A tormented father seen as a crusader by some is faced with paying the ultimate price for retribution.

Interview with director Aaron Lee Noyes
My name is Aaron Lee Noyes and I'm an award winning and published Photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. Alongside my photography, I recently fulfilled a childhood dream of becoming a Screenwriter and Director.

I'm a huge fan of cinema and because of my photography background I favour strong and provocative cinematography. Roger Deakins and Paul Thomas Anderson are key influences. My first screenplay was developed into a short film titled "Mr. Gypsie". A thirty-two-minute drama featuring a talented 35-person cast and crew. The film took close to three years to develop and film due to Covid delays. My mission is to develop my craft by collaborating with dynamic teams that enable me to bring my ideas to life. I've teamed up with Australian Actor and Executive Producer Sal Galofaro to form "Gypsie Films" a boutique production company focusing on visually powerful and meaningful narrative films.


What is the story behind your film?
I wrote Mr. Gypsie in 2019 around the same time as the trial of Cardinal George Pell. I was quite moved by the victims' stories. The story that stuck with me most was that of a heartbroken father who had lost his son to suicide years earlier. He was understandably angry that his son's abuser was walking free. I thought there and then... What if he had taken vengeance against his son's abuser? In that moment the concept of "Mr. Gypsie" was born.


What should people take away, gain, realize after watching your film?
I want to leave the audience asking themselves if a good person is capable of such terrible crimes what is the true definition of evil?

Do you think that films can change people for the better or for the worse?
I believe films have the power to change people for the better. They inspire us, they leave us asking questions and offer us an invite into the perspective of others. All of which are positive.

How was the creation of your project at the time of COVID-19?
We encountered multiple challenges in pre-production due to COVID-19 including rescheduling and re-casting multiple times. The film was shot in Melbourne where restrictions were some of the harshest globally. Everyone that worked on the film believed it would be a success and wanted to be part of it. After a full year of delays, we finally managed to get an amazing team together and get it done.

What creation style did you use in the production of your project? What cameraman elements did you use?

Our Cinematographer Alper Kasap was instrumental to the visual styling on the film. Alper and I went back and forth in conversation for over two years before filming started.

We share a love for noir and the use of landscapes in films. "No Country for Old Men" is one of many key influences. We agreed the colour palette of the film would represent a desaturated viewpoint of Mr. Gypsie's world without his son.

Critical scenes were emphasised with a red, green and blue palette. The film was shot on a RED scarlet 5k with Zeiss spherical lenses.

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How did you select the actors for your project?
Sal Galofaro is not only my Co-Producer but my father-in-law as well. From day one it was him and only him I could envision playing Mr. Gypsie. Sal Galofaro committed wholeheartedly to the character. Utilizing his experience he created a nuanced laden performance with great strength, sorrow and intrigue.

Clayton Jacobson who plays the role of Roy is an incredibly talented and highly regarded Australian Actor, Writer and Director. He is the man behind films like "Kenny" and "Brothers Nest" as well as performing in "Animal Kingdom". Clayton was the perfect support for Sal having clear on-screen chemistry.

All other supporting roles were filled by talent who resonated with our story and complemented Sal's performance. I made a point of using various Australian backdrops throughout the film which I believe compliment all elements.


Why do you think your film should appeal to distributors?

We have all toyed with the idea of seeking revenge. The desire to make those who have done wrong by us "pay" is a feeling that almost everyone has experienced but most never act on. Our main characters' pain and suffering is relatable in one way or another to everyone no matter where on the globe you live. I'm currently working on a feature length script that explores the main characters' history and story beyond the short film. I feel this will add another layer of appeal.

At which festival has your film been screened?
We are very early into our festival campaign, however at the time of this interview we were officially selected for the London Director Awards, in which we won "Best Australian Director" for our film. A welcomed result with many applications yet to be seen.

How did your acquaintances react when they first saw the film?
We screened Mr. Gypsie for the first time over two nights at our local neighbourhood cinema. We had roughly 50 guests at each screening. The film was very well received. The plot twist produced a powerful mix of emotions from people and that was a standout moment for me. I loved the mix of feedback however the most pleasing was that Sal's performance was amazing, People wanted to see more!

If you could change something in your film, what would it be?

I believe it's only natural to look back over a project and think about small changes you could make but I am extremely proud of this film and am thankful for the entire experience.

Which movies are your favorites and why?
My favourite films are No Country for Old Men, There will be Blood, The Revenant, Drive and The Batman. They're filled with themes I'm drawn to and every time I watch them, I am fully immersed throughout. I'm inspired by the use of vast environments, the pace, and the intense performances.

What topics do you like to address in your stories?
In this story I have chosen to draw attention to pain and its many forms. There is a strong focus on grief and mourning. These are emotions that I don't always navigate well, and I found focusing on them with this project quite cathartic. I like to explore human behaviours at their extremes and get people thinking and questioning themselves and the world.

What is your motivation in making films?
My purpose is to tell moving and original stories containing themes people can resonate with and have lengthy conversations about long after watching.

Which contemporary filmmakers motivate you the most?
Denis Villeneuve, Paul Thomas Anderson, Coen brothers and Quentin Tarantino of course! Denis Villeneuve has the uncanny ability to immediately remove me from reality to a point where it's hard adjusting back when the credits roll!

What projects do you plan to shoot in the future?
I am currently working on a short film titled "Remember" which is the story of a man reminiscing on a life well lived with shooting commencing in March 2023. I also plan on shooting my first documentary about Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is a chronic hereditary health condition I suffer from and wish to shed light on.

After these projects I hope to fund and produce a feature film about Mr. Gypsie which will explore his story in more depth and continue the narrative of the short film.