Wake The Town
Gear Seven/Arc Studios/Shift
Contemplative Reptile
  • International Edition
  • USA Edition
  • UK Edition
  • Australian Edition
  • Canadian Edition
  • Irish Edition
  • German Edition
  • French Edition
  • Singapore Edition
  • Spanish edition
  • Polish edition
  • Indian Edition
  • Middle East edition
  • South African Edition

The Essential List: Alyssa McClelland



The director on the inspiration of Japan, a bitter yet sweet start to her days and baking a cake to mark the end of each job

The Essential List: Alyssa McClelland

Alyssa McClelland is a director and writer with a wonderful comedic sensibility, exemplifying a unique perspective in telling stories that are fundamentally optimistic through her crafting of performances and distinctive worlds. She has directed many award-winning commercials and has two feature films and a television series in development. Her recent short film Second Best won the Dendy Award at the Sydney Film Festival, the Australian Director's Guild Award for Best Direction, Best Short Film at the Milan Film Festival and Best Direction at Flickerfest, amongst other awards. Alyssa directed and wrote the cult-hit web series One Step Closer To Home, seasons one and two, which received a 98% funny rating on Funny-or-Die. Alyssa was the recipient of the InStyle Magazine Woman of Style Scholarship for her work as a Filmmaker.


o Place of birth: Sydney
o Hometown: Bankstown, Sydney
o Staycation: My sister’s home in Byron Bay
o Vacation: Anywhere in Italy – the homeland of my husband’s family. And Japan – oh so creatively inspiring.
o Pet: Two snails have made their (2nd) home on my balcony and they make me smile every day.
o Place of work: My work takes me everywhere and I love it.

o Place of workout: No Lights No Lycra
o Side project: Two feature films I’m writing / developing – ‘Caterina’s Valley’ and ‘Cherries’. And a personal passion project ‘Diary of a Revhead’ – a pictorial essay of my dad building hot rods.
o Mode of transport: Feet. Car. Rollerskates.
o Bonus travel essential: A small charm that contains some of my mum’s ashes.


o Artist: Patricia Piccinini, Rupert Bunny, Cindy Sherman
o Musician: Beyoncé
o Commercials / music video director: Aoife McArdle
o Film director: Alice Rohrwacher, Ruben Ostlund, Yorgos Lanthimos, Greta Gerwig

o Photographer: Martin Parr, Lee Grant, Lars Tunbjork
o Film: Force Majeure, I Am Love, Heat, Bridesmaids, The Lobster
o Series: 30 Rock, Arrested Development, I Hate Suzie, Transparent
o Commercial: All of Mark Molloy’s Apple films
o Music video: Anything by Melina Matsoukas
o Video game: Wonder Boy – the C64 version – yes that’s the last time I really got into video games.
o Board game: Balderdash
o Book: ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
o Podcast: Smartless
o Newspaper (off or online): The New York Times
o Magazine: The Gentlewoman
o Bonus culture essential: The Criterion Channel

Food and Drink

o Breakfast: Long Black. Medjool dates. Bitter and sweet to start the day.
o Restaurant: O! Hamos! Milos, Greece
o Cheap bite: Cairo in Enmore, Sydney
o Working lunch: Salad
o Favourite dish: Melanzane alla parmigiana made by my mother-in-law
o Signature dish: I like to bake a cake when I wrap a job – it gives me a sense of completion. My mandarin cake has been embraced by crews.
o Snack: Macadamia nuts. So good on set.
o Guilty pleasure: Anything from Abla’s Pastries in Granville, Sydney
o Bar: Golden Age Cinema & Bar in Sydney
o Booze: Red Wine
o Not booze: Smoothies
o Bonus food: Croissants
o Bonus beverage: Chai tea


o Phone: iPhone 12 Pro
o Computer: Macbook Air
o TV: No TV. I have a projector and screen and surround sound because I love films and let’s DO THIS PROPERLY
o Headphones: Bose noise cancelling

o Camera: My Leica Q
o Soundsystem: B&W Speakers (told you it’s serious)
o Pen / pencil: A sumo wrestling pen from Japan
o Where you document an idea: A green notebook with my name embossed across the front
o Casual clothing: Jeans and t-shirt
o Smart clothing: A dress
o Footwear: Spring Court sneakers
o App: Audible (or Kayo when the F1 is on)

o Website:
o Favourite social media feed: Instagram
o Work program: Writers Duet
o Digital work tool: iPad Pro
o Analogue work tool: My green notebook with my name embossed across the front
o Morning grooming / makeup essential: lip balm
o Bonus kit essential: Perfume! I remember jobs, trips and important life moments by the perfume I was wearing. It’s evocative of time, place and emotion for me.

view more - People
Sign up to our newsletters and stay up to date with the best work and breaking ad news from around the world.
FINCH, Mon, 22 Nov 2021 16:09:00 GMT