Director`s Reel – Cos We Can

You like telling stories and I love hearing them. So tell me ladies, what is the creation story of Cos We Can?

CLARE: Cos We Can was born when both Fran and I were making First Love.

FRAN: We discovered that we each have a completely different set of skills – that compliment each other perfectly. We had so much fun making First Love together that we couldn’t think of anything we’d prefer to be doing…. so we decide to work together.

CLARE: Everybody kept asking us why we were doing what we were, and our only answer was “Cos We Can”. And we were like, hey…. that would be an awesome name for a company…

You`ve completed a feature film, First Love; short film, So It Goes; and an even shorter one, Lunchbreak. All three have been generating a lot of interest globally but as much as accolades are awesome and well-deserved, they come after long periods of hard yakka. Did you have any major challenges in their creation, and if so, how did you overcome these?

CLARE: As we tend to have big dreams nearly all of our projects have major obstacles. Apart from shooting surfers who have an issue with working to any kind of schedule, the main issue is always getting funding for personal projects, and working and living on a shoe string.

FRAN: Haters & Non-believers are also a challenge.  It can be really disheartening sometimes – but the only solution to this is to prove them wrong by succeeding.

CLARE: We also tend to have an issue of knowing when to let go and finish projects. You can always keep finessing something. You have to let it go.

Move on!

What was the impetus to begin your first project, First Love?

CLARE: Fran and I started to work on First Love because of our desire to create not only a surf film with a story, but also something about women – for women. There is a huge gap in the market for this kind of content & we were sick of just seeing women strutting around in bikinis on the beach instead of getting out there themselves.

FRAN: It was a first project – and people have told us that Film School couldn’t even teach us what we learnt. Not only did we learn about film making, we learnt about business, the film industry… law, contracts, distribution deals… etc. Pretty insane actually – that the first film we ever made got 27 cinemas and is now available for illegal download (DON’T DOWNLOAD IT – SUPPORT YOUNG POOR FILM MAKERS)

You`re also busy living the dream of surfing/shooting/hanging out with pro surfers in exotic locations then writing all about it. Do you get to surf as well? Where would you say has been your favourite destination so far?

CLARE: I think we have surfed a lot less since we started shooting for the surf industry, although most days we are away we get to sneak in a wave or two!  Hawaii is one of our favourite places to travel as it’s where we filmed half of First Love. There is a really awesome vibe on the North Shore that keeps us coming back each year. We actually just love to travel and be on the road. It’s where all our ideas are born.

Clare – can you tell us about the evolution of your photography…I’ve been shooting since I was about 16 and went straight from high school into a very commercial/ technical photography degree. I’ve always loved the ability as a photographer to capture moments in time. My evolution from photography to filming was extremely organic. I never had the urge to go out and shoot moving footage, it just happened. I still love shooting stills and I don’t think that I could ever pick between the two. Hopefully I never have to…

Fran – can you tell us more about your communications career and how we can read more of your “dribble”? I started out working in branding & marketing for my uncle`s ice cream company, then I became a copywriter – sounds glamorous but involved a room with low ceilings and fluorescent lights so I had a break down, moved to the beach, surfed, worked on some art installation projects – then became a photography producer. That’s where I met Clare. Then I co-produced and wrote First Love – which combine all my skills and threw me into the film world. Like all the kids these days I design, write and now… make films! woo. As for my dribble – I was publishing a lot of it on my blog, Lady Chameleon, but as our work gets more creatively challenging I find myself posting less and less. However I have noticed that whenever I’m feeling unhappy – it’s because I haven’t put anything out into the world.

Any other projects you have on the boil that we should know about?

CLARE: At the moment one of the larger projects we are working on is with Rip Curl – on their upcoming release of MYBIKINI (their 2012/13 bikini range), including both the creation and distribution of online content. We’re also cooking up a couple of short films, one on a couple of local surfers Jarrah Lynch and Kasper Raglus which we are working on in-between larger jobs.

FRAN: We also have a film idea and a couple of TV series up our sleeves – so much to do – not enough time.

What gets you amped to jump out of bed in the mornings? Our inspiration changes for each thing we do. But with everything we do we always seems to link to some ‘meaning of life-esque’ universal theme … at the moment we’re addicted to Wes Anderson`s Moonrise Kingdom, and anything by Jack Kerouac.

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” Jack Kerouac, On The Road

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.”  Jack Kerouac, On The Road

Words you live by?

Any advice for aspiring creatives and salt gypsies?

1) Team up. Everything’s funner when you have someone to share the good and the bad times with.

2) Never give up. (everyone always says this – but it never gets old)

3) You’re never going to be good at everything straight away. Everything takes time.

4) If you’re not scared you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.

5) Say yes.

If you were a DJ what would be at the top of your playlist right now:

RAC Ft. Penguin Prison Magician Remix

I’m Into You – Chet Faker

Nightcall – Kavinsky (The Drive Sound track)

And if we came to visit you in Victoria, where would you take us for the best hot coffee-post cold surf?

CLARE: The Food Store in Aireys Inlet. The closest thing you will get to a Melbourne coffee down the coast!

FRAN: Agreed.

Fran Derham and Clare Plueckhahn are two young Australian wahine who make up content-creation company, Cos We Can. You can explore more of Clare`s individual work here and get to know Fran`s writing, here. They also have a regular presence on Korduroy TV and you can stalk them on facebook. 


  1. Pingback: SHESURFS « Salt Gypsy

  2. …such inspiration…

  3. Pingback: MIRAGE BIKINI « Salt Gypsy

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