I will tell you a more realistic answer that you might believe…

Well, I clearly wrote down the letters J-A-S-T because it is a new word for an expression. To jast is to joyfully cry when a cow has been squashed by a suddenly beached whale. I wrote the word down because I was remembering the time when I was jastting on the edge of a swimming pool.

“Really?” I hear you ask.

Well, maybe, but more likely is the probability that I was really trying to type the word ‘haste’. The ‘J’ key is next to ‘H’, that explains the ‘J’. For the ‘E’, I simply realised that I had hit the ‘J’ key instead and because of that I stopped typing before I got the chance to hit the ‘E’ key.

And that is conceivably, possibly, maybe, probably, within the realm of what happened.

Where are we taking them?


Welcome everyone! It’s so good to have so many people here! I hope you all enjoy today and have a lovely week. Please take your seats.

“Take your seats.” It’s a phrase I often hear, and I often ask myself, where are we taking them?

This is a very confusing phrase and I hear it a lot in church. Everyone stands up to sing, it might be for three hymns/songs or a couple songs and about twenty chorus’, depending on what church you go to, and when you’re done singing the leader says “Take your seats.”

I think this phrase is the main reason why someone wouldn’t go to church. Everyone is really confused by it. What is the leader asking us to do? Is he just giving everyone a chair that we’re meant to take with us? Are we meant to take them to another room? Are we meant to bring them back next week?

Well, to clear up a lot of confusion I will now explain the meaning of the phase ‘Take your seats’. It simply means: Topple Amazonian Killing Elephants, Yodeling Outside Unfinished Roundabouts, Sensible Egyptians Always Topple Sheep.

So I only hope that when the leader at church on Sunday says “Take your seats,” you chuckle to yourself as you think of yodeling elephants.

Who is that guy?


What is better than randomness from me?

Randomness from someone else! And tonight that someone else is my best friend and a huge influence on my life, Thomas Midena. Thomas is a film maker, and a very good one, but be warned, he is almost as random as me…

Thomas Midena

Thomas Midena

How long have you been making films?
Probably since about 2004/05. That’d make it a decade now! Feels shorter. I guess early on I wasn’t really aware that I was making films, I was just having fun.

Were these early films scripted?
No, they began very improvisational. One of the earliest ones I remember making simply shows me walking up to a plastic toy frog and looking scared. Another time I decided I wanted to make a zombie film, so I jumped in a car with friends and pointed the camera at them as they improvised the whole thing. There was no planning at all back then.

Back then there was a website to feature all these films. It was called LCM Film. The website is gone, but the videos still exist. Here is ‘The Zombie’, which stars someone you might know……

What was your favourite LCM Film?
Oh tough question! I’m super fond of stuff like ‘Toy Killer’ and ‘Darkness Blazer’ (no idea how and why I came up with that bizarre title). But one I’ll never forget is ‘Heerlo’, which had a sequel but the original was always best. It has so many weird and ridiculous ideas in it that I have no idea how we came up with back then. It’s the ultimate zero-budget short fantasy action film made by kids in an hour.

Here’s ‘Toy Killer’, a favourite of mine……

Why all the short vlogs?
I’ve found it’s a fairly easy and enjoyable way of quickly making and sharing some smaller ideas I have, when I don’t feel like fleshing them out into something larger like a short film. It’s also a format that requires literally only myself and a camera – so it’s easy to experiment and just try to make something I’m unsure about. Over the past couple of years there have been maybe half a dozen vlog-type videos I’ve made and haven’t shared because they didn’t turn out how I’d imagined.

Here’s one of my favourite vlogs. It’s called ‘A Saddle’ and it inspired my post ‘Does this scare you?

You’ve done quite a few films with Nat Kelly, how did that start?
Well I had already known of him for a while. Nat gets around, I think he’s pretty much as close to a celebrity as Darwin can get. I’d enjoyed his videos on YouTube. When I started putting together plans for ‘Intelligence’ I knew I’d need some keen assistance in producing it, so I got in contact with Nat. I expected him to be tentative or freaked out or in some way uninterested. Flatteringly though, he turned out to be as much a fan of my videos as I was of his, and he was incredibly keen to get involved. Since then I’ve relied on his assistance in almost all of my filming projects – recently crediting him as Director and Co-Director in a couple.

Here’s ‘Old Man Charles’, by Nat Kelly and staring Thomas……

What are you currently doing at Swinbourne? What does that involve?
I’ve just finished my first year of a three year Bachelor of Film and Television. It’s a pretty broad filmmaking course which has a bit of everything – critical research, creative writing, practical camerawork and everything in between. This makes it pretty ideal for someone like me who hasn’t decided on a specific area of filmmaking, and instead wants to try a bit of everything. So far I’ve found it quickly becomes clear the things I do NOT want to do. Documentaries are not my area and I loathe pitching.

