Film Courage: You mentioned previously your love for acting and having attended a performing arts high school. You’ve been in not one, but two viral ads or videos on YouTube that have received millions of views. How does this happen?
Julian Shaw, Writer/Director/Actor: Well, my acting career kind of got kick-started by studying directing. That’s the irony because the person who directed It’s Time | Marriage Equality | GetUp! Australia [posted in November 2011- currently with almost 16.6 million video views on YouTube] which was an advertisement supporting marriage equality was one of the directors I went to film school with. His name is Steven McCallum. He saw me acting and he got this idea to put me in this short film. And it was produced by another guy Peter Slee whom I also went to film school with. And I’ve got to tell you that two-minute piece IT’S TIME (I think it’s had almost 17 million views on YouTube). Madonna shared it, Stephen Fry…oh my gosh…I got my own float in the Mardi Gras in Sydney literally in front of a million people I was there on a float waving.
Film Courage: How cool!
Julian: It was so cool. It was surreal and it was a political ad. It was basically supporting same-sex marriage which was not legal at the time in Australia. It is now thankfully. It’s crazy to say…this will probably never happen again but it was crazy being involved in something that actually did shape the way people voted. It possibly (we would like to think) had some effect on policy. Which is a pretty crazy situation to be in.
What I will say is we had a positive message in that short. It was all about love. It was all about equality, tolerance and it really showed me the power of short form content on the Internet. Because I’d spent years making these documentaries. But once that little two-minute piece came out, in 24 hours my life was changed. People now wanted to…(Watch the video interview on YouTube here).
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SAWGRASS on Youtube by Jack Peterson. Jack is an American filmmaker based in Chicago. He’s been featured in the New York Times, the Daily Beast, and ABC News for his work as an activist. His first feature film, Sawgrass, is a psychedelic journey through Florida, featuring an extensive interview with the brother of the Las Vegas shooter. Sawgrass also features a performance by the Rock-afire Explosion, a vintage animatronic band created by famed inventor Aaron Fechter. Jack’s next feature film, My Perfect Everything, tells the story of a magician chasing an imaginary woman he met in 1989. My Perfect Everything is currently in the early stages of pre-production.