me, photography, like acting, is the most personal and abstract of
all the mediums. Under its disguise of co modified and commercialised
familiarity lies the potential for absolutely individual expression
As with all my photographic projects a direct through line can be
made with my earliest fascination as to why we, our species, are so
identified with systems of belief. The Romper Stomper series is no
exception, whether from the angle of pop culture or ideological belief.
My original thought when I first read the script of Romper Stomper,
was that here was an opportunity to fully explore the potential of
film stills photography as a unique and overlooked form of creative
expression – to take it beyond the standard promotional image,
and into a realm of its own. With its dark and confronting subject
matter, compelling characters and performances, Romper Stomper did
indeed prove a fascinating subject, and the images produced during
the shoot are ones I have continued to return to over the years.
What I think they show are the possibilities of film stills photography
as an art form that not only documents moments from the film, but
also moments in the creative process; that records the life of a character;
but can also, at times, extend the life and reality of that character
into moments which exist independently of the film they inhabit. Part
photo reportage, part fiction, film stills photography can also, at
its best, place its subjects in the context of fine art adding a more
intensely reflective & aesthetic dimension to the kinetic motion
pictures next to which they stand.
Images #34 and #35 (Not part of the Romper Stomper Series) where taken
on the last day of the shoot and image #35 was conceptualised by Daniel
Pollock and Russell Crowe.
Special thanks to the exceptional performances of the cast and their
cooperation to produce ‘The Romper Stomper Series’.
All images were taken with three Nikon N2000 35mm cameras and Nikkor
housed in a Jacobson blimp case. Black & white film stock was
Ilford HP5PLUS & developed in Kodak HC110. Dilution: 1 to 9 at
7 mins at 20 degrees. Shooting dates where from August 14 to September