Will you be careful?


Dear friends,

Today I write to you from jail. While it’s very unfortunate that I’m here (my palette longs for good meat), I hope that you can learn from my mistake and avoid my fate.

About a month ago I was at the local shops when I ran into a friend and we started talking. We were talking about normal things, our days activities, our upcoming plans and the recent movie at the cinemas.

Then I asked her why she was at the shops today. She searched her bag for an item. While she did this she said, “I ate my housemates…” I immediately jumped in with my compliment of her eating habits and informed her of my own.

I spared no detail, from selecting my human housemates, fattening them, killing them, storing them (including secret passagways and secrurity codes) and cooking them. I even invited her over to my place for a taste of my latest human.

When I looked back at her there was an expression of horror on her face. To my surprise all she said was, “Muffins. I ate my housemates muffins.”

She walked away quickly and the next day the police visited my place. They knew exactly where my storage was and even the security codes.

Friends, I write so that you recognise the need for patience and subtlety. It is a very important skill set to have and may save you a trip to jail.

Your friend,

Doctor Smith

Is this an interview?


Award winning Darwin film-maker Thomas Midena has spent the last three years at university in Melbourne. For the past six months he has been working on his final project to complete his studies – a short film – complete with cast, crew, production, post-production and crowd funding.


Thomas wrote and directed the film called Conductor of Earth, and after a stressful last few months, Thomas and I talked about the film…

What is Conductor of Earth about?
The elevator pitch for this film basically runs out of my brain and mouth like it’s second nature at this point. I have completely lost track of how many times I’ve said it and I’m so sick of it at this point, but here goes… ME: And yet I’m already exiting the elevator because you’re only starting it now. (Laughing) Okay, hop back in the elevator and we’ll go up another couple of floors. Conductor of Earth is a fantasy drama about an angel who travels back in time to try and prevent a murder from happening.

The very initial idea for it was – I wanted to tell one of those stories kinda inspired by fairy tales and fantasy stories, and shows like Doctor Who where they use something from ordinary everyday life and put a twist on it or add to it. Like tell a fantastic tale that could be true, there’s no way of disproving it. So that, and I wanted to do a story where “What if someone was charged with taking care of the Earth?” So that’s where the angel idea began and eventually in developing that and grounding the story, it became the fact that the angel is old and disillusioned and kinda fed-up with his job and how does he rediscover joy and happiness in his job.


Aidan – played by Jacob Machin

How long have you spent working on Conductor of Earth? That includes when you came up with the idea to right now.
It has been about a year. I don’t have a date, but I was definitely working on the script in November 2015. So it was almost exactly a year ago that I started on it and at this point we’re still not done.

You’ve handed in a copy to be marked, so what are you still working on?
The copy that we submitted had a few little issues with it, like it was a good copy, a very solid draft. People who watch it for the first time probably wouldn’t notice any problems but there were things that we rushed at the end. Particularly some visual effects and colour grading, which we rushed at the end, but we’re going to improve them over the next couple of weeks.

What’s going to happen to the final film? Are you planning on showing it anywhere, posting it on YouTube?
First off, in December it will be screened in Melbourne for the first time at Swinburne Graduate Film Screenings, that will be the first opportunity (to see the film). Next all our Pozible backers will get to see it and then we’re entering it into festivals, whatever film festivals we can find and see how that goes. And finally, yes, I am very keen to just have it really accessible on the internet somewhere. I’d love to just slap it up on YouTube so anyone can see, as soon as possible.

I noticed you mentioned that “we’re hoping to get it up” and “we’re entering it in festivals”, so how many people were involved in this project?
It is interesting that you point out that’s the way I say it. I hadn’t noticed that, but now that you mention it, I notice I’ve used the ‘we’ with this project for months. There’s been a lot of people, you’ll see our long credits in the actual film when you see it. Basically, we have five main team members, or heads of department as I call them. We had a cast of five, we had a couple of extras, in all around twenty on-set crew, about fifty Pozible crowdfunding supporters, and a few other people who helped along the way. So, hundreds if you do the math. Hundreds. Don’t do the math.


