Mak­ing a meal out of mate­ship

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

MOST peo­ple have sev­eral sec­onds of Snapchat or Face­book clips of their mates but Mat de Kon­ing racked up about 700 hours of footage of his clos­est friends over 10 years.

The film­maker fol­lowed his Kala­munda Se­nior High School mates and Screw­top De­t­o­na­tors band mem­bers Mitch Long, Lee French, Char­lie Austen and Ben Ward with his cam­era from 2005, when they em­barked on their first Amer­i­can east coast tour, and sub­se­quent years.

De Kon­ing saw it as an op­por­tu­nity to get a tour doc­u­men­tary on his CV, but twists and rev­e­la­tions be­tween the cir­cle of friends through­out the next sev­eral years broad­ened the scope.

The band’s roadie Will Stoker, from North Perth, bailed mid-tour then found suc­cess with his own band, while the Screw­top De­t­o­na­tors strug­gled to put to­gether an al­bum and find a wider au­di­ence out­side of pub gigs on both sides of Aus­tralia.

Meal Tick­ets, which has screened at Syd­ney and Mel­bourne film fes­ti­vals, has its WA pre­miere as part of the Rev­e­la­tion Perth In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val.

“It was all very fun and innocent at first but then it was like film­ing the loss of our in­no­cence,” de Kon­ing said.

“When we hit our mid-20s, things got se­ri­ous and con­tin­u­ing to film was more of a bur­den.

“The split from man­ager Dave Ka­vanagh was con­fronting.”

De Kon­ing, who cites Clerks di­rec­tor Kevin Smith’s “DIY ap­proach” to film­mak­ing as an in­spi­ra­tion, al­ways wanted to be be­hind the cam­era.

“I made my mind up when I was 15 years old,” he said.

“At 14, I was film­ing skate­board­ing and in Year 10 I was signed up for art classes; I was dead set on it and thought it was a great op­por­tu­nity (to film the band) with Dave on the scene.”

While the doc­u­men­tary is find­ing suc­cess with crit­ics and au­di­ences, it has come at a cost.

“I keep in con­tact with all of them ex­cept Mitch; we had a fall­ing out,” he said.

“That is tragic but that hap­pens some­times when you go into busi­ness with friends.”

Meal Tick­ets screens on July 8 and 18 as part of the fes­ti­val.

Meal Tick­ets di­rec­tor Mat de Kon­ing. d470446

FILM with Ju­lian Wright

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