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
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.
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.
The Psychology of Killing
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Check was completed in May 2008.
a 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, 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.
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
was completed in January 2007.
The Psychology of Killing (short
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
For more information, refer to
the PsyofKweb site.
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.
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.
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
Unfortunately the film cannot be
showcased as it features copyrighted music.
The Dead of Night was completed
in September 2004.