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Photography by Mr Anthony Geernaert

Being born into a family where creativity is on the menu morning, noon and night has certainly helped Mr Askill to become one of Australia's most interesting artistic exports. With a talented jewellery-making brother, an artist mother and a musician father, weekends can get rather noisy (and messy) round the Askill household. The film director, artist and sometime music-maker has worked on an array of film projects during his 12 years in the business, with everyone from These New Puritans (he directed the music video for their single, 'We Want War') to Scandinavian fashion brand Acne - and all at just 33.

How did you get into making films and starting Collider?
My dad's a musician and my mum's a painter so we all grew up somewhere between art and music. When I stumbled across film making, it felt like the perfect combination of art and music, sound and image. I started Collider from my bedroom with two old friends from school and university. We all just had a common direction and felt there was a potential to start something of our own. The name comes from the fact we work across so many different disciplines: film production, graphic design and art.
Has having a creative family aided your work?
I'm really lucky with my brothers and we're all pretty close. We don't do much without getting each other's advice, so there are bits of them in everything I do. I own an apartment overlooking Elizabeth Bay and can still see the family house where I grew up with my brothers from my window. We still have a messy, rambunctious studio space that we all share there. We meet every now and again, get off our MacBooks and do some painting or whatever.

the details

I've always been a Michael Jackson fan since I was a kid, when I used to dress up like him. Maybe that's where my liking for Dior came from. He was wearing those sharp skinny jackets well before all the rock bands donned them
I played in lots of bands growing up - I think it's just a natural result of growing up with music in the family. I like how immediate music is, unlike making a film where the process can take months to finish
Even though my life is dominated by digital, I still like having lots of books around. It's a good reminder of touchstone bits of inspiration. I don't necessarily pick them up that much, but having them around can trigger idea processes
Why do you choose to use your home as an office?
I like to have a mix: I work mainly between my home and the Collider office. I go there when I need to work in that more official environment; so for meetings or when we are in production on a specific project that we need to work collectively on. My work involves generating a lot of ideas and writing treatments for projects I'm going to direct, most of which I tend to do from home - the dreaming work. I've got a pretty nice view from my house which helps clear my head and really focus. I need that balance.
How would you describe the aesthetic of your apartment/office?
There's lots of mid-century furniture and design in it so I guess that's just a style I'm into. I lived in LA for two-and-a-half years in a nice mid-century house up in the hills and I think that really rubbed off on me. I love that period in architecture and design that is specific to LA - that Richard Neutra style - so I tend to buy furniture that ties in with that aesthetic.
You have worked for several key fashion brands including Dior and the Scandinavian label Acne, are you personally motivated by fashion?
I think if you've got an appreciation for aesthetics, which is obviously a big part of what I do, you can't help but let this trickle through into what you wear. I do have pieces of clothing I wear again and again, such as my black Dior blazer, my Acne jeans, old Levi's and a couple of pairs of old black boots that I've had for about 10 years that just seem to get better and better with age.
Sydney seems to be bursting with creativity at the moment; why do you think this is happening now?
There is definitely a richer scene here at the moment. I have lived abroad a lot over the years but I have to say I'm spending progressively more and more time back in Sydney because it feels like there is a lot going on here right now and there are great projects to work on, which wasn't always the case a few years ago. I think it's a bi-product of the internet and how it has connected us all to the rest of the world.
And finally, what are your tips for hanging out in Sydney?
Hire a bike and get around that way. We have heaps of great parks to cycle around in and you get to see the city a lot better that way. Go to some good restaurants: I'm a big fan of Italian food and tend to go to the same places like North Bondi and Fratelli Paradiso in Potts Point. Both have a good vibe and do great coffee. And they're close. I'd also suggest a beer or two in this bar called The Norfolk, on Cleveland Street, which is like a traditional Australian pub that's been taken over by some cool young people, but not in a pretentious way.
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