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Marie Craven
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Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

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Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph
 
     


Mark Bakaitis
b. April 21, 1969, Melbourne, Australia.

BIOGRAPHY:   Mark began making Super-8 shorts with his grandfather's camera as a child.

The early '80s saw the growth of the music video, and Mark was very influenced by this medium as an artistic form.

He studied Film and Video Production at a Tech Course in 1987, were he met fellow music video director Mark Hartley.

Mark crewed on many student Swinburne films and attended classes and lectures without officially being a student from 1988-90.

 


Through the magazine Film Threat and his interest in the punk/hardcore scene he discovered New York's "Cinema Of Transgression" led by filmmakers such as Richard Kern and Nick Zedd.

Influenced by this style he made Mercy (1992) which was screened at Jon Hewitt's Panorama Cinema in Fitzroy, and reviewed by Film Threat USA.

This led to work as a music video director throughout the '90s, directing over 40 clips with bands including: Spiderbait, The Fauves and Bodyjar.

He also crewed on many bigger budget clips for City Films with directors Paul Goldman and Mark Hartley.

In 2000 he directed the cyberpunk, guerrilla, feature film Narcosys. It won "Best Film" at The Melbourne Underground Film Festival, as well as "Best Gratuitous Use Of Violence" (2000).

Narcosys had festival screenings/DVD distribution in the US, Brazil, Thailand and Switzerland. This included a double DVD release with Phillip Brophy's Bodymelt.

Mark went on to become Head of the Jury for MUFF in 2001 and contributed to the organization of the festival over future years.

Music Documentary became a medium which he explored in the projects on Australian DJ Culture in Midnight in Melbourne (2002) and Elementz (2004).

The DVD boom in the mid 2000s saw Mark involved in music documentaries for acts including: Gene Simmons (KISS), Missy Higgins, The Black Sorrows, Paul Kelly, and The Grates, through Taiyo Films and Renegade.

He shot interviews/live studio sessions for the Noise Network with bands like Jon Spencer’s Heavy Trash, Adalita (Magic Dirt), Stephen Cummings, Hoodoo Gurus, The Break (ex Midnight Oil/Violent Femmes) and the Black Angels.

Mark teamed up with Bruce Milne and Craig Kamber for the “Punk Gunk” doco interviewing Tex Perkins (Beasts Of Bourbon), Mick Harvey (Birthday Party, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds), plus members of the Models, Hunters and Collectors, Radio Birdman, X, the Church, Blue Ruin and the Moodists, as well as film director Richard Lowenstein. Music copyright issues caused it to be unreleased.

Exploring the growth of DJ culture has seen Mark filming for events including: Summadayze, Hot BBQ, Big Day Out and BrokenBeat Assault with acts including Underworld, The Prodigy, LCD Soundsystem, Lupe Fiasco, Simian Mobile Disco, Hot Chip, Calvin Harris, De La Soul, Cut Copy, Goldie and Andy C.

Like many other creative directors, he made the jump from music videos to advertising when employed by Encore Productions Group. Mark has worked with clients including; Levis, Saab, Mercedes Benz, Sportsgirl, Myer, Nissan, Hyundai, Hummer, Arts Centre Melbourne, ABC, SBS, Smiths Crisps, Racing Victoria, BP, Dairy Australia and many more.

He directed “The Hellfire Club” documentary in 2010 which was screened at the Sexy International Film Festival and MUFF.

Mark is currently in post production for the L.A documentary project “The Last Days Of Joe Blow”, with director Richard Wolstencroft and producers Jason Byrne and Tait Brady.

View his music video/film history here: http://vimeo.com/46068371


 
 
Narcosys

CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   When I started making films I was very much influenced by and drew parallels to the punk, hardcore and underground music scenes.

The basic idea was to pick up a camera and express yourself in a very primal sense, without trying to mimic the Hollywood formula.

With no real formal training in scriptwriting and directing dialogue, my films have been very influenced by the strong visual aesthetic of the music video.

Narcosys was cyberpunk, guerrilla filmmaking in its rawest form.

We broke into locations without permits, got hassled by junkies in the seedy areas we shot in, used a supermarket trolley as a tracking device and had drug dealers working as crew members.

It was a nightmare to shoot, but when completed it was an honour to win "Best Film" at MUFF 2000.

I started out as a filmmaker exploring gritty subject matters and used shock tactics and a guerrilla style in my work to create an impact.

Working in advertising has taught me to refine my visual aesthetic, however my personal projects continue to explore underground culture.

Mark Bakaitis, October 2012.


FILMOGRAPHY:

 
 
Mercy

Selected Early Super 8 Shorts:

Invaders (1982, 6 mins, Super-8)

A Bleak Future (1987, 5 mins, Super-8)

Tanz Debil (1987, 5 mins, Super-8)
"An early work of Bakaitis that has a pseudo-goth feel, with an attempt at a psycho-narrative..."- Film Threat USA.

Archaic (1989, 6 mins, Super-8)

Mercy (1992, 10 mins, Super-8/Video)
"This one's sure to impress the Goths in the audience.overall it seems Bakaitis is good with rock video moodiness..." - Film Threat USA.

Feature Film/Documentary:

Narcosys (2000, 85 mins, Video)
"Combines stomach churning violence with a highly distinctive, painstakingly realized visual aesthetic" - Beat Magazine.

Midnight In Melbourne (2002, 40 mins, Video)
"This, the first documentary of its kind, traces Drum and Bass down-under's history, giving an informative insight" - IDJ Magazine UK.

 
 
Narcosys

Elementz (2004, 30 mins, Video)
Documentary on DJs touring Australia.

Punk Gunk (2005, 85 mins, Video)
Director. Unreleased.

Missy Higgins - You Tell Me Yours I’ll Tell You Mine (2006, 70 mins, Video)
Editor

The Black Sorrows - 4 Days in Sing Sing (2009, 70 mins, Video)
DOP/Co-Editor

The Hellfire Club (2010, 30 mins, Video)
Director.

The Last Days Of Joe Blow (2012, 85 mins, Video)
Associate Producer/Editor.

Music Videos:

(1994 onwards, all approx 3min, 16mm/Video)

including:

Spiderbait, The Fauves, Bodyjar, TISM, Madison Avenue, Automatic, Ammonia, Behind Crimson Eyes, The Black Sorrows.


Awards:

Narcosys
"Best Film" - Melbourne Underground Film Festival, Australia 2000.
"Best Gratuitous Use Of Violence"- Melbourne Underground Film Festival, Australia 2000.
Screened at Lausanne Underground Film Festival- Switzerland 2001.

The Fauves-Surf City Limits (1998), Behind Crimson Eyes-Shakedown (2006)
- ARIA Award nominations.


SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY:

"Mark sees a future shock" by Adam Zwar, Herald Sun. July 23, 2000.

"On your mark" by Ramon Laboto, www.melbournetribe.com Aug14-20, 2000.

"The Inaugural MUFF" Beat Magazine Issue 715, July 19, 2000.

"Swines Before Pearls"; MUFF Directors by Steve Proposch, SainUnlimited Aug 2000.

"When Guerrilla Filmakers Attack" by Rebecca Sutherland, Large Magazine June 2001.


© Mark Bakaitis, October 2012.


Contact Mark Bakaitis

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis