Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph
 
     


Perry Laird
b. 1959, Suva, Fiji.

BIOGRAPHY:   The Laird family I was born into didn't live up to its namesake by overseeing a village from a grand house in the Glen. My parents were normal middle class folk who married in Singapore after WW2. We moved a bit and sadly my mother died quite young after having 6 kids. I had a severe gluten allergy (before it was trendy) which was a bummer because everything I liked had gluten in it - milkshakes, choc wedges, pies, biscuits, bread. The worst part of it was the bowl of ground rice and skim milk pushed its way across the table for breakfast everyday. Then one day I pushed the bowl back and could eat at last what everyone else ate and not feel like I was a freak. I had grown out of the allergy and was not a coelaic after all, wonderful news it was.

 

At year 11 a few of us took up film study and film making. I had a group of eccentric mates that were rejects from other groups, and we collaborated on a crazy bicycle race film ACTION, then did our own projects. For some crazy reason I didn't enrol in the AFTRS after graduating but went in another direction, the opposite of what my father expected of me. A drum kit appeared and I started to jam with some Canberra blokes who probably still play the same Led Zeppelin and Budgie songs as they did back then. I moved to northern NSW to form a band with an elder brother, Paul, who also made Super 8 films years later. 1988 found us in Melbourne recording an EP and dreaming of the big time. Funny how every song can be a lottery ticket. But a dream was all it was. Show business is 90% business and 10% show and no one in the band was any good at business. Then I met a charismatic bloke named Yurri Azic. We became pals and he gave me an entry into film and theatre. We had some outrageous times together but he wanted more from life, so paradoxically, he renounced it. He was, last time I saw him, a practicing Buddhist monk living in Thailand.

 
 
Fuego

I bought a Super 8 camera and relearned how to make films. I liked filming scenes in just one take, which was often the best take anyway. I tried editing in camera and filming in chronological order as much as possible. That way the shoots were more exciting, like riding a wave. I didn't really hit my straps until FURIOUS (1995) and FURY (1996).

1998 was the year of the Jabiluka uranium mine protest in NT, and buses from down south were taking protesters up there, so I and a feral ex-bandmate boarded one. The opening scene of FUEGO (1998) was shot on a beach in Darwin with hippies that were longrassing it too, whilst my feral friend reinserted a bone into his nose and went off in search of chai lattes, drugs and a female hostage. Around the campfire at Jabiluka protest camp it was odd to hear this current crop of hippy activists bang out the same songs as were being sung in 1980 when I was a dilettante hippy. In fact the songs were old hat even then - Dylan, Neil Young, the sort of stuff that was pretty turgid to me in its day - being bleated out yet again decades later, accompanied by a cacophony of hand drums. I asked the guitarist if he knew anything vaguely modern i.e. Black Fella, White Fella by the Warumpi Band, but no one had heard of them, so it was back to Joan Baez. I liked what Fritz Lang once said in that directors should reflect the times. I guess my hippy friends were doing just that. I was doing my best too, but there was no more Super 8 sound film to be had anywhere, so I finished the film with silent and have hardly directed anything since. The times indeed are a-changing.

Recently I tried to donate my oeuvre to the National Library of Australia but they were only interested in the Jabiluka footage; a few minutes of hammy acting and protest action before I was arrested for "creating a public nuisance". That seemed to sum up my career - not quite a serial pest but a nuisance, which made me proud. At least I'd done something, unlike the kids of my generation who seemed to disappear into nothing. My life had been often self sabotaging and erratic, every now and then plagued by the black dog, with no thought of tomorrow as I didn't think I would live that long. Yet I kept living. It was time to heal my slightly battered spirit and try what ordinary adults were doing to see what I'd been missing out on - a regular job, plan for the future, go to church. Yep, I hadn't missed out on much, it hadn't changed since my Dad did it, but at least I have the means to fix my teeth when I need to, go to places I've always wanted to see and get to know my daughter Celeste.



CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   Perry Laird studied film making and film study in Canberra from 1976 - 1977 and made several films on Super 8 and U Matic video.

In 1989 he joined the Melbourne Super 8 Group and directed and acted in an assortment of Super 8 films, until production of sound film ceased in 1998. One critic remarked that instead of adding to the book of cinematic history, Perry's films tore pages out of it.

He currently lives north of the Yarra and occasionally acts in independent films.

