Maintenance is exploration into the power of memory. I wanted to create a film that could be both a poetic narrative piece as well as conceptual art. I filmed in my Grandparents home, just after they passed away and it was left exactly the way I remember it as a little boy.
Cathleen, my grandmother, loved this house. She loved her garden. She loved the flowers and the trees. She loved the grass and the number 62 on the mail box, the dripping taps and weeds that grew in the cement path. She loved to keep everything, even if something were broken it was never thrown away. Maybe it could be useful, she would tell me.
She loved Adam, my grandfather. And he loved her too. He loved his shed. Full of tools and pieces of metal and wood. I was always told he could make or fix anything. He makes the nuts and bolts to hold it together my Dad would say.
He played the trumpet. He was a Mason. I asked him to show me the secret handshake, but he never did.
They had a pet kangaroo and a cat named Smokey.
That clothesline was of another era my Dad would say.
When they passed away the house was going to be sold. The family needed to clean it up, go through everything they kept close, everything they left behind. I could feel the memories. Like they were trapped inside and attached to all the little things in there.
I realized memories have place. They stay where they are created as long as there is someone to maintain them.
Dael Oates is a Australian film maker, living in Brooklyn with him family including a 3 year old girl and 16month identical twin boys. With a background in both photography and design Dael is a self taught film maker. His career began at Oscar winning VFX and 3d animation studio Animal Logic. Here the exposure to a gamut of creative projects from visual FX design to art direction to story and script development created a path to Directing. He has won a number of awards of his work including the Kodak Young Directors Award. Dael’s work spans many disciplines and genres. With a toolkit of motion graphics design, stop motion animation, photography, visual FX, Dael’s multi disciplinary approach to his film making creates a unique lens to how we can experience storytelling.