Emerging filmmaker to make his feature debut at Adelaide Film Festival with experimental soundscape

Launched in 2020, the annual Hanlon Larsen Screen Fellowship is a partnership between AFF, Flinders University, and Mercury CX. Established by Peter Hanlon in honour of the late Cole Larsen, the fellowship funds an experimental film project by an emerging talent.

Carlier’s Paco follows sound recordist Manny as he chases down an actress who has left set with one of his microphones. Hearing only the sound from Manny’s boom microphone, and the runaway actress’ radio mic, viewers are taken on a journey through Music Videos, Time Travellers, and more.

Square Holes recently sat down with director Tim Carlier to chat about everything from Tarantino, to audience feedback, and making a feature in less than 4 months…

Square Holes: How does it feel to be premiering your first feature at the Adelaide Film Festival?

Tim: It’s pretty insane to be honest. I never expected the feature itself to happen. Paco kind of came about very, very quickly and then we weren’t sure if it was going to make it for the festival at all. We only started shooting in June (2022) and have just finished about three, four weeks ago. So, it’s basically just been a race to get it to the festival. So, it’s been stressful, but very, very exciting.

Director Tim Carlier on set, photo by Maryada Rehling.

SH: What made you want to tell this story?

T: Paco is based on a short film that I made in my last year at Flinders University. It’s basically a similar premise about what happens when a sound recorder walks away from set. I’ve always been interested in the separation of things in terms of film craft. Everybody is used to how a film sounds, but what I’m interested in is the disconnect when you are hearing something that’s different to what you’re seeing onscreen. I’ve always found that very fascinating and I wanted to kind of expand on that in a different way. I also wanted to try and make a feature film in a very specific methodology. This film is very experimental in terms of how we didn’t shoot any coverage, everything was filmed in almost one take, but in a very distant documentary style, mostly with the non-actors. Basically, it’s a huge experiment and a chance to work with my peers and see if we could make something that works narratively and that an audience can enjoy.

SH: You work within a number of mediums (theatre, writing), what makes film special?

T: My kind of trajectory when I was starting out, and first arrived at university, was that I was very interested in the auteurs, and wanted to be like Tarantino or Wes Anderson or Terry Gilliam. But when I actually started working on film sets, I realized that the best part of filmmaking is actually working with a team to make something. That collaboration and working with really talented artists across so many different mediums combined into one package is endlessly fascinating to me, and something that I really enjoy. To me now, the best stuff is when it feels like it was made by a group of people, because that’s what it should feel like.

SH: As an emerging creative, what does the support of organisations like Adelaide Film Festival and Helpmann Academy mean to you?

T: A huge thing that organisations like Helpmann and the Adelaide Film Festival provide is confidence. If somebody else has faith in you as an artist to grant you the money, it builds that confidence and makes you want to do more and grow outside of that. In Adelaide we are very, very fortunate to have funding bodies like the Helpmann Academy and Carclew to fund emerging artists and filmmakers, because that’s happening less and less. It just demonstrates that there’s a funding body that believes in you and your project and that’s enough to give the go ahead and say, ‘let’s just try it and do something’. It gives you that boost to experiment and create. And then to have the Adelaide Film Festival as a space to screen works on a local level, that feels like an international level, is very special.

Still from Paco, photo by Maryada Rehling.

SH: How are you feeling about opening night?

T: I’m very intrigued to hear how people actually feel about the film. Feedback is something that I’m very interested in, to kind of see where the film works and where it doesn’t, and just to hear people’s different interpretations of what they think the film means.

Paco screens at the 2022 Adelaide Film Festival on Wednesday, October 26 at Palace Nova Eastend. You can purchase tickets here.

Square Holes has partnered with Helpmann Academy and the Adelaide Film Festival to provide insights through market research to evolve and finetune their outputs since 2006 and 2008 respectively.   

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