Perry Laird, June 2015


FILMOGRAPHY:

 
 
The Crying Forest

Action (1976, 6 mins, Super 8)
co-directed with Simon Cooper & others

The Searcher (1977, 8 mins, Super 8)

Welcome to Fairfield (1989, 5 mins, Super 8)

Dreaming Sistas (1989, 3 mins, Super 8)
co-directed with Paul C Laird

Sisters Fertility Dance (1990, 3 mins, Super 8, B/W)

Flowers (1990, 30 mins, video)
co-directed with Paul C Laird

 
 
Fiore

Death of the Piano Player (1990, 5 mins, Super 8)
co-directed with Dan Persse

Metal and Flesh (1990, 15 mins, video)
collaborator - Yurri Azic

The Crying Forest (1991, 19 mins, Super 8, B/W & Color)

Stranger Street (1991, 15 mins, Super 8)

Vicar (1992, 3 mins, Super 8)
co-directed with A. Newman

Space Case (1992, 3 mins, Super 8, B/W)
co-directed with A. Newman

 
 
The Night City

Pizza Monster (1992, 3 mins, Super 8)

The Night City (1992, 19 mins, Super 8, B/W & Color)

Killer (1992, 1 min, B/W)
co-directed with A. Newman

Last Train to Heaven (1993, 19 mins, Super 8, B/W & Color)

Black (1993, 3 mins, 16mm, B/W)
co-directed with Michael Adami

The Hand That Shook The World (1994, 3 mins, Super 8)
co-directed with A. Newman

The Battle of Battles (1994, 3 mins, Super 8, B/W)
co-directed with A. Newman

 
 
Furious

Forest Embassy (1994, 5 mins, Super 8)

Friendly Visitor from Space (1995, 3 mins, Super 8)

The Hit (1995, 3 mins, Super 8)

La Mort (1995, 3 mins, Super 8)
co-directed with A. Newman

Furious (1995, 11 mins, Super 8)
collaborator - Michael Adami

Fury (1996, 15 mins, Super 8)

The Beast of Brunswick (1996, 3 mins, Super 8)

Fiore (1997, 14 mins, Super 8)

Fuego (1998, 16 mins, Super 8)

The Village Idiot (2002, 3 mins, Super 8)
Music video for Problem

Cape Blood (2002, 5 mins, Super 8)


 
 
Friendly Visitor from Space

Other Film, Theatre & Musical Projects:

Film

Clothing and Identity (Director Y Azic, Actor, 1991, 15 mins, video)

Zoo (Dir Paul C Laird, Actor, 1991, 15 mins, video)

Potion (Dir PC Laird, Actor, 1992, 10 mins, Super 8)

Amulet (Dir PC Laird, Actor, 1992, 15 mins, Super 8)

Ladykiller (Dir Bill Mousoulis, Actor, 1994, 80 mins, Super 8)

Fairyland (Dir A. Newman, Camera, 1997, 9 mins, Super 8, B/W)

Harangue (Dir Michael Adami, Actor, 1993, 7 mins, 16mm, B/W)

Film Clip for Brass Bed (2001, Director, Super 8)

Purge (Dir David King, Actor, 2005, feature)

 
 

Fuego

One For The Money (Dr Tadgh Taylor, Actor, 2006)

The Wrath of the Righteous Man (Dir Lucien Spectre, Actor, 2007)

DV Clip for Problem - Actor, Assistant Dir, 2006.

MUSIC VIDEO Gothic Rock Band "DARKNESS VISIBLE" 2009 Actor

EVERYONE DIES TWICE Dir: Evannah Clark-Bohun Short 2011 Actor

3010 - CHILDREN OF THE REVENANT Dir: Simon Smith Trailer 2011 Actor

RHYME AND REASON TV Pilot 2011 Dir: Richard Sarell Actor

FAITH UPRISING Dir: Mike Pilmer Short 2012 Actor/ Narrator

THICKER THAN BLOOD Dir: Steve McCormick Actor Short 2012

SINS OF THE FATHER Dir: Evannah Jane Actor Short 2013

MUSIC VIDEO Dance Band "Bombs Away" Actor Shot Cut Entertainment 2013

NATIONS Dir: Qui Yang Actor Short 2013

 
 
The Crying Forest

Theatre

Realistic News - Theatre Production at St Martin's South Yarra
(Dir PA Laird, Script Y Azic, 1990, 30 mins)

Metal and Flesh - Theatre Production at Universal Theatre Fitzroy
(Dir PA Laird, Script Y Azic, 1990, 59 mins)

Lucid Dreaming - Theatre Production, Actor, 2005

Shrimp - Theatre Production, Actor, 2005

THE GREAT GOD PAN Melbourne Fringe Festival 2010 Pit and The Pendulum Theatre Company Dir: Jasper Bagg Actor

JUST LOOKING Director: Adele Varcoe Improv Performance Substation Newport Vic 2014


Music

People on a Planet Self-titled EP (1988, Drums)

Problem CD "The Sweet Smell of Success" (2001, Vocals, Guitars, Drums)

Mouthful EP "Demonstration" (2001, Vocals, Drums)

Mouthful CD "Hard Nut" (2002, Vocals, Drums)

Problem CD "Hot Load" (2004, Vocals, Guitars, Keys, Drums)

Ryan Ferry Self-titled CD (2005, Bass, Vocals)

Problem "Vegetable Man" The Vegetable Man Project CD- a Syd Barrett Tribute Compilation 2007

Problem EP "Outbreak" (2008, Vocals)


SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Cantrills Filmnotes, No 73, 74 May 1994


Perry Laird, June 2015.
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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis