My wife and I are in Sydney at the moment for business meetings, and last night we had dinner with friends.
Wayne and Libby Pashley are amazing people.
Professionally, they are top of their tree.
They are sound designers for motion pictures, and they're not only the best in Australia, they're amongst the best in the world.
What's a sound designer?
Imagine going to a movie in the cinema, and you're watching the pictures but there's no sound. What they do is they create the sound.
The sound you hear in movies is there because of the work of the sound designer. It is one of the most complex crafts in the filmmaking process.
And Wayne and Libby do big movies.
Their credits include:
- The Great Gatsby
- The Lego Movie
- Happy Feet
They recently finished working on MAD MAX – FURY ROAD, George Miller's fourth instalment of the iconic franchise. That's a big sound job, as you can imagine.
Oh and they've also done some of my films too…
They are special friends and special people.
Last night Wayne told me an amazing story.
Shortly after Christmas, their cat went missing. They loved their cat. And it had never gone missing before. But they couldn't find it anywhere.
They searched everywhere.
For days they walked through their suburb, calling out the cat's name, knocking on neighbours' doors, printing up posters to put on power poles, phoning the animal shelters and the local council – all to no avail.
They were becoming more and more frantic.
Their children would break out into tears at he mention of the cat's name.
Still it remained missing.
Wayne and Libby had a friend staying with them at the time, and so they had to be bright and cheery with their guest, but underneath it all they were grieving.
It was as though they'd lost a member of their family, which I guess they had.
Now, Wayne is not a religious person. He's not a regular church goer, but he does believe in the kind of stuff that Jen and I believe in.
A few days after the cat disappeared, Wayne was dismantling their Christmas tree. He reached up to take the angel off the top of the tree, and as he grabbed it something induced him to say to the angel:
Angel of Mercy, please bring us back our cat.
He said this out aloud to the Christmas decoration.
As he was putting the angel away in it's bag, he heard Libby outside screaming with delight:
WAYNE, GET SOME FOOD! I'VE FOUND THE CAT!
Wayne was stunned.
He told me, across the dinner table last night, that he heard Libby's voice literally ten seconds after he'd spoken to the angel, just as he was about to put it away.
Okay, that's an amazing story, right?
It's what happened.
I told Wayne that what I've learnt so far from those that I've interviewed for my PGS film is that things like that will happen to those that believe, or wish to believe, to validate and encourage that belief.
Like getting the perfect parking space.
Little ticks of encouragement.
Anyway we had a glorious evening together. We stayed late, swapping stories, catching up on stuff, laughing a lot, while the restaurant staff piled chairs up on tables around us.
We didn't want to leave, there was so much to talk about.
And as we walked back to our cars in the dark, and as we hugged and said our goodbyes, I thought about the powerful nature of our friendship.
Of the powerful nature of true friendships.
Of love, really.
It's something very special, and something to be treasured.
(Rick, a work mate, with Jennifer, Libby, Wayne)
(Taken with my iPad camera.)
(Notice the correct amount of headroom)