‘Pong’s prize-winning film now online

Last year ’Pong wrapped up his Masters of Digital Media at UNSW’s College of Fine Art by making the short film Memory of You | Reflection of Me, winning the prize for the schools “best video” that year. I’ve previously shown you a photo. Now you can finally watch it online.

It’s a powerful nine minutes about depression and maternal strength, and was certainly a worthy winner. It had stayed hidden until now because ’Pong had been entering it into film festivals, many of which have this arsehatted notion that you can’t enter if your film previously been posted online. But time marches on…

’Pong is now seeking support for his next film, Exist.

Exist explores our part of psychological mechanism that alerts us of treats and dangers — anxiety. It is the second instalment of DASS (Depression Anxiety Stress Scales) trilogy, which is a common test to assess mental illness in modern society.

You can watch the teaser video, then head over to FundBreak to hand over your money.

Links for 28 August 2009 through 09 September 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 28 August 2009 through 09 September 2009, gathered automatically and then forgotten until today:

Shooting the shoot

Actress Fay Akrivou discussed her character with director Trinn ('Pong) Suwannapha

’Pong is currently directing a short film, Memory of You | Reflection of Me, as part of his Masters of Digital Media at the College of Fine Arts. I’m helping, so you won’t see much of me for a few days. But here’s a photo.

Here, actress Fay Akrivou (left) discusses her character, a depressed mother, with ’Pong during a break in shooting at a terrace house in Surry Hills, Sydney. She’s not really that tired, that’s the make-up. It’s also a fairly dodgy version of the photo. I’ll post something better later.

Tomorrow morning we’re shooting at Coogee Beach, and then in the afternoon it’s at our house in Enmore. It’s a 6-minute film, but there’s seven scenes containing something like 35 individuals shots, for some of which they’re doing a dozen takes. ’Pong is both a hard taskmaster and a perfectionist.

My role? Um, I’m organising the sandwiches and beer. Well, someone’s got to do it…

[Update 21 September 2010: You can now watch Memory of You | Reflection of Me online, and ’Pong is seeking support for his next film.]

Savoradin on Depression

I just stumbled across this quote about depression by Antonio Savoradin: “Depression, probably the most obvious condition leading to suicide, is a prison filled with repeat offenders, and the crime of melancholia has a startling recidivism rate. But it is not a prison in which rights are respected, nor is humane treatment the standard fare. Rather, the jailer is a fickle torturer who punishes his charges without mercy. The depressed person inhabits a cell with a tiny window and iron bars, is beaten, burned, electrocuted, and flayed by the guards, left shivering and in pain, while relatives and friends may visit, blind to both the unbearable wounds he suffers and to the bars which hold him. Bewildered, they cannot understand why he doesn’t rise and walk through the empty doorway; they do not understand his pain; and they may inflict guilt or further torture by sneering at his condition or offering pointless advice (‘What’s the matter with you? Just leave!’) which only exacerbates his suffering. Because they do not see the bars, the walls, the jailer, the prison grounds, they cannot take his pain seriously. It is an enigma to them. They can give him little, if any, comfort.” Hat-tip to Andrew Barnett.

’Pong reflects on 2007 (and himself)

A self-portrait by Pong

’Pong has combined his penchant for photographs of reflections with a self-portrait to head his latest post, Moments in 2007.

For him, 2007 was a year where he overcame some of the pressures of depression to achieve highlights such as a prize-winning image.

As I’ve said before in a post about privacy, depression hits 800,000 Australians every year and yet we try to pretend this epidemic and its effects don’t exist. Just pop another SSRI.

Small-minded politicians introduce legislation like WorkChoices in the name of “productivity”. Yet by disrupting routine family time and increasing individual stress they produce a shell-shocked workforce that’s less productive.

’Pong has the good fortune to have a day-job employer who has a more sophisticated worldview. When WorkChoices was introduced he told me “Why would I want to treat my staff so badly? I want to keep the good people!”

If a workplace produced physical illness as debilitating as depression, the proprietors would be paying compensation for decades — if they weren’t jailed for criminal negligence. But somehow it’s OK to destroy people’s minds. This has to end.

Depression is a normal human reaction to abnormal conditions. We’ve produced an abnormal society where in any given year nearly 1 in 20 of us suffers from its effects just in this way, let alone what others. Yes, this has to end.

Fortunately organisations like Beyond Blue help. And I’ll post my own, generally more positive thoughts later today.