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Darren Maxwell - Writer/Director

Although Darren was interested in making films from as far back as the 1980s, it wasn't until 2000 where he had the opportunity to finally realise his passion.

Starting with a simple $50 short film which was finally completed in 2004, Darren was eventually able to direct larger scale short film productions with higher budgets, professional actors, more advanced equipment and larger crews. In 2012 he completed his last short film before officially ending his film making career in 2013.

"No where is the the joy of film making more evident than when everyone is gathered together on a shoot. This is because people love being part of the creative process of a production, the fact that you end up with a great film at the end is a bonus." Darren Maxwell - 2005

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MUSIC VIDEO

Like the Sun

In 2016 Darren was offered a unique opportunity to create a music video which is something he had not done before.

The song 'Like the Sun' by local artist Kevin Walton was a track Darren really enjoyed, so he was keen to make the clip the best he possibly could. Of particular interest was the one caveat placed upon him by the song's producers, which was the video's target audience was to be the hearing impaired.

Subsequently the video features a deaf performer using American Sign Language thereby allowing hearing impaired people to appreciate the song's lyrics. From a production perspective, Darren realised the clip couldn't be over edited with super fast cuts, feature too much movement and certainly no 'whizz bang' crazy FX which music videos are renowed for,

The end result was a stylish art piece which the producers loved and Darren was very happy with.

 

 
 

FEATURE FILM

The Psychology of Killing

Even as far back as 2009 Darren knew his ultimate goal was to one day make a feature film, however, he simply didn't know where to start.

Darren then realised the most logical course of action was to combine two of his short films into a single, full length movie. The result was The Psychology of Killing, a feature film which would use the two antagonists from: The Psychology of Killing and Flair: The Psychology of Killing Revisited.

After nutting out a basic synopsis with then co writer Scott Middlebrook in 2009, the next task was to actually write the screenplay. Now up until this point Darren had only written scripts of about 15-20 pages in length, but this had to be at least 100 pages plus! So this was to be a whole new challenge.

With his final short film, Red, completed in 2012, Darren was now able to write the screenplay ... but the words simply wouldn't come out - and what he had written was terrible. After looking at a blank computer screen for two years, a frustrated Darren realised the best way to make any progress was to write the story as if the scenes were a number of short films, with the aim of piecing them together to make a single, cohesive script. Considering this was to be Darren's one and only feature film, he had high expectations of making this piece of work the best it could possibly be.

Finally in the latter half of 2015, the 105 page screenplay of the feature film The Psychology of Killing was completed.

Despite having the screenplay written and completed, Darren realised and accepted that getting this film made would be next to impossible. Having not worked in the film industry, with no film making credentials and having no financial backing, he was under no illusion the film would never be made. As a result Darren was simply happy and proud to consider the completed screenplay a personal achievement.

For more information, refer to the Psychology of Killing website.

 

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SHORT FILMS (from most recent)

Red

Darren always knew he wouldn't be making short films forever, so as part of his long term strategy he wanted to finish this portion of his career by creating something truly special. The result was Red, a film that was originally conceived by Darren's good friend Rob Hamilton back in 2005 which Darren adapted into a short film screenplay in 2006.

Red was based on the classic Little Red Riding Hood fairytale, but took the concept into into a totally new direction which Darren had hoped would provide a new perspective to the original story.

Being Darren's last short film, his intention was to make Red the best film he possibly could. As a result the production was far more complex and larger than he had experienced previously, but it was well received amongst Darren's peers making it the perfect swan song.

Red was completed in February 2012

For more information, refer to the Red website

Oneself Three

Despite the success of the first two films, there was never a plan for Oneself Three, however, as soon as the second film was released Darren found it impossible not to write a third and final instalment - which was designed to bring the newly announced "Oneself Trilogy" to a more satisfactory conclusion.

Oneself Three returned to the more jovial and less serious side of the first film but was not without its own challenges as it featured more main characters interacting with each other than had occured in previous instalments.

Oneself Three was completed in March 2010.

For more information, refer to the Oneself Trilogy website.

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Oneself Two

Because Flair was completed months ahead of schedule, Darren was keen to make a second "Oneself" where once again all the tasks of the production were performed by himself with no outside assistance - this included a complete musical soundtrack which was an achievement in itself as Darren can't play any instruments.

