Sarsha Simone & Darlington Peters, ISO4.0.9
Sarsha Simone and Darlington Peters are Sydney-based creatives and founders of the production company ISO4.0.9
I’ll start out by asking how both of your weeks are going and what you’ve been working on?
Darlington Peters: I've had a good creative week. On the weekend I was shooting a music video in Newcastle and this week I've been working on new music with my brother Joseph. We are a production duo Project Peters and are getting ready to release some new material soon. It's been super busy most weekends shooting music videos whist my weeks are filled with music.
Sarsha Simone: This week has been fun planning some new content for ISO4.0.9 and moving into our new studio. Most weeks I spend working on new music and shooting visuals be it photography or motion.
Tell us about how you both met and how you formed your production company ISO4.0.9.
DP: We met working in the studio. I was working with Sarsha on her Debut EP Bodhi and at that time Sarsha was playing around with visuals. She would take content for my brother and I. We then moved into film photography, but music made us really focus on motion as we wanted to shoot our own music videos. For me personally, when I see an opportunity I tend to grab it and as we started to get more confident behind the camera I started creating music videos for the artists I was recording in the studio. This naturally turned into something I also really enjoyed doing, so we solidified ISO4.0.9 as a production company after that.
SS: One day we were talking on the phone and I was telling Darlington about a photographer who used a Mamiya 645 and how I loved the quality of the photo. It was thick with so much personality and texture right out of the camera. We both were obsessed and went down the rabbit hole of looking into film and I bought the Mamiya 645. The evolution into forming a production company was organic as we created ISO4.0.9 as a place for us to play visually and as time went on we started working with more brands and artists, this just made us turn it into a business not just a hobby.
With ISO4.0.9, you are working in stills and video production, as well as offering rental services for the venerable ARRI ALEXA. In providing this range of services, is there a particular creative ethos that you are driven by, or something in particular you want to provide for the industry through ISO4.0.9?
DP: Both Sarsha and I are driven by quality and owning an ARRI was always a goal that we had, but thought it would take longer to achieve. As independent artists we know that wanting quality doesn't always align with our bank accounts and thought why not make the ARRI ALEXA cheaper for other creatives to use. Our ethos is strongly rooted in working to uplift up-and-coming creatives and to make quality accessible to those that want it.
SS: We want to provide access to creatives to do just that: create without limits.
You mention on the ISO4.0.9 website that you are both inspired by analogue processes and the story told in a roll of film. Can you tell us a bit more about this? How long have you both been working with film and what importance does it have within your creative practice?
DP: Film helps you slow down and really make sure you have attention to detail. There is a texture of realism in a roll of film that has me hooked. We started shooting film around 2018 when Sarsha bought the Mamiya 645 and since then I bought the Pentax 67 and about 4 different 35mm cameras. They all have their own character and no two are the same. This process of shooting film has also helped in how I shoot motion. I have a very detailed process from lighting to being behind the camera that has definitely helped me save time when editing.
SS: I remember the anxiety of shooting our first roll and how we were so present with each frame we took. It was exciting and still is. We both started shooting at the same time and it has become an integral part of how we work with motion now. It's really helped us to explore exposure, lighting, production design and colour grading.
On the music front, 2020 has been a busy one for you - Sarsha, you've dropped 3 tracks this year, Triggered, Caught Between the Sheets and Guilty Feels, with Darlington Directing, DPing and Producing the accompanying music videos for each. Can you give us an insight into how your collaborative process works? Do you each have fairly distinct and separate tasks you work on or are you both involved in everything to varying degrees?
SS: Our process is very collaborative. For Guilty Feels I had a very strong visual direction I wanted to explore, but we both collaborated on shot selections and lighting. Darlington was DPing the vision that I had drawn out and colour graded the music video while I did the edit and production design. For Caught Between The Sheets, Darlington directed the video as he had a concept he wanted to shoot. He had seen the piano and setting in a studio in Marrickville that he knew would be perfect. I just styled the video and let him do his magic.
DP: When I'm behind the camera and we're on set together we tend to play off each other and if one is behind the camera the other will be on lighting and vice versa. Our skills often overlap and complement each other.
And finally, can you tell us what the future holds, what you hope to release soon, and where you would hope ISO4.0.9 will be in 5 years time?
DP: My brother and I will be releasing some new music come next year and in 5 years we hope to have a space in the Blue Mountains that is big enough to house commercial work, but affordable enough for the creatives that inspired the space. We hope to be able to balance big productions with budget passion projects.
SS: I've got some new songs that I hope to have out before the year is out and next year drop a project. In between that and creating for ISO4.0.9 in the next 5 years I hope we can build something that has longevity and is able to be accessible to creatives on the come up.