How to Lose Jobs & Alienate Girlfriends
Festival, Cinema & SVOD
First time filmmaker follows his girlfriend and boss chase their dream as musicians. His insecurities flair while struggling to find a story, and begins challenging their flaws, on camera, jeopardising the film, relationships and careers.
This is the third film in a trilogy of self portraits, preceded by award winning ‘The Ungrateful Australian’ and ‘grace’. Filmed when Thomas was 27 years old and two years clean from marijuana addiction, the film went from a frivolous exploration of the creative process to a deep, and at times hilarious examination of the emotional experience of trying to pursue one’s true passion and the impact this can have if done without boundaries, empathy or sensitivity toward those directly affected.
This searingly honest documentary played to audiences at Cinequest Film Festival, The East End Film Festival and Australia’s premiere music event, Splendour in the Grass in 2015 before a limited cinema release in Australia and the UK where Total Film magazine awarded the film FOUR STARS.
DIRECTORS STATEMENT: ‘The biggest problem with making a film which features heavily your own story is losing perspective. As a result, the story is missing important context. The film was never meant to be about me but the material gathered and my role in the fall out indicated my journey as the most pertinent to explore. At the time of filming I was two years into a process of brutal self examination required for recovery from marijuana addiction. The contributors, Tony and Amanda, came on board to participate in a film that would be truly honest, and it felt natural to examine their stories with the same, brutal intensity as was applying to my own. As I commenced, a symptom of developmental trauma that drove my addiction in the first place kicked into full flight – I was projecting perfectionism and fear of failure onto those around me and I judged the contributors struggles instead of empathised. Due to the pain this ultimately caused contributors Tony and Amanda, when editing three years later I was in a place of self loathing and guilt, which inherently entered the work. As a result you see here the worst side of me. Which is the point! But I allowed little into the film that might redeem me. I didn’t feel I deserved it. I thought that the super-honest self-reflection and self-depreciating humour would be enough to endear an audience to me. This was naive, and some audiences couldn’t see beyond the important question, ‘this unknown film-maker thinks a lot of himself to believe anyone would be interested in his story’. I thought if I can honestly explore this difficult but universal subject within myself on screen, and do it successfully with humour, it would make it safe for others to discuss it, perhaps explore it themselves if necessary. I believe this was a worthy endeavour, and thought the films flaws would be forgiven. However I was wrong and a result this film can be greatly mis-understood. That being said, I am extremely proud of it and feel it’s some of my finest work, from a craft perspective (editing all of this material into a coherent mosaic alone), but also in its honesty. If you do forgive the films flaws it can be a powerful experience, as it attempts to say something relevant about the nature of honesty and ambition with ourselves, and our nearest.