Premiere of four new short films
made in Cornwall
The Digital Shorts scheme is run by the New Cinema Fund of
the Film Council, in partnership with a number of key partners
across England. South West Screen, the regional media agency
for the South West, is one of these partners and has produced
eight Digital Shorts films, four co-produced with the Objective
One funded Cornwall Film Fund and four with HTV-West. The
aim of the scheme is to enable talented film-makers to make
innovative short films using digital technology.
Film Council, South West Screen and Cornwall Film ran an
open competition to choose the four projects to go into production.
A weekend training workshop for all eight film-makers from
the South West was held in Truro, led by US producer and publisher
Michael Wiese (who lives in West Cornwall).
Production of all four Cornish films was undertaken by Aurora
Digital Films Cornwall Ltd, a company created for the purpose
by producer Beatrix A Milburn, whose company Aurora Films
Ltd is an established and successful Cornish-based enterprise.
Film Council representative was Caroline Cooper Charles (Short
Film Consultant to the New Cinema Fund). The Executive Producers
were Sarah-Jane Meredith for South West Screen and Colin Rogers
for Cornwall Film Fund.
Caroline Norbury (Chief Executive, South West Screen) says:
"These four digital short films illustrate the exciting
new work being made by the filmmaking community in Cornwall."
Sarah Jane Meredith (Executive Producer for South West Screen)
adds: "The Cornish films will form part of the national
package and will be offered for distribution world-wide. We
also hope to see them screened at festivals in the UK and
abroad. So the scheme will deliver a range of benefits
as well as the chance for 4 talented film-makers to make their
films, we have also given around a hundred other people the
chance to work on a production and the resulting films will
carry the message about the quality of Cornwall's film-making
to a national and international audience."
Colin Rogers (Director, Cornwall Film Fund) says: "This
is the first scheme that the Cornwall Film Fund has run jointly
with the Film Council (South West Screen is one of our main
funding partners). Its been a great opportunity to make short
films in a way that allows the film-maker almost complete
control over the technology of film-making because digital
equipment is far cheaper and the processes more user-friendly
than conventional celluloid film demands. This is the way
that film is heading and it means that people in Cornwall
who want to make films will no longer be at a disadvantage.
In fact, they are leading the way."
Producer Beatrix A Milburn says: "The Digital Shorts
are the first films I have produced in Britain for many years.
It was a great opportunity to work with some bright individuals
who have been brave to experiment with digital production
and make some unusual films. It has been a real bonus to find
people with integrity, talent and humour to collaborate with
here in Cornwall."
The four films, in alphabetical order
of the film-makers, are:
Birt Dynely by Paul Farmer
Paul Farmer says: "Although BIRT DYNELY is set in the
real town of Falmouth, Cornwall, it is comedy fiction - a
strange tale of loss, ambition and endeavour ending with a
tragic retreat into fantasy. It is the allegory of both a mythical beach and a life suffocated
in the choking folds of political apathy and the pursuit of
Jubilee Pool by Nick Harpley
We asked the director, Nick Harpley, for a few words: "Well, the original idea was to make a film purely on
the architecure of Penzance's fabulous Jubilee Pool, but as
we were filming this chap kept on getting in shot. He'd just
appear. So I went to talk to him, get him to stop spoiling
the shoot, and he told me this story of how he was this famous
concert pianist and how at a concert one night, back in the
forties, he had just finished playing the particularly strenous
Scriabin 5th sonata when suddenly he found himself here, where
he has been ever since. I didn't really believe him, but his
story demanded to be told and, since he'd ruined most of our
shots anyway, this is what we ended up doing. Oddly enough,
since we stopped shooting, he seems to have disappeared."
Questioned further, Nick agreed that this was not a strictly
accurate account. He offered this instead:
"Jubilee Pool is an exploration both of the emotional
phenomenologies of place, and of the exhibitionistic anxieties
of performance. In the hiatus between the gift of performance
(libidinal expenditure) and the receipt of compensatory appreciation
(re-integration of ego), the film imagines the performer's
unconscious process during this moment. Using the enclosed
and reflective architecture of an Art Deco lido as a 'theatre
of the mind', it traces the movements of an archetypal
unfolding, which explores underlying anxieties and, finally,
resolves inherent discontinuities."
The Way Things Work by Will Jackson
"The main character, Nick, is obsessed with the way
things work", says Will Jackson. "His wife Zoë wrestles
with Nick's obsession. Nick is trying to catalogue all
the world's technology in a single comprehensive work,
his publisher has grown tired of the project but the results
of his efforts have a more profound effect on Zoë.
"He has been systematically dismantling the world in alphabetical
order where will it end?"
Will's film was made from a script written by Gary Alexander.
The story required a number of different sets but Will chose
not to build these but to create them as 'virtual sets'.
We asked Will to tell us more about how the film was made:
"All the live action in The Way Things Work was shot
against green screen and this was composited with 3D/ 2D backgrounds
during post production.
The backgrounds were built up from photographic stills and
hand painted elements, (walls, doors, furniture etc). Filming with actors took 2 days and was shot on digibeta. The postproduction period took 2 months and many hours of
rendering time. Finally we added the soundtrack - composed and recorded by
Fish Film by Richard Stewart
The FISH film - how and why?
"The story for the film came to me along time before
I realised what it actually meant. It is a film about a man who sings to fish to catch
them. His voice is so terrible that he is forced to live alone
away from the other fishermen, but the fish love it and he
is content. One day he falls in love and becomes happy but
his voice now sweetened by love catches no fish. The woman
he loves starts to go hungry and in the end leaves him for
a man who can't sing. His broken heart makes his voice sour
and harsh again and the fish return. I guess it's a sort
of musical romantic comedy tragedy.
"I realised or rather the crew pointed out to me while
we were shooting that the film is about a man who can't reconcile
his work with his love and therefore a kind of self portrait
(of me) in some respects."
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
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