Dave de Vries

Name: Dave de Vries

Region: Barossa

What does your Digital Media involve?

I am a film producer, director, writer and editor, as my CV states…
A film producer, director, writer and editor, Dave de Vries has come to the world of film making by a rather unusual route.

For the past 25 years I have been one of Australia’s most successful and widely published writer/artists. Internationally I’ve written and drawn such comic book icons as Phantom, Batman, Green Lantern and the Punisher for the New York giants Marvel and DC Comics. I have also written for a number of film related comic books, including; Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Thing From Another World, The Puppet Master and the Round The Twist graphic novel for Penguin Books.

At home my career has included being the creative coordinator of Australia’s Mad Magazine as well as the publisher/creator of many Australian comic books – including the Southern Squadron. My work has regularly appeared in Picture, People, The Bulletin and The Financial Review, in books, on CD record covers and in advertising.

Now embroiled in the world of film and television, I’ve written, directed, edited and produced Carmilla Hyde, a 102 minute “Jekyll & Hyde” revenge thriller. This film is currently screening in film festivals all over the globe and has won nine awards;

  • Best Feature, South Australian Screen Awards,
  • Best International Feature, Swansea Bay Film Festival,
  • Best International Feature”, International Film Festival South Africa,
  • Best Foreign Film, Minneapolis Underground Film Festival,
  • Best First Film, Heart of England International Film Festival,
  • Best Australian Film, Sexy International Film Festival,
  • Best Guerrilla Film and Best Supporting Female Actor, Melbourne Underground Film Festival
  • ACS SA & WA Cinematography Awards – Feature Film category, Silver Award

I am also co-producing the pilot of a doco/drama comedy television series about wine called “Suck it and See”, which he will direct, and has recently completed writing and directing the pilot of an animated children’s television series which he co-created. And in addition, I have also written a number of live action and animation scripts for such film and television companies as; Crawfords, Viskatoons, Energee Entertainment, Artist Services, the Children’s Television Foundation and LA producers Adelson Entertainment.

What does the term “Digital Media” mean to you?

To me the term “Digital Media” means quite simply, any media that can be created digitally.

How do you present your Digital Media?

I write, produce, direct and edit digital films.

I co-ordinate the major projects course for film and television for UniSA.

I am also the Festival Director for the “International Film Festival of Australasia – Barossa” aka “The Barossa Film Festival” which will be held at Chateau Tanunda in the last week of October this year.

What medium do you work in?

Movies and Animation. I also create comic books, posters, DVD slicks and other promotional material using digital media.

How did you learn your skills ?

On the job as a freelance comic book writer and artist, and then as a freelance filmmaker.

Do you see yourself as a beginner, intermediate or advanced? Hobbyist, emerging or professional?

Intermediate or advanced depending on which aspect of digital media we are talking about.

Tell us about your path to Digital Media?

I started as a painter, then switched to writing and drawing comicbooks (around 1983-4). As computers started to make graphic art easier (in particular in the fields of desktop publishing and colouring) I began increasingly to create scripts and art digitally. (It was very much a fluid evolution.) I made the transition to film directing via writing scripts for film and television around 2006.

What are the skills you use in your digital media work?

Writing, drawing, airbrush painting, graphic design, photography, cinematography, directing, film editing, sound mixing and design, foley, animation, publicity, marketing and distribution.

Is your digital media something you have been drawn to do, or has it been a survival skill ?

Both. If I hadn’t adapted to it, my career would have stalled years ago. My career as a film director and editor would simply not have happened if it hadn’t been for the creation of digital film.

Does being familiar with digital media and the tools you use give you any edge in your work or life?

Absolutely. To the best my knowledge Glenn Lumsden and I (a comic book partnership based in the Barossa) were the first artists ever to deliver their artwork to ACP (in Sydney) digitally. My first feature film Carmilla Hyde was the first feature on planet earth to be shot on the Sony EX1 digital camera.

Where do you see these skills taking you in the future?

To Hollywood.

What do others think of you and your work?

Actually, most people seem to think that what I do is pretty cool.

Are other forms of technology or software providing you with new opportunities ?

Absolutely. Facebook and the other social networking sites, industry review sites, blogs and so on have been a huge help in getting my film into festival and in picking up distribution. As a promotion tool it is invaluable.