Exclusive Interview : Gregory Pakis


Director of the new Aussie film, “The Garth Method”

“The Garth Method” tells the yarn of an out-of-work actor named Garth Petridis, incarcerated for one of the most unusual crimes in Australian history’…apparently perturbed that he couldn’t get any acting jobs, the Aussie wannabe kidnapped people and forced them into fluffy pink fairy costumes and barbarian attire and pushed them to star in his own unthinking show reels. CLINT MORRIS talks to the films director Gregory Pakis.

How did the film come about?
After Garth came out of jail for the film he made, he came to me about making a
film about why he went to jail. We just had to look at his life and all the crazy stuff he did to prepare and get parts. The substance was all there; it was just a matter of structuring it as a script and then shooting it.

What intrigued you about the idea?
I love stories about desperate people. Garth’s life seemed so original! As an audience member of The Garth Method said online “Garth had the guts to do what most out of work actors wish they could do” He is a man with serious balls, and maybe serious stupidity!

Who helped on the project?
Paul Dowie, a uni friend and film collaborator over the years, and Anders Olson, also a uni friend and now a DP, shot the film. Katrina Baylis who is a well known children’s storyteller around Melbourne was interested in playing Lorna, Garth’s crazy actress counterpart. We got crew from Filmnet. Craig Bryant who had already scored some released Aussie movies came on board via a company that was helping with the film. He did a great score that people always comment on.

How long of a shoot was it?
Long. A year and a half to shoot on and off. But that was good. It was like shooting six short films in a year and a half. We got to see the rushes bit by bit and got to see what needed improving. If we had of shot it all in one clump the film would of been of a lower standard. The next film I want to shoot in bits as well. Less stress as well, as long as your actors don’t die between shoots, or have kids and have to get a real job!

What do you hope for it? theatrical/DVD release, big-time festival hit?
I want to be the exhibitor of my own work. I like the idea of screening in pubs and unconventional places. Maybe even in the street, busking with a TV screen and DVD player! Cinemas kind of bored me. Plus the pressure on a good film to perform in a cinema is too much cos of the pressure placed by OS product. I like the idea of just exposure at the moment. Playing in a pub is a low expense, and gives time for word of mouth to spread that you just wouldn’t get from a cinema release. Plus I like the adventure of screening my own stuff; it’s a real adventure! Handing out flyers at film events, meeting people you wouldn’t otherwise meet if you just palmed your film of to some distributor. I don’t want my films to sit on the DVD shelf with other films. I want to create my own brand of filmmaking and exhibition. Plus we also want to always donate money made from the film to charities. (We are donating to Camp Quality from this series of screenings) You wouldn’t get that opportunity from a conventional release. I guess at this point I should say. I am interested in 2 things, filmmaking and charity fundraising, Why not combine the two? So if any charities or non-profit groups want to use The Garth Method as a fundraiser, contact us at info@thegarthmethod.com

Tell me about some of your filmmaking influences?
None really anymore. The story tells me how to make the film not other filmmakers. But I do love the entertaining realism of Scorsese, and the unique sensationalism of early Spielberg. I guess I aim for a mix between the two. I love American films from the 60’s/70’s.” Entertaining realism” as I put it. You believe the characters are real.

How has the feedback been so far?
Great! Most people really enjoy the film, which is how it was designed. Light entertainment but with serious ideas beneath. Some people have made accurate observation of a few structural problems, which is something to improve on, but we accomplished something most films in Australia don’t – consistent entertainment! And original and fresh!

What will you do next time around, that you didn’t do this time – and vice

Work with less crew hopefully. We will be shooting on HD, so don’t have to man
too many positions on crew. The next film will be kinda experimental, even though mainstream, and this should free us up to do some crazy stuff! Watch out to see another film you have never seen before!

Best restaurant to eat at in Melbourne?
“Garth’s Place” in High St Northcote. Also Bolero’s in Warrandyte – great Spanish food!

Why should people see your film?
They have never seen a film like it before and won’t see one like it again.
Mostly cos of Garth’s unique charisma and life!

THE GARTH METHOD is now showing in Melbourne. Click Here for Session Details.