MATRIX: How did you find yourself involved with the Matrix production?
NATHAN: I was on another job and I got a phone call asking if I would like to come and work on this film. I thought I would check it out because I had heard a lot about it and that it was going to be the biggest film in Australia. After I thought about it, something instinctual told me it would be a good experience.
MATRIX: What other films have you worked on?
NATHAN: Quite a few movies for television. Before this I worked on the Australian movies ‘Never Tell Me Never’, ‘The Well’, ‘Fable’ and ‘Paradise Road’, so it has taken me two and a half years to get to this point. But I haven’t got anywhere yet, I am still the lowest of the low.
MATRIX: What are your aspirations?
NATHAN: My aspirations are changing at the moment, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to take this job. During university I wanted to be a director. I think I can still do it, but the way the industry is set up at the moment you have to do your time before people will start to take you seriously. If you are going to work your way up, it will take you until you are forty before you even get a shot at it. I don’t want to wait that long. The other way to do it is to start making your own films or to go to film school.
MATRIX: What has been your general take of the cast and crew?
NATHAN: Good. The best thing about production is the amount of people, there are so many opportunities because there are so many people, especially for a young person like me.
MATRIX: Could you describe what you do exactly?
NATHAN: I am called a Production Runner, which is not very descriptive, but my job is not very specific. Basically, I do anything and everything from picking up cast to shopping for the crew to having to get certain things for the camera department. For instance, today someone needs 5kg of vaseline, so I have to find out where to get it from, organize for it to be collected or go out and get it myself. I have to keep in touch with what the camera department are doing because sometimes I have to move cameras around between two units. Last Friday I ran the PA for an Aboriginal band during lunch time because there was no one else to do it. It is like an apprenticeship in certain ways because you do everything for every department, but it is bad in that way as well because your job is never done, there is always someone that wants something.
MATRIX: I got to hear you calling around this morning for the vasaline. It was funny hearing you explain what you needed, then have to explain again, ‘yes, I really need that much.’ Things like this must throw people.
NATHAN: Yes, and it happens all the time. It can be really daunting at the beginning. On some productions you get the oddest requests, people ask me for an obscure item which I will have no idea where it was made, and they try to explain what they want rather than show me. On every job there are a couple of items that take me a few months to hunt down.
MATRIX: What is the vaseline to be used for?
NATHAN: Lubrication for one of the stunt doubles to shoot down the sewage tunnel.
MATRIX: What does the Matrix mean to you? Do you have a sense by now of what it is all about?
NATHAN: I read the script before I started working and really liked it. It brought together a lot of the ideas that I have for the computer company I want to start. Although they portray computers as a malevolent force that is going to destroy us in the end, I think the way that they have integrated it in to show how it could affect society is very interesting. I think it will be a good film. The ideas they have are different; it is reality – but its not; it is futuristic – but its not; and it is not fantasy reality like ‘Dark City’. This movie is real, but then again it is very unreal. It represents a lot of the issues that become relevant to us regarding the future and technology, even the replacement of reality.
MATRIX: Thanks Nathan.
Interview by Spencer Lamm