Watch: 'Little Poland' by Nick Sweeney
Plus, we interview its New York-based Australian director.
I've been living in New York for the past few months, and with waves of Australians hitting this city, it's people like Nick Sweeney you want to thank for giving us a good wrap in this wild place. Nick, the eloquently spoken video dynamo from Sydney, is making his mark over here. A stint in studying law, days working in the music industry, and nights putting on parties like Gay Bash, the little spare time he had left was dedicated to film and video production. Film projects on the side quickly took over, and work with places like Nowness, Ellery, Josh Goot and Oyster started paying the bills. His latest feature project — a documentary on female bodybuilders — was recently picked up by Princess Pictures. It's these types of stories that make people want to dream big.
I said Heavenly Creatures, he said Poison Ivy, and the Carré Otis vibe was spot on. Americana youth with evil undertones is what happened when Nick captured Little Poland — the film for November's Beauty Daily. Watch it here:
I caught up with Nick after the shoot:
Ana Ifould: What inspired Little Poland?
Nick Sweeney: Carré Otis, wallet-worn photos, and Poison Ivy starring Drew Barrymore (which I've admittedly never seen).
First video clip that made you want to make videos?
Bjork's 'Human Behaviour'.
Movie or documentaries?
A tie between Capturing the Friedmans, In Bed with Madonna, Hoop Dreams and Sylvania Waters. And Grey Gardens.
Where do you live?
Greenpoint, New York.
Best secret place you want to share about your neighbourhood?
Across the street is a store that sells nothing but gravestones and fresh bread called Grande Monuments. And I seem to be the only person terrified by it.
Fellini or David Attenborough?
Can you tell me about the documentary you are making on female body builders?
It's called Iron Maidens and it's about Australia's booming female bodybuilder scene around the east coast. It'll be out in 2013.
How did the project on female bodybuilders turn in to what it is now?
It was initially meant to be a short video piece around one of the competitions, but as soon as I saw how visually interesting and unusual the world was, I knew the story deserved a lot more. I'm obsessed with extreme personalities and anything to do with female appearance and beauty. Female bodybuilding naturally ticked all those boxes. After some initial shooting, my footage miraculously caught the attention of Princess Pictures, the amazing production company responsible for some of my favourite shows of all time, including Chris Lilley's many projects, and I was lucky enough to have them take the project on as producers.
Did you always want to use moving image as a creative outlet?
Always. I am instantly transfixed by basically any moving image on any screen.
What has inspired you in the last 24 hours?
Obama and Japanese masks.
Why moving images over still?
I think you have more to work with when you're dealing with moving images. Which can also make it extremely tedious and time consuming, particularly if you're adding effects. But worth it, I think. I also happen to be a terrible photographer, the few times I've dared.
GIFs by Nick Sweeney