This is really hard to express in words. Very hard. Not just because its emotional, but I don’t want to mess up a tribute to an amazing person.
Today I found out a very good friend had suddenly passed away. It’s a shock to all of us that knew him as it was sudden and unexpected. Everyone is coping as best they can, I’ve had a lot of calls with people in tears, people rambling, people confused. Sadly, I don’t cry, it’s not that I don’t like it, I just don’t, I deal with emotion differently. But I needed a way to express myself and I figured this was the best way to get it out of my system. I don’t have many followers so mostly this is just for me.
So who was he. Well I have worked with him for over 20 years. He was a business owner, family man, extremely talented with his work, intelligent, funny, lover of people, skillful debater, generous with his compassion, an all round true blue Australian. He was a guy everyone loved. And I mean that, they truly did. Even people he didn’t get along with had a soft spot for him. In the Industry we were in he was generous with his time. And his help and advice to new people created many amazing careers. He was a giver of everything and humble.
And he was also one of the few people who truly understood friendship. We didn’t talk all the time, but if either of us needed a hand or some advice we’d know the other would help if they could. Didn’t matter if it was business or personal, we would do what we could. He has helped me in countless ways, with my career, my business, my personal life, even my politics. We could have a raging debate about anything (usually politics!), and then sit down and have a laugh at dinner together. He was ridiculously fun to work with, even if we had a difference of opinion on how to do something on set, we’d discuss it and the most sensible idea won out. There was no ego, no one-up-manship, both of us worked to get the job right and had incredible respect for each others talents. Over the years we developed almost a mind meld, we could sense when the other wanted to change something and we had a discreet way of letting each other know, it did confuse the rest of the crew, but it worked for us. He was without doubt my favorite person to work with.
Its very hard to consider that I will never hear from him again, never hear that gruff voice on the end of the phone telling me he’s in “more shit than the early settlers”, never share another dinner, never work together, never end up in one of our fucking stupid funny conversations because we had time to kill. Its sad to think that after all the incredibly amazing spots we created together our last job was a shitty little studio chroma key thing. Even then we had a ball being idiots while we did it. He could make the most mundane job an experience to remember.
The industry we both shared has been left a massive hole to fill. His incredible talent and generosity will be greatly missed. I wonder how many up and coming creative people are going to be a little less encouraged because of his absence. How many young filmmakers aren’t going to get their creations made because he’s not there to get them going. In an industry where ego is king and the experienced players tend to be assholes with their heads up their asses.. he was unique, an Icon.
Life will never quite be the same again.
RIP my friend, you won’t be forgotten, no more DFI’s.