indoor fountains make girl-centric, candy colored nostalgia trips

We speak to Australian filmmaker Amy Dellar about documenting girls having fun with romantic honesty.

by Savannah Anand-Sobti
19 May 2015, 12:20pm

If you were a kid in the 90s or early 2000s, movies like Larry Clark's Kids or American Pie probably left a lasting impression on you. We feasted on a array of Hollywood and arthouse movies which were predominantly set in the remarkably groomed and melancholic suburban streets of America. It created, what seemed to us, a clear idea of what it was like to be young, and it romanticised the idea in a compelling kind of way. 

Cue Amy Dellar, an up and coming film maker, who goes by the creative name Indoor Fountains and whose independent projects mostly compromise of working with like-minded, budding creative ladies like herself. Using nostalgic references we all can relate to, Amy draws inspiration from the films of her adolescence. We spoke to her to get a better idea of how she derived her style and how she fits into the Melbourne film scene.

What's the story behind the name Indoor Fountains?
I have a fascination with American consumerism and that nostalgic feeling. Obviously, growing up in the 90s, all those films had a impact on me. So the name is derived from all those malls having indoor fountains. They were a big part of creating zen in malls for consumers. I think it's really interesting that the flowing water is meant to be symbolic of flowing through the shops, especially with the interior architecture in the malls. It doesn't really have any connection to the films as such... well it might on a subconscious level, but I also just liked the sound of the name and the imagery it creates.

You mentioned you like to work with friends and small up-and-coming labels, is that something you mostly are drawn to?
Yeah, I enjoy shooting fashion videos for labels or jewelry designers because each collection has its own specific themes and meanings. Each project is really different so it's really fun to pull that out of each collection, out of the brand and design something new. I feel like there are so many creative people in Melbourne putting good stuff out there that everyone feeds off each others creativity. It's a great place to be.

What's it like being in the film scene in Melbourne?
Well there are two ways you can go about it: you can start off as camera assistant and work your way up the camera department, which would probably take ten or so years. It's a pretty natural route that people take. Or you can just become a cinematographer and work up the budget scale. Just start shooting for free doing short films or music videos. You want connections so you'd want to start working on commercials and music videos. Then more and more producers might want to work with you and eventually you'd climb the budget scale. So I'm basically going down both paths simultaneously at the moment. I'd love to work in film or on a TV show but at the same time I want to grow Indoor Fountains because it's so much fun.

Why do you like working with film over other mediums?
I think that film is a special medium because it uses visuals, cinematography, sound, performance and set production design that all come together to create a special world. Obviously books and photography have their place, but for me, the world to which a film can take you is really different. I remember in college we learned that the one reason someone will watch something over and over is because of the setting and where it takes you. What really got me about film, what snagged me with cinematography anyway, was the language of it and how you can communicate a story or a meaning that words can't sometimes. I think that's really special because it allows you to derive your own meaning from something and present a truth unique to cinematography.

A lot of your films feature girls and girls having fun. Do you find yourself drawn to this theme?
Yeah, I definitely do and sometimes I find it problematic because on one hand it relies on nostalgic images and it's the kind of thing I like to see and make and how I represent girls on the screen. On the other hand I try to be conscious about not being sexist. Although I like female sexuality there's a fine line between empowering that and objectifying it. If I do have females in the video and there is a sexual element I like to think that they're in control of it...because females are sexual and it should be something to be celebrated, but as long as it's for them.

I understand you recently made a film with jewellery label Underground Sundae. Could you give us a little hint regarding what it's going to be about?
Yeah, Mima from Underground Sundae directed it. She had this idea that she was really excited about which involved a lot of baby oil, skin and three snakes. That's basically it!


Text Savannah Anand-Sobti

amy dellar
indoor fountains