EXPOSED: DARIUS DEVAS
Darius Devas has just been selected as one of two emerging producers to be selected for the Screenworks’ Regional Producer Elevator Program. Darius runs Being Films and is a multi award winning filmmaker with an interest in multi-platform storytelling. His previous production successes include the interactive documentary series for SBS, The Goa Hippy Tribe.
Darius is currently developing a multi-platform documentary series The Afghan Connection about the incredible untold stories of hippies in Afghanistan during the 1970’s. In 2014 the project received a development grant from Screen Australia and was selected to participate at 2015 Power To The Pixel Market in London, for which he received an Advanced Development travel grant from Screen NSW.
We sit down with Darius this month and find out a bit more about his career to date and his aspirations.
Tell us a bit about what you do in the Screen Industry and how you got involved.
I primarily consider myself a director but as any independent filmmaker will tell you, you end up wearing many hats! So I also produce, write and edit some of my films as well. I work across drama and documentary, with my focus over the last few years being multi-platform documentary series. A good example of that is Goa Hippy Tribe, which I did for SBS and won the 2012 South by Southwest Interactive award for film & TV. Drama wise the project I’m most proud of is Further We Search, my debut feature film, that I made back in 2009, starring Xavier Samuel.
I got into filmmaking in high school making surf films, which I continued to do for several years after, which was an incredible opportunity to learn very hands on, many aspects of the filmmaking process. I was also very passionate about drama in high school and considered being an actor, so carried that passion behind the lens with my dramatic works.
What’s the project you have most enjoyed working on, and why?
Although it was actually an incredibly stressful film to make in many ways, Within was a real personal achievement for me. It was something that I had wanted to make for decade but needed a certain type of camera to realise it. When the camera finally came into existence I flew to America, negotiated with the manufacturer to sponsor me, ran a crowd funding campaign to fund the film and then spent three very intense weeks on production in remote South Australia, with a camera that was really not designed for that environment! But the idea of the film had been alive in me for so long, so to finally see it come to life was very rewarding, as it is a very personal story, as you can see in the documentary half of the project Creating Within. It was the one time in my career where the results of the film surpassed my expectations but it was a strange feeling because I didn’t have this sense of ownership over it, that it was mine, more that I was somehow the messenger. We managed to get Guy Pearce to narrate it and were invited to launch it at the NGV with 2010 Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry introducing it, so I felt very humbled by the way it all came together.
How long have you been living and working in the Northern Rivers?
I grew up in the area and continued making films here after high school for a few years. Then spent almost ten years living in Melbourne and have recently returned to the area at the beginning of this year.
What is important to you in running a successful and creative regional business/ working regionally?
I think it comes down to tenacity, which I don’t think is limited to being regional for me but its extra important. You have to find creative draw in work and get projects off the ground. I’m very grateful to have recently landed a job as a content producer for Flow Hive, which is a wonderful opportunity to apply my multiplatform documentary skill set to an exciting company with a really strong integrity behind what they do. Landing consistent work in the area was not something I was expecting at all.
What motivated you to apply to the Regional Producer Elevator Program and what are you hoping to get out of it?
For me, filmmaking is not one of those careers, where you get to a point where you can say, “yup, I’ve got this now, I’m sorted.” You are just constantly learning. So when I heard about the program and the calibre of industry that was on offer to learn and connect with I was very excited. On a more hands on level it is an incredible opportunity to learn from veteran producers and productions companies, as well as having the opportunity to attend Screen Forever, which is one of the most prestigious events for networking on the Australian filmmaking calendar.
Tell us a bit about what you have been working on most recently?
I have three major projects I’m currently working on. Another multi-platform documentary series called The Afghan Connection a sort of follow on from the Goa Hippy Tribe, about the incredible untold stories of hippies in Afghanistan during the 1970’s. The project received development funding from Screen Australia, as well as being selected to participate at the Power To The Pixel Market in London in October. I was able to attend PTTP thanks to a market travel grant from Screen NSW, which opened some incredible doors for the project. I’m also working on a feature script, which is a love story set in the Byron shire and a major new surf film project, both of which are too early in development to say more about.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us about you and your work?
Yes I’d love to direct people to my websites. Beinghere.com is my creative platform that showcases all my latest artistic projects, there is a diverse selection of my work on there and I make these films to be seen so go and watch them if you feel to. If you like what you see, subscribe to the Being Here Youtube channel to keep up to date with my latest releases. Beingfilms.com.au is my production company website, which showcases my more commercial work. So if you are interested in having me make a film for you, it will give you a good idea of the type of work I produce commercially.
I also wanted to say how great it feels moving back to the area and I’m excited to meet more of the filmmaking community, that has really developed since I last lived here, so feel free to reach out and say hello. And finally I just wanted to say how lucky we are to have an organisation like Screenworks to support us, it is such a blessing and I’m very grateful to Ken and Lisa and the rest of the team for their tireless work supporting us.
Published on November 16, 2015 3:41 am