Although Darren was interested in
making films from as far back as the 1980s, it wasn't
until 2000 when he finally had the opportunity to
realise his passion.
Starting with a simple $50 short film
shot in one night using a borrowed camera, Darren was
eventually able to direct large scale short film
productions with higher budgets, professional actors,
advanced equipment and bigger crews. Finally in 2012
he completed his last short film before officially
ending his short film making career.
"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
The Psychology of Killing
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.
soon 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.
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 around 15-20
pages in length, but this had to be at least 100
pages plus! So it was a whole new challenge indeed.
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.
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 the
screenplay the best it could possibly be.
in the latter half of 2015, the 105 page screenplay
of the feature film The Psychology of Killing was
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 and thus having no film making
credentials - along with an absence of financial
backing - he was under no illusion the film would
never be made. As a result Darren was proud enough to
consider the completed screenplay a personal
achievement in itself.
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.
based on the classic Little Red Riding Hood
fairytale, but took the concept into into a totally
new direction which Darren hoped would provide a new
perspective to the original story.
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, expensive and larger
than previously experienced, but it was well received
by Darren's peers which made it his perfect swan
in Roam - This behind the scenes video
showcases the great crafting skills of Dave Hankin.
Dave discusses in detail how he designed, sculptured
and built the Big Bad Wolf for RED. This video is a
must for film FX technicians and anyone who loves
hands-on craft work. There's no CGI here!
to Impress - This behind the scenes video
showcases the great costume work of Debbie Michelsen.
Debbie discusses in detail how she designed and made
the numerous costumes for RED.
the success of the first two films, there was never a
plan to make Oneself Three. However, as soon as the
second film was released Darren realised it was
impossible not to write a third and final instalment
of the story - one which was designed to bring the
newly announced 'Oneself Trilogy' to a more
Three returned to a more comedic tone as per the
first film, but still wasn't without its own
challenges as it featured more main characters
interacting with each other and their environment.
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. Of particular
significance was the creation of a complete musical
soundtrack by Darren which was quite an achievement
considering he couldn't play any instruments and had
no musical ability.
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.
Two: Creating the Film's Music -
This behind the scenes video is a lighthearted look
at how Darren was able to create the soundtrack for
the film, despite having no musical ability
one week after filming Flair, Darren needed a project
that was a bit of lighthearted fun. The result was
Oneself, a short, self indulgent film which allowed
him to try some basic editing and split screen tricks
to make the story work.
was filmed in one night and was edited within a week
and thus holds the record for Darren's fastest film.
note: In May 2020 Darren was able to shoot , edit and
finish a 'Oneself' inspired episode of Sci-Fi Zone
(S2:E1) in 24 hours, however, it wasn't a film]
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.
the completion of The Psychology of Killing, Darren
was keen to explore a story where the genders of the
antagonist and victim were reversed. The result was
Flair which became a sequel to the original film.
was Darren's most challenging project as it was very
intense and very dark which in turn pushed his
abilities into a totally new area. Once again Darren
utilised his "dynamic long shot" concept to
shoot the required sequences, the result of which was
a film some people found quite confronting.
was completed in November 2009, of all of Darren's
films this is his personal favourite.
On the Set- This behind the scenes video was
made when the film was in production. Also included
are interviews with the main cast who explain how
they tackled the subject matter.
Psychology of Killing was nearing completion, Darren
took the opportunity to create a new film based on an
idea from a work colleague, in particular the
frustration of dealing with IT Help Desks.
Check was a simple comedy revolving around the
problems we all experience when using technology,
however, unlike in most movies where technology is
fast and reliable, this film was aimed at showing a
more realistic side to it.
Check was completed in May 2008.
couple of completed productions under his belt.
Darren felt it was time to create something for
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, his hope was
that the film would to be a worthy entrant in the
competition based solely on its orginality.
anything the film demonstrated in great detail
Darren's intricate planning and timing skills as 31
differents shots were filmed in one day where each
shot required a non-repeating continuity change..
was completed in January 2007.
Special Featurette ***
The Errors - This version of the film
highlights all of the deliberate continuity gaffs
which were intentionally added to each shot.
The Psychology of Killing
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 (also known as PsyofK).
This film was intentionally designed
to feature only two characters of whom only one had
any dialogue. PsyofK also saw the introduction of
Darren's unique style of shooting really long
dialogue scenes in one take where all the camera
moves were performed dynamically (ie on the fly) with
no prior planning.
PsyofK was completed in August 2007.
For more information, refer to the PsyofKweb
Special Featurettes ***
Psychology of Killing Revisited - This
behind the scenes video was made when the film was in
production. Also included are interviews with the
main cast who explain how they tackled the subject
Psychology of Killing Head Shooting Effect -
This behind the scenes video provides an amusing
insight at just how devoted the production team were
in achieving a practical visual effect which on
screen would only last one quarter of a second (6
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
which presented a number of challenges in that it
contained no action sequences nor did it 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
In late 2004, Darren teamed up with
his regular Director of Photography along with the
Jedi Heritage Production Designer to create his first
fully original short film production (ie using
original soundtrack music) ALONE.
The film 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.
Revealed - This behind the scenes video
showcases how the film was made by discussing the
effort required to make it. It also includes an
attempt by the production crew to explain the complex
and unusual story.
The Dead of Night
The Dead of Night was a simple $50
production which was mostly filmed in one day and one
night in 2000 using a basic analogue camera and first
time actors. Yet of particular significance was the
fact it was the first time Darren had ever Produced,
Directed AND Photographed a film.
Unfortunately Darren didn't have
access to an editing system so the footage remained
on camera tape until 2004 when it was finally cut
together. Although Darren was involved in other
productions by the time the film was finished, The
Dead of Night still holds the distinction of being
the first production to come under the DMFilms
Fortunately the film was well received
by Darren's peers, which in itself was quite an
achievement considering it was a first time effort by
someone who had no skills nor training in film
The Dead of Night was completed in