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Interview with COLA Video Director, Daniel Woods.

Daniel Woods is a young and ambitious Director and Producer, who considers himself a "contemporary instrumental filmmaker." A Swinburne University (Melbourne) graduate, with an Advanced Diploma in Film and Television, Daniel prides himself on his creative and technical knowledge.

Like most up-and-coming filmmakers, Daniel gained experience by working in various "crew" roles as an assistant, best boy, and grip.

His exceptional eye for detail paired with a strong work ethic made him the perfect fit, to work with our Team on the COLA Music video

Read our interview with Daniel Woods for an insight into the making of the stunning Saturday's Child COLA Music video.

What was the initial connection between you / your work and Pop
Preservation Society?

Sam Stranges from Lipstereo introduced me to Victor Stranges when I directed the band's music video ‘Stop’. From there, Victor and I talked about the music he’s developing and the direction of a clip for his project Saturday's Child. He then sent me the song and a brief. Within two days I created a treatment for the music video. Victor and Frank (Saturday's Child) read it and were interested. Within three weeks we were in production.

What was the process from introduction to green light?

Once I was hired, we immediately locked in a location and date. I worked closely with Thomas Snowden, who was the Director of Photography. We discussed lenses, and shots, and created a vision of what we wanted to achieve for the project, ensuring it aligned with the 60s noir-inspired brief. Then my focus was on bringing the vision of a classic 1960’s cocktail bar to life through wardrobe and production design. As we approached the production date we

locked in the cast and we were ready to shoot.

How do you determine whether to commit to a script?

If I’m interested in the idea and the concept is strong, then I will explore the themes and characters. I’m passionate about fresh ideas and stories I can connect with.

How do you walk the line between your vision and collaboration with
other HODs (Head of Department)?

I value collaborative conversations with other HODs. It’s good to listen and work as a team, as it can be beneficial to the story.

Which relationships do you find to be most essential when working on set?

Everyone is essential on set, no one is more important than the other. We’re a team - and if you’re lucky enough to be surrounded by people you trust and who are good at their craft, it makes a great production. This goes for actors as well, if you give them

your trust and the open opportunity for them to be creative, you will receive a great performance.

How do you know if a location is right, and to what extent are you willing to compromise if it’s not?

I focus on the aesthetic of the location and how it aligns with the themes, the story, and the music. If we cannot find the right location that works with the concept, I would work with the band and the wider team on different options such as revising the brief and treatment to work with locations that are available.

When casting actors, do you consider just their performance, or how
they will be on set?

When casting an actor, I consider their performance and forming a connection with them through the character. Also how they interpret the script. I hope with the freedom to create they will bring good on-set etiquette.

What did you learn from directing the COLA music video?

We created COLA from brief to production within three weeks. I learned how to manage my time and become flexible with changing the direction and concept. In post-production, I learned to watch the edits and sit with the draft before providing feedback straight away. Our editor Matthew Temby created several drafts for the music video. Stepping back and rewatching with fresh eyes allowed us to see new things to ensure the edit flowed and gave justice to the story.

If you could change anything about the COLA clip, what would it be?

I wouldn’t change a thing. We all collaborated and worked as a team. I’m proud of what we have achieved and brought to life.

If you could change one thing about the Australian Film industry, what would it be?

I think the Australian film industry is evolving, and a lot of Australian work is being recognised. The one thing I would change about the Australian film industry would be the marketing campaigns behind film and television. I feel there are not enough resources behind production companies and freelancers to ensure their work is seen across the country and an international market.

Watch the COLA Music Video, directed by Daniel Woods.


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