I made a short film!

Lately I’ve been trying to branch out in my creative endeavours and have started to take an active interest in the world of filmmaking. It’s such a multi-discinplinary artform that the idea of working on a combination of writing, filming and audio into one project felt like a really interesting challenge. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on terminology, technology and the general creative process and I’ve discovered a world of appreciation for things such as screenwriting, lighting, filming, acting, editing, sound effects, scoring and even the more commercial aspects like budgeting, distributing and marketing. Films touch upon so many of the creative and commercial outlets that exist and I have realised (and am still continuing to realise) all of the things that I’ve taken for granted when I sit down to a watch a film (or TV Show, Web-series etc). The more I read, listen and experiment, the more I come to realise that any one of the components making up a given film are a discrete and complex artform in their own right.

My other half came across this short film competition to produce a short film that had to be no longer than a minute and also revolve around the theme of ‘a bad day at the office’. I decided to give it a go and after throwing around some initial ideas, I thought it would be interesting (and practical!) to make the film from a perspective of a freelance composer; whose office would be at home and a ‘bad day’ would be something like not having the motivation or inclination to produce any music – plus I’d be able to make use of my piano! I also happened to be going hiking with a friend in the Exmoor countryside so I tried using that to my advantage by featuring it in a dream sequence of sorts (a friend of mine who I was hiking with happened to take the below picture as I was working on the film – it’s a little self-serving of me but a nice pic either way!).

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The actual filming itself was done on my iPhone 5S with Moondog Lab’s Anamorphic adapter. I know phones don’t have all the bells and whistles of an actual purpose built camera, but as I’m new to all of this I figured that the actual framing, lighting, story and sound are the most important foundations of making a film, regardless of the actual devices used.

Taking the various Exmoor parts into account, I ended up shooting for around 3 hours (with my other half Lucy helping on the indoor scenes) and then spent another 2 or 3 hours editing, colour grading and adding sound. The fact that it had to be no longer than a minute was an interesting challenge for me too as I was forced to try and make every moment relevant to the story.

I’m pleased with the finished outcome and even though it didn’t make the final picks (the ones which did are some really well made, interesting takes on the theme) I am still really happy with finishing it and making something that I felt also fit the spirit of the competition well. I’ve already filmed my next short film (with the help of my brother), inspired by the silent movie era which i’m currently scoring and hoping to be done with in the next few weeks!

Writer’s Block is available to watch below. Hope you enjoy, thanks for reading!