Stuart McBratney has directed numerous short films and music videos, a tv series, two feature films, and around 500 tv commercials for clients including McDonalds, Honda and Sony. He's currently a PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and lectures at the New York Film Academy, Sydney. Pop-Up is his second feature film as writer/director/producer. He was also the film’s editor, sound designer, and composer.
Born in Sydney, Australia, Stuart McBratney was inspired to become a filmmaker at age seven, upon seeing The Empire Strikes Back.
After finishing university at age 19, he moved to London the following year. There he worked in a variety of factory and office admin jobs, eventually landing freelance directing assignments for a pay tv station.
Upon his return to Australia after 18 months, he found full-time work as corporate cameraman in Brisbane, shooting countless cheap commercials, only to be made redundant after a corporate merger. He then returned to university to study honours in film and tv production, and for his thesis made his first feature film, Spudmonkey. Better late than never, it received a limited theatrical release 8 years later.
In his late 20s, McBratney was offered his first full-time directing job. It was to write, produce, direct, shoot and edit low-budget tv commercials for a regional tv station in Bundaberg, servicing a population of 50,000. He made the most of the opportunity, and within two years had moved to the head office in Canberra to make ads for the national market.
Torn between his love of film and music, he soon left Australia to live in Berlin for a year, collaborating with producer/dj Chopstick to create the rock opera Soul Delay by The Mischief Engine.
Upon his return Down Under, he missed Berlin dearly, so he threw himself into commercials. By now he was attracting clients such as McDonalds, Honda and Nike.
Not content making movies shorter than a rock-paper-scissors match, his production company began to focus on longer projects. The first of these was Back in the Soviet Bloc, a 7-episode factual tv series shot in Russia and Ukraine. The second was Pop-Up.
Stuart McBratney has left too many books half-read, occasionally falls asleep with his guitar, and does boxing to counterbalance hours staring at glowing rectangles.