Thomas enjoying himself on the set of Conductor of Earth

During this project, did you find it easy or hard to work with others?
Mostly very easy. I think I was very lucky to find the cast and crew that I had who were very keen and upbeat and professional, also skilled at what they do, but I care less about that than just being friendly and having fun, which they did. Of course there were some stressful times where we got a bit annoyed at each other, but you’ve gotta have that. No massive dramas though.

What is your favourite part of Conductor of Earth?
First of all, how dare you ask me that question! Because I like very many things about this production, Conductor of Earth. So you watch your mouth! If I had to name one thing it would actually be the music, which is original, an original score. Earlier this year I stumbled across the YouTube channel of a young composer in England called Thomas Field and I liked his YouTube videos a lot. He just talked about music and Doctor Who, so I knew we had some things in common, we liked similar music, shared tastes. So I asked if he would compose for Conductor of Earth and he agreed. His original score for Conductor of Earth is big and bold and thematic and just what I dreamed of.

Does it sound similar to Doctor Who?
It most definitely I would say has a lot of flavours of Doctor Who. It also sounds like Broadchurch and The Sims.

Are we going to be able to listen to this soundtrack?
I hope to get it online as soon as possible. I hope this year sometime and our Pozible crowdfunding supporters will get it too.

Have you got any random or interesting stories about the filming?
There’s one or two little things that I can’t say and won’t say until I’ve officially graduated from university. And so for cool stories, unfortunately, most of the shooting and production went really smoothly. I was very sick during the actual shoot. I had an ear infection, an eardrum burst a few days before (shooting). So I couldn’t hear out of my right ear at all. So on the first day of the shoot we were about to go for the first take and that’s when I realised I couldn’t hear all the crew calls, so I didn’t know when to call action. Didn’t know when everyone was ready. So, after that I just asked my wonderful assistant director Cameron Boscoe to call action himself. So, I didn’t call action on set for most of the shoot. So, I felt like a pretty chill director.

Conductor of Earth’s first screening will be on the 12th of December (Unfortunately this screening isn’t open to the public). By early next year the Pozible crowdfunding supporters will get to watch the film. The film’s soundtrack will also be provided to the Pozible supporters and available to hear online. To find out more about Conductor of Earth you can follow the film’s page on facebook, or look at the page on IMDb.

How does this pen work?


I made it myself and carry it on me at all times. The shape allows it to rest comfortably against my arm while I sleep and play. Actually I always keep it on my arm, my right arm generally. Although it also goes on my left arm and leg. But that’s just one feature.

As you can see, the top half is a blade. That blade continues along the pen but stops before the grip, ensuring that it never gets in my way while writing. This discreet blade has come in handy on a few occasions. I keep it on my person at all times for this simple reason.

You may also notice the absence of a fountain and no need of an inkwell. My pen draws blood from its victims. It writes with the blood of its vanquished foes. In fact they don’t even need to be dead, I’ve killed a few men simply by draining them of blood while working on a novel.

Oh, and all it needs is a signature.

What did you have for breakfast?


The other day I was telling a friend about my most recent foodbook. I got it from the local bookshop and it went through recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner over two weeks.

I loved it. I ate one recipe a meal, it even came with suggestions for when you should eat the meal. Breakfast was probably the most difficult for timing. I get up really early some days, so eating a porridge recipe two hours after I woke up seemed pointless.

I sleep in on weekends, so I set an alarm for my Fruity Sunday Shake. I ate the recipe and went straight back to sleep. I didn’t even get out of bed.

My friend wanted to borrow the recipe book. It was a strange request, it was like he hadn’t heard when I told him I had just finishing eating it. And who wants to borrow recipe books anyway? Everyone eats the recipe. What a weirdo.

What did you get me?


Because it’s your birthday I got you something you will enjoy.

I got you a robot hand!

Hold out your hand. Now imagine a hand that looks exactly the same, but instead of skin, blood and bone, it will be plastic, oil and metal. Doesn’t that sound great?

I know right! Now can you just rest your hand on the chopping board here. For your robot hand to work properly and look right I’m going to chop off your real hand. I’ll then put it on ice and send it to the robot hand making guys so they can analyse and copy it.

This knife looks big enough. After the guys have your real hand for a bit they’ll send it back. Then they’ll make and send you your robot hand in about two years. So, basically I’m giving you three presents, I’m telling you this year, next year I’ll give you your real hand back and the year after you get your robot hand!

Now, hold still.