Posts Tagged ‘student film’

With my most recent film, My Boy finally finished and off to be sound mixed tomorrow, I can finally take a load off. It is such a relief to be finished with the project I have been working on for nearly a year. It is interesting now that I have finally created a film in which I haven’t compromised anything in the script. It has been far more encouraging and interesting to write whatever the hell I wanted and take some risks, rather than play it safe. It has been a while since I did that. Perhaps that is because I now know the reality of the filmmaking business. The costs to do everything, the requirements, the festival submissions, the distant glimmer of paid work…

I’d say the last time I made something ambitious and really enjoyable was when I was blissfully naive, and armed with nothing but a video camera and an idea:

GET OUT – A short film by Stacey Quine

 

This short film, which uses a combination of live action and photographic stop motion footage, was created and submitted for VCE Media in 2010. It recieved top marks and I submitted it to Top Screen, but I was unsuccessful there. I now wish I had thought back then to try some more avenues. It was for a while exhibited in the Gippsland Art Gallery, along with other artistic works by secondary students in the area.

I developed an interest for surrealism in cinema, and always intended on using stop motion animation in some way. I chose to explore the meaning behind dreams, and the importance of facing up to fears. It was quite a simple idea and story really.

It boggles to think, now compared with what I am doing, that this film was made with around $50, two cast members, and no crew other than myself over the course of several nights over several weeks. All the lighting was done using a couple of flood lights, prac lamps and burning through a lot of cellophane.

My actors were friends, begged and bribed, and most props I either had on hand or borrowed. Editing was done on basic software and the music was free and found on the web (Thanks Kevin Mcleod!).

I remember racing against time as I was trying to avoid kitchen/lounge/laundry renovations that were happening at the time that I shot. You can see stripped back concrete floors in some shots if you look closely.

I had very minimal technical skills at this point. I had recently worked out the powers of white balance, and I try to use it creatively. Did it work? You be the judge. The stop motion was shot on a gutsy “compact” camera with a zoom lens. I just kind of made up how to use the manual settings as I went along.

I’m not sure that if I tried to create this film again, it would work so well. Sure, I could really boost the production values, an maybe even make the storyline clearer (it isn’t terribly clear), but I quite enjoy the ambitious, amateur feel about this. It’s optimistic and I like that. I used this film to get into my course at VCA, so I quite literally would not be where I am today without this film.
This was when I really became excited about film making. Lately I feel like I’ve been bogged down in the reality and technical side of film making, but I think I am getting excited again.

Advertisements

And that is a wrap! After an exhausting three days of shooting (and countless days of pre-production), My Boy is finally in the can! I had the absolute pleasure working with some excellent actors, and an amazing crew down near Mornington Peninsula.

Here are a few production stills:

Forbidden Love: Khan Oxenham as James and Emily Milledge as Jen

Happy birthday sweetheart: James and Mother (Janet Watson Kruse)

“Who needs a dolly?”

Shooting in the bedroom

Surprisingly delicious…

“If you’ve got a car, you’ve got a dolly!”

The first couple of days were quite smooth, and I was really happy. Things got a little hairy toward the end of the second day, as we were running late, and had shot around 15oft too much, leaving less than 350ft for the final, most intensive day (nine minutes!). I worked around our stock shortage on the morning of the third day, cutting what I could. It was a truly painful process (hough to its credit, it resulted in a few creative shots). I was rewarded in the evening for my spartan use of stock with absolute knock-out performances from my two lead actors (not to mention my super taleted crew!) and I had the stock left to capture it all perfectly. I cannot wait to see the final scene.
This has been a wonderful, stressful, crazy last few weeks, but I think it was worth it. I gues I will find out how it all looks when I get it back from telecine!