The work of Sally Tran displays her love for colour, bold styles and conjuring clever things out of cardboard. Hawke's Bay-raised Tran studied fashion, then began directing a run of short films, commercials and eye-opening music videos —beginning with O'Baby for Charlie Ash. Winner of a 2013 Script to Screen fellowship to intern at New York company Killer Films, Tran later relocated to NYC, where she makes commercials and designs clothing and jewellery. Her big screen debut was offbeat romantic fantasy Timeslow - The Timeless Tales of Henry Glint.

I feel more at home realizing the US indie scene is more similar to the NZ scene than I first thought. [I] started to meet other indie directors and very quickly I realize how small this indie film industry really is. I am drawn to the energy of #justgetonwithmakingyourmovie, whether the money’s there or not. Sally Tran, in her final blog written while on scholarship with New York company Killer Films

Timeslow - The Timeless Tales of Henry Glint

2017, Producer, Writer, Director - Film

Toi La Who?

2012, Production Designer, Writer, Director - Short Film

Eat Your Cake; I'm a Vietnamese Refugee

2010, Producer, Director, Writer - Short Film

This short documentary follows refugee Mitchell Pham from a Vietnam War prison camp to a new home in New Zealand. Director Sally Tran — a 2013 Killer Films Internship Scholarship recipient — uses an interview with Pham as an adult, and live action mixed with animation to recreate the harrowing childhood journey. DIY more than CGI, the animation process was based on Vietnamese folded paper-craft. Requiring 20 volunteers, the 10,000 animated pieces of paper (and a rich score from The Sound Room) provide suggestive weight to Pham’s story of survival and courage.

Wayho

2010, Director - Music video

An eco-anthem lurks at the heart of this infectious, upbeat Minuit number. To accompany it, director Sally Tran conjures up a claustrophobic world where people are trapped inside a decaying building (actually Spookers haunted house at Karaka), and flowers and outdoor pursuits are the stuff of museum displays. Lead vocalist Ruth Carr (complete with bird make-up) and her dancers run this way and that, but there seems to be no escape. The song plays out with Carr singing to herself because she decided no-one else would write a song with her name in it.

Red Lips

2009, Director - Music video

Round We Go

2009, Director - Music video

Unorthodox My Balance Sheet

2008, Producer, Writer, Director - Short Film

Secret Game

2008, Director - Music video

The video for this debut single from singer and DJ Zeisha Fremaux cuts between candyfloss colours and Zeisha in a brunette bob against black. Rapper PNC (aka Sam Hansen) also makes an appearance. Zeisha was nominated for best female artist at the 2008 Pacific Music Awards, and played gigs in Asia. The clip is from director Sally Tran (Wayho, O'Baby).

Car Crash Weather

2007, Director - Music video

Turn Out the City Lights

2007, Director - Music video

Sally Tran's characteristic attention to detail, a kooky concept and delightful fairytale flavour shrewdly enrich the artist's track, while conscientiously keeping the entire production largely recyclable.   "There are four different sets in the video and we moved from one to the other in quick succession, shooting the whole thing in a few hours. Everything you see in the video is made of cardboard. Even the instruments (and our bow-ties!). The drums were particularly impressive." Matt Pender - Feb 09  

O'Baby

2006, Director - Music video

Winning Best Overall Video at the 2006 Radio Active Handle the Jandal Music Video Awards, Charlie ASH certainly made a splash with their debut video by director Sally Tran. The delightfully ramshackle clip for the raunchy number channels the DIY fantasy spirit of Michel Gondry as Rosie Riggir and the band inhabit a CASH-in-wonderland world of cardboard and cellophane sets, animation and colour. Caution: contains fondling of oversized instruments. 

The Living Room - Series Two (excerpts)

2004 - 2005, Subject - Television

A magazine show with an edge, The Living Room won awards for its creative and dynamic approach to covering the arts. These excerpts from series two cover a wide range of artists, from those working in multimedia to those puttng stencil art on walls. Also featured are dub band Kora, novelist Kelly Ana Morey and drummer Anthony Donaldson. In the second to last clip, Taika Waititi pretends he hasn't done any rehearsals for his one man show Taika's Incredible Show, which features an alien with ridiculous teeth and Gunther the dancing German.