Cast & Crew
Chris Pahlow Director, Writer, & Producer
Chris Pahlow is a failed musician and an award winning filmmaker. He has spent the last ten years bringing stories to life through music videos, documentaries, and short films. PLAY IT SAFE is Chris’ debut feature film. You can follow him on @chrispahlow and check out his other work at chrispahlow.com.
Musical Trivia: Chris’ most successful live performance was an improvised spoken word accompaniment to Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints”. This rendition was appreciated by an audience of three elderly gentlemen.
Nicholas Kato "Jamie"
Nicholas Kato is a young actor based in Melbourne. He is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, where he received the Richard Pratt Bursary for excellence. He has performed in a wide number of theatre productions including Attempts On Her Life, The Ship of Fools, The Cherry Orchard and Electra. Play It Safe is Nicholas’ first feature film.
Musical Trivia: Nicholas’ love of music began at a young age, when he and his mother realised that the only way to stop his younger sister screaming her head off, was to blast Whitney Houston from the car radio.
Maya Aleksandra "Sarah"
Maya is an actor based in Melbourne. She has appeared in several tv commercials, including being the face of Bupa’s recent campaign. TV show appearances include Wilfred, Winners and Losers, and Neighbours.
Musical Trivia: Maya’s first CD purchase at the age of 12 was (unfortunately) “Music Box” by Mariah Carey.
Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall "Jefferson"
Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall is an Australian Canadian standup and sketch comic based in Melbourne. Follow him on @alasdairtb.
Musical Trivia: Like his character, Alasdair would really like to be able to rap. "It’s a useful skill, you never know when you might need it!"
Christine Lui "Chloe"
Christine’s most famous performance to date is playing a tree in a nativity play in grade two. These days, Christine is usually found in an office killing time by pretending to draft contracts but in her heart she knows she is living the creative dream by accumulating torturous paper cuts and making daisies out of paper clips.
Musical Trivia: In Grade 4 Christine accidentally smashed the windscreen of her parents’ car from the inside when trying to pull the instrument apart to clean out the saliva. Her music career ended that day.
Clayton Jacobson "Dad"
Clayton Jacobson is an award-winning writer, director, & producer. His debut feature film "Kenny" was a massive hit at the Australian box office and currently holds a 100% fresh rating on rotten tomatoes. Clayton has also acted in a wide number of films including the multi-award-winning 2010 film Animal Kingdom.
Musical Trivia: As a child Clayton used to regularly practice the drums in the empty space beneath the floor of his family home.
Spencer Gigacz "Spencer"
Unlike his character, Spencer Gigacz loves playing music and is currently teaching himself both guitar and piano.
Musical Trivia: Spencer’s first instrument was the cello but he was forced to give it up when his teacher fell from a balcony and broke her back.
Kane Felsinger "Craig"
Kane Felsinger stepped out of the VCA and has been working consistently as an actor in the independent theatre scene for new Australian works. Kane’s TV debut will be in Peter Helliar’s TV series “It’s A Date” and the ABC’s new TV series “Upper Middle Bogan”. Kane is represented by JM Agency.
Musical Trivia: Kane used to play the acoustic guitar. He found out at the age of 12 that it was not called the “gluestick” guitar.
Mantra "Android MC" + Original Music
Mantra is an Obese Records alumni with three albums under his belt, an outstanding amount of airplay and, above all, the kind of respect that earned him the label "your favourite rapper’s favourite rapper".
Matt Lewin "Dave"
Matt Lewin is an electronic music producer and guitarist based in Melbourne. Matt uses a range of stringed and percussion instruments from South-East Asia, electric guitars, voices, electronic production and samples from his kitchen, to create his pieces. He also experiments with the sounds of prepared instruments – conventional instruments, altered to create an unconventional sound. Check out his work here.
Musical Trivia: Each track from Matt’s latest album, Ghost Songs, is about a different person in his life.
Jeremy Hopkins "Raydar"
As an actor Jeremy has appeared in Aussie TV shows like Neighbours, Winners and Losers, Blue Heelers, the Saddle Club and Full Frontal. As a drummer and vocalist Jeremy has toured extensively at home and overseas in the US, Canada, the UK and Asia, and has a degree in music from the Victorian College of the Arts.