Unlike the first film, Oneself Two was more of a dramatic piece designed to see if the unique "one person" production style could be applied to an area beyond the comedy of the original.

Oneself Two was completed in December 2009.

For more information, refer to the Oneself Trilogy website.

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Oneself

Exactly one week after filming Flair, Darren needed to take on a project that was a bit of lighthearted fun. The result was Oneself, a short, self indulgent film which allowed him to try out some very basic editing tricks to make the story work.

Oneself was filmed in one night and edited within a week (thus holding the record for Darren's fastest film). It mainly addressed the question of whether it was possible for a film to be made solely by one person - including writing, acting, lighting, filming, editing, sound, makeup and even music - whilst retaining a decent level of quality.

Oneself was completed in July 2009.

For more information, refer to the Oneself Trilogy website.

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Flair -The Psychology of Killing Revisited

With the completion of The Psychology of Killing, Darren was keen to explore a story where the genders of the victim and aggressor were reversed. The result is Flair, which is a sequel to the original film.

Flair was Darren's most challenging project as it was very intense, very dark and pushed his abilities into a totally new area. Once again Darren utilised his "dynamic one long shot" concept to shoot the required sequences, the result of which was a film that most people found quite confronting.

Flair was completed in November 2009.

For more information, refer to the Flair web site.

 

Reality Check

As The Psychology of Killing was nearing completion, Darren took the opportunity to create a new film based on an idea from a work colleague which focuses on the frustration in dealing with IT Help Desks.

Reality Check is a simple comedy revolving around the problems we all experience when dealing with technology. Unlike most films where technology is always fast and reliable, this film is aimed at bringing a more realistic view to it.

Reality Check was completed in May 2008.

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Continuity

With a couple of completed productions under his belt. Darren felt it was time to create something for Tropfest 2007.

Continuity was intended to be a change of pace from the dark stories of ALONE and PsyofK. As a comedy, something which Darren hadn't attempted before, the hope was that the film would to be a worthy entrant in the competition based on its orginality, whilst at the same time not be a production that was overly lavish in scale and scope.

This film demonstrated Darren's intricate planning and timing skills as 31 differents shots were filmed in one day with each shot having a continuity change performed.

Continuity was completed in January 2007.

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The Psychology of Killing (short film)

After gaining some valuable experience directing dramatic sequences in Jedi Heritage and Alone, Darren opted to push his directorial skills one step further by writing the intense thriller The Psychology of Killing (PsyofK).

This film presented a challenge for Darren to create a quality production with only two characters of which only one character had any dialogue. PsyofK also introduced unique Darren's directing style of shooting really long dialogue scenes in one take with all camera moves performed dynamically (ie on the fly) with no planning.

PsyofK was completed in August 2007.

For more information, refer to the PsyofK web site.

 

Alone

In late 2004, Darren teamed up with his regular Director of Photography along with the Jedi Heritage Production Designer to create his first original production, Alone.

Alone was intended to be used as a showcase for Darren's skills and abilities as both a Writer and a Director and was widely regarded as a film that "you can't help but talk about" due to the story's unique concept and ideas.

Alone was completed in October 2005.

For more information, refer to the Alone web site.

 

Jedi Heritage

With a passionate interest in Science Fiction films, Darren was given the great opportunity to direct the large scale $8,000 production Jedi Heritage. Unlike other independent films based in the Star Wars genre, Jedi Heritage was a dramatic piece that presented a number of challenges in that it contained no action sequences nor have a reliance on special effects.

Jedi Heritage was Darren's longest short film production requiring 14 days of shooting, this in turn tested his abilities to create schedules and detailed plans to ensure the production ran as smoothly as possible.

Jedi Heritage was completed in December 2005.

For more information, refer to the Jedi Heritage web site.

The Dead of Night

The Dead of Night was a simple $50 production that was mostly filmed in one night using a cheap analogue camera and first time actors. Of particular significance is the fact that it was the first time Darren had ever produced, directed AND photographed a film.

As Darren didn't have access to an editing system, the footage wasn't looked at until 2004 when the film was finally completed. As a result The Dead of Night holds the distinction of being the first production to come under the DMFilms banner and was well received by Darren's peers, which was quite an achievement considering it was a first time effort by someone with no skills nor training in film making.

Unfortunately the film cannot be showcased as it features copyrighted music.

The Dead of Night was completed in September 2004.

 

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