Nursery Rhymes

A look at the outstanding work of the cinematographers behind a selection of short films from the 2018 Sydney Film Festival by Vanessa Abbott


Cinematographer: Aaron McLisky

Courage asks unexpected things of us. On the side of a rural highway, a bizarre encounter with a metalhead takes a profound turn. Written by Will Goodfellow, the script for short film Nursery Rhymes immediately inspired Director Tom Noakes, who set about creating a vision and a strategy to bring this complex piece of cinema to life.

The production team set about on a two-month search for their lead role ‘Metalhead Boy’. The search culminated in the discovery of Toby Wallace, an extraordinary young Australian actor who recently played the lead role of ‘Kane’ in the 2017 television remake of the Australian classic Romper Stomper (1992). Wallace does a herculean job in manifesting a nuanced performance.

McLisky’s cinematography is special. The five-minute short film consists of only two shots, the first clocking in at almost four minutes is filmed as one continuous take and beautifully adds to the chilling tension of the on-screen narrative. After 2017’s featureThe School, McLisky is one to watch.


Vanessa Abbott is a writer based in Melbourne. 

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