ROAR: We were fortunate enough to be shown your film photography from our artist friend Lauren and after a scroll through your feed we were hooked! Where did this passion for film come from?
Sam: When I was a teenager I always wanted to shoot surfing (or have some one shoot me surfing). My family didn’t have much coin for a fancy camera but my dad had his Pentax Asahi 35mm Spotmatic with a tele lens sitting around the house so after some nagging he taught me the basics of photography. I still have that camera today and its what I shoot the majority of my photos on so there’s a certain nostalgic romance attached to it. I also used to spend a lot of time looking at my fathers photo albums that were filled to the brim with early expeditions to remote places in Indonesia (I’m talking single fins and un-ridden river mouths) and hundreds of locations around Tasmania showcasing empty, cold, remote tubes and reeling point breaks. That was my first experience with film, poring over these memories of my fathers and dropping the occasional 35mm film at the local Woolys to be sent off for processing and printing then anxiously awaiting its return.
However, it wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s that I started shooting film regularly. It was born out of the frustration that comes with shooting digital and becoming inpatient and taking too many half-assed photos instead of actually taking your time to frame and light a photo properly. Coupled with that is my frustration with this current state of society where everyone wants everything instantly ( I constantly confuse people with my Instagram…people see me in Sydney and they’re like ‘I thought you were in Europe!?”) Film forces you to make decisions, think twice, three, four times about hitting the shutter and once that reel has been wound back you have to send if off and be patient… something a lot of people have forgotten how to do.
P.S - It also looks amazing.
ROAR: We especially love your Adventure film pics of the Australian outback. Seeing places people only dream about. Tell us about your opportunity to get to do this?
Sam: Myself and 2 friends formulated an idea at the beginning of 2014 to showcase outdoor exploration in a fun and accessible manner through webisodes and photo journals, which would be hosted via our website. We named the business Tales To Tell, for which I act as creative director and content producer. Essentially I film, produce, edit and direct everything we do. Anyhow, last year we made a pilot episode which we pitched to various connections in hope of sponsorship. One of those was Toyota who got on board with the concept of us doing 6 episodes about exploring Australia. Essentially the underlying message in our work is to encourage people to explore their own backyard. We live in an amazing country that most people haven’t seen 10% of.
ROAR: We totally agree with exploring Australia! You also do film making, play instruments, sound & engineering plus producing. How does one get fricken good at so many things? Do tell us?
Sam: Ha, I wouldn’t say im very good at any of them! I guess it all spawned from drumming which I took up in year 4. Once I got a little older I read an article about a drummer who became a sound engineer to make a living so I figured that was a great idea and a few years later I had a diploma and a degree in Sound Engineering. I had taken up video again in that time period (I had a stint behind the lens in my high school years) purely to make live music sessions, but once I started getting better people started asking to me to make music videos. That time behind the camera led to me shooting photos again and before I knew it all my mediums had become full circle. One job with a band would spawn into another and so on and so on etc. These days I run a small recording studio, work as a video producer for RØDE Microphones, hold a regular stint at Oxford Arts Factory as a venue photographer, go on adventures with Tales To Tell, play in a handful of bands, and spend any remaining time shooting music videos and press shots.
ROAR: Wow! You are a busy and extremely talented man! What are some of the raddest things you have been a part of in either of your multi media forms?
Sam: I think just being part of community within the inner west Sydney music scene. I’ve got friends who are super successful and play international festivals and friends who cant get 10 people to a show, but at the end of the day we’re all heading to a friends show, working on projects together or just having a beer. Its super rad how much creativity there is amongst friends. One friend writes a killer track, gets his mate to drum on it, gets his other friend to produce and record, then asks me to shoot a clip and finally grabs Joe Blow to do some photos then you’ve got this great bit of music and accompanying media all made by a group of mates. You see that community and creativity all across Sydney and it drives everyone to work harder and create more rad content.
ROAR: Community and creativity go hand in hand and we dig the sound of your creative hub going on! What are some challenges of being a full time creative?
Sam: No money, Charging your friends your full rate, even though it's already too cheap, your friends taking forever to pay you, people always asking for favours and once again no money hah. But at the end of the day this stuff doesn’t really matter, as long as your fed and have somewhere to sleep your gonna be happy because you truly do something you love. I don’t know many people who get to do what they love.
ROAR: It seems this struggle is across all creative mediums and it's such an important part of our society and culture! What are a couple of things you are most stoked about in the near future?
Another record with Caitlin Park, our Finland/Norway/Iceland doco being finished and released and then hopefully more funding to go on a whole lot more adventures!
ROAR: Sounds so good! Well we will be sure to keep following all the creative goodness you continue to put out! Cheers for talking the time to chat with us and congrats on following your passions and sharing and inspiring all of us on the way!
All the pics shown in this feature are from a trip Sam did with Tales To Tell around Australia. He shot on 35mm and 120mm. Tales To Tell is launching in April! We can't wait to see what they have in store. Follow Tales To Tell Instagram.
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instagram - sambrumby_
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