Here is some insight on one of our Feature Films Under 40 Minutes 2018 finalist with Christian Mushenko.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION BEHIND THE STORY?
I wanted to create a film that explored how we connect with others, or something outside ourselves. I believe the theme of connection, of the light that connection provides in our lives, is universal. Unfortunately, so is the experience of the resultant darkness when we are without it. In some ways the story takes on the feel of a modern fable. We stumble in the dark chasing after what we think will protect us and our families; make us happy, only to find in many cases we have excluded and ignored what is most important.
WHO IS YOUR INSPIRATION? WHAT WAS THE MOMENT THAT MADE YOU DECIDE THAT YOU WOULD WRITE THIS FILM?
Marque Kabbaz the writer came to me with some stories that were beautiful, and when we sat down together to explore the characters, I think we both knew we were on to the bones of a beautiful story.
DID YOU COME ACROSS MAJOR HURDLES DURING THE PRODUCTION / WRITING PROCESS?
This film was a thesis film to complete my Masters of Art/Directing. It was also my first narrative short film. I come from the background of a stills photographer, so am used to directing shoots, but obviously motion has so many more moving parts (sorry, dad joke!). But surrounding myself with good people is always the best advice, and I'm very proud of the result. The fact the film was to be an under 12 minute short meant we didn't have the luxury of screen time to develop the characters with lots of dialogue and situations to be screened. This meant performances needed to be very evocative and nuanced. Thankfully we found our two leads who were both stellar, and I'm so thankful to have worked with them.
MOST MEMORABLE "ON-SET" MOMENT:
The James Joyce book Ulysses features in the film, and in particular a quote from the book: “Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.” On the first morning of filming we were to shoot the scenes with the book, and I realized we hadn’t found the quote and marked the page yet. A quick message to the writer in Sydney confirmed the section of the book, which gave us a rough guide it was somewhere in the middle of a nearly 800 page book. Caroline Berhonneau (Script Supervisor) and Angela Mushenko (Assistant to Director and Producer) got to work and found the quote in time.
WHAT ADVISE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING ARTISTS / WRITERS / FILM MAKERS?
Surround yourself with good people. Believe in yourself, and do the work. And time you put into preparation will save you when it comes to the shooting. Lastly work on a project that you believe in and comes from the heart.
CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE YOUR PROJECT ON FUTURE DATES?
We have had a great run of screenings so far, and I hope that continues a bit longer!
DO YOU HAVE ANY FUTURE PROJECTS IN THE WORKS?
Yes, there is a story I'm working on about connections again. It features a young girl that has had cancer 4 times in her life, and how she sees the world. It's too early to give any more details yet though!