Musical Trivia: At age 4 Jeremy’s favourite song was “Careless Whisper” by George Michael.
Matt Joe Gow "Blake"
Originally from New Zealand, Matt Joe Gow spent many years travelling through Europe, Asia and North America before settling in Melbourne and signing with Liberation records. Having released two very different sounding albums and toured with artists such as Chris Isaak, Jon Butler Trio and Kate Miller Heidke, Matt is currently back in the studio working on a third album. Check out his music here.
Musical Trivia: Matt got his first harmonica as a prize at the age of 7 after winning a piano competition that his mum was pretty sure he’d lose after playing the whole thing an octave too low.
Sherwin Akbarzadeh Cinematographer
Since completing his studies at AFTRS, Sherwin has worked as a cinematographer and gaffer on promos, drama and music videos in Australia and the United States. PLAY IT SAFE is his second feature film. Keep up with him at sherwinakbarzadeh.com.
Musical Trivia: Seeing himself as a born bassist, Sherwin rote-learnt the complex rhythms of many Joy Division songs, but failed to learn a single scale. He gave up the bass soon after.
Jaque Fisher Cinematographer
Jaque Fisher graduated Bachelor of Film and Television from the Swinburne University of Technology. He has acted as cinematographer for a wide range of productions including the indie feature film “Bush Weed” (currently in production). Check out Jaque’s work at jaquefishercinematography.com.
Musical Trivia: Since mastering the recorder in Grade Prep, Jaque hasn’t felt the need to expand his musical knowledge any further.
Raechel Harding Editor
Always keen to challenge mediums, Raechel’s passion for storytelling grew after completing her first interactive documentary. Since then she has worked as both editor and producer on a variety of high end corporates, music videos and shorts. You can view more at raechelharding.com.
Musical Trivia: A teenager with angst, Raechel took up the drums to complete an all girl garage band, quickly mastering Marilyn Manson’s version of Sweet Dreams.
Nathan Liow Composer
Nathan Liow is an acclaimed and award-winning pianist, composer and producer based in Melbourne, Australia. After performing extensively throughout the Australian Jazz Festival circuit, he has received high praise from Australian jazz luminaries including Dr Tony Gould, Simon Barker, Paul Grabowsky and his music has been featured on ABC Radio, Triple J, PBS, RRR and 3MBS.
Musical Trivia: Nathan can play piano and (if pressured) french horn, bass clarinet, guitar, violin and saxophone. In Year 8, Nathan fired a spring-loaded projectile into his music teacher’s head.
Oscar O'Bryan Music Supervisor
Oscar O’Bryan is a musician, DJ, and entertainment lawyer based in Melbourne. He regularly performs as part of the Two Bright Lakes DJs, and plays trumpet with Speed Painters.
Musical Trivia: In year twleve Oscar was his high school’s music captain where his main job was to introduce musical acts at assembly each week. He used the phrase “enjoys long walks on the beach” more than once when introducing these estemmed guests.
Jennifer Wong Production Designer
Jennifer Wong is an Architect and Designer based in Melbourne. She has worked as production designer on a number of music videos, and her debut jewelry collection “Made by Mei Wah” is due out in late 2015.
Musical Trivia: Jennifer learned piano until grade three but gave it up after realising that she had more aptitude for the visual arts.
Shannon Woodford Production Manager
After working in film distribution in Melbourne and the UK, Shannon completed a Post Grad in Arts Management at The University of Melbourne and has since worked as a Production Manager on various short films, music videos, live events and theatre productions.
Musical Trivia: Shannon completed her AMEB music exams up to Grade 6 when she was 12… on the recorder.
Jack White Writer
Jack read Robert McKee’s “Story” at the young age of six, and in 2010, Jack agreed to co-write PLAY IT SAFE after a back-to-back screening of Half Nelson and Transformers 2. He only hopes to attain a glimmer of the genius achieved by Michael Bay.
Musical Trivia: Jack studied piano for six years and has maintained an extensive repertoire of two songs.