What do you prefer doing: acting, writing, directing, producing or editing?
Impossible to choose a favourite at the moment, but I can definitely divide them into categories. Enjoy: acting, writing, directing, editing. Dislike: producing. Very much. Seriously. The thought of filling in production documents makes me need to breathe into a bag.

Thomas recently made ‘Intelligence’, a short web series that I helped with. Here is the first of three episodes, Thomas gives us his thoughts….
Remembering ‘Intelligence’ is like remembering that you climbed Mount Everest with one hand. Not that I can relate to remembering such a thing. But ‘Intelligence’ was a big, difficult, 60-minute long three-part webseries that I only attempted because of ignorance. We created it over only a couple of months, including some crazy shoots. For student films if you shoot about 30 seconds worth of a film in an hour you’re doing well. On ‘Intelligence’ there were times when we must’ve shot close to 10 minutes worth of scenes in one hour. We charged through. But anyway, it’s done now, and it’s a nice and very strange little series about terrible secret agents protecting Darwin against some riffraff.

Another recent film, ‘One Of Us Like To Eat People, So What’, Thomas gives us his thoughts…..
One Of Us is definitely one of, if not my favourite film that I’ve made. It’s got one of the most intricate scripts, with a diverse cast of characters who are all connected in some way. It’s dense enough that even I still discover new things when I watch it. It was also done entirely by myself (excluding some explosion effects by Nat Kelly). This meant pointing the camera at myself and a lot of difficult costume changes as I try to get two characters in the same shot before the light changes. I’m also pretty pleased with how my unorthodox approaches to heavy issues like cancer, cannibalism and the end of the world ended up being depicted. It’s a film about the end of everything but also about a guy who sits on a chair every day.

Fist Full of Films (FFoF) is a short film competition for Territory filmmakers held each year. Last year Thomas won ‘Best Actor’ for his entries.

How many films do you have in FFoF this year?
I had quite a few short films recently completed and ready to go in time for FFoF entry this year. I’m very excited to have a total of 4 accepted and screening on the final awards night.

What are they about?
There’s a short fantasy animation about a village of people who are trying to get to the moon. Then there’s ‘Serendipity’, which is already online actually, about an almost-romantic encounter. ‘Case: Fluff’ is a pretty big murder mystery which could be thought of as a spiritual successor to ‘Intelligence’. Finally there’s ‘Marco’, a horror film about a blind monster.

Here’s the teaser for ‘Case: Fluff’…..

And a teaser for ‘Marco’…..

Do you think you’ll win?
I decline to answer on the grounds that I may jinx myself.

Does this scare you?


Last week it was ‘Halloween.’ So here is a short story I wrote, my tribute to the spooky season…

Ever since I was younger I’ve known one thing: I have always been intrigued by the old haunted house on top of the hill.

My teachers always told me to stay away. My dad said no one has ever come out alive. My mum said my sister walked into the house when I was a year old, there are still pictures of her and me on the wall. She hasn’t been seen again.

Despite what everyone has told me, I have still been intrigued by the old haunted house. My best friend has known of my fascination with the old haunted house. He’s very brave, he’ll stand up to anyone, even if they’re twice his size. When we were young he and I agreed that when we were both twenty we would go into the old haunted house. He died last year.

The funeral was on the hill, in the cemetery next to the old haunted house. After the service a wrinkled old lady with frizzy white hair came up to me. In a raspy voice she told me, “There’s a bear in there. And a chair as well. And people with games. And stories to tell. Open wide, come inside.” As she walked away she had a sly smile on her face and a glint in her eye.

Ever since that day I have waited for the day I turned twenty. Today is that day, and I stand at the gate of the old haunted house. It beckons me closer. As I open the gate I hear a ferocious roar that makes the hair on my neck stand up. “There’s a bear in there.” The almighty roar echoes in my head as I inch toward the old haunted house.

I hear a long wooden moan that sounds like something being dragged along the floor. “And a chair as well.” I stop. For a chair to be dragged along the floor, someone must be moving it. As I ponder this I hear the gentle giggle of a young girl. “And people with games.” My hopes lift as I think my sister may be inside. I begin to creep toward the house again.

My heart skips a beat as I hear the same girl shriek. I am nearly at the steps that lead to the door. I can hear some gentle talking from upstairs. “And stories to tell.” 

Every wooden floorboard creaks as I slowly approach. I stand outside the old haunted house, mesmerized by this door in front of me. The door loudly creaks as it opens all by its self.Open wide.” There is a hush. The gentle chatter from upstairs has stopped. The bear isn’t roaring and the chair makes no sound. I stand still, but the house beckons me in…… “Come inside.”