Grindr, for those not in the know, it pretty much the world’s premier gay phone app, allowing users to search for each other using GPS for sex, love or company. And Sydney is host to one of the largest Grindr communities in the world. That’s the focus behind The Daily Grind, a new documentary which will follow five gay Sydney men from New Years Eve through to Mardi Gras and find out what exactly we use the app for and how we do it:
We chatted with the documentary’s progenitor, Damien Dunston, about what he hopes to take away from the project, which starts shooting this weekend:
Hey Damien! So whose brainchild is this, how long has the doco been in development?
I got the idea for doco mid this year. I had been looking for some time for a film project to develop. A Grindr user myself, it was after a particularly eventful stint on the app that the idea came to me. I thought to myself, “This is an app where gay men of all ages, all ethnicities and differing motives are thrown in together and that’s incredibly interesting on a sociological level”. As a technology Grindr has enabled us to interact with strangers at any time in any place, and it’s shaping the way we live as a result. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be riveting to delve into they way people use the app on screen?” And thus The Daily Grind was born.
Are you still on track to start shooting Jan 1 and have you found your five guys yet? [The video above was a recruitment drive for stars]
I am on track to start filming in the New Year. I have found seven diverse and interesting Sydney-siders to follow and I’m excited to see where this journey takes us.
That being said I am still on the lookout for further applicants, particularly older applicants (30+) and applicants with a unique viewpoint – so if there is anyone that’s keen or knows of someone who would be please email us at email@example.com.
There was some difficulty convincing people to participate. By the very nature of the documentary we’re dealing with the most intimate aspects of peoples lives in regards to their sexual and romantic relationships. There is still a taboo around the use of technology for the purpose of casual sex, so naturally some applicants were concerned about their public reputations.
We know the stats but why did you choose Sydney particularly?
The reason why Sydney is a perfect setting for the documentary is two-fold. Firstly, Sydney is an internationally recognised GLBT capital, with one of the highest per-capita GLBT populations globally. The second reason is Australian’s have a reputation for being early-adopters of new technologies with 37% of Australians owning an smart phone. These two reasons combined mean that Sydney has a particularly active Grindr community, making it as good a city as any to be the stage for a Grindr documentary.
Can you tell us a bit more about the anchor who we saw in the video?
The anchor was me! I actually come from a graphic design and music background and only really started to move into film in the last few years.
In 2010 I went to the Australian Film Television and Radio School studying music composition for film, and it was here that I developed a strong network of film practitioners. I have composed music for several short films which have screened globally, and am currently working part-time for the film marketing agency The Solid State and the film organisation Metro Screen.
We noticed you advertising for volunteers on our jobs site. Are you hoping to fill many of the roles in this production with friends and charitable folk?
The great thing about documentaries is that they are quite self-contained productions, as opposed to scripted drama. I am working with a close friend Rob Jones, who will be The Daily Grind’s cinematographer. He comes from a vloging background, making YouTube videos around GLBT issues (his YouTube channel is ‘Robmuch’) which makes him perfect to be involved in a documentary about emerging technologies.
Apart from the production assistant role, as advertised on Pedestrian, my biggest needs will come during the post-production end. I went to AFTRS last year and am lucky enough to have incredibly talented and skilled friends who I’m hoping to engage in this process. I’m also hoping to seek funding from the various film funding bodies (Screen Australia and Screen NSW) for this stage of the production.
We’ll keep you updated on the documentary as it unfolds. If you’d like to get involved, contact Damien on the email he supplied above. Get Grinding, Sydney!