Debrief: Baggage – Short Film

What a rollercoaster it was trying to accomplish all of my pre-production for this short film in such a small amount of time. Surprisingly it all came together really well. It was also incredibly insightful to work with a larger team of people and see how their input shaped the film.

When I originally came up with the concept for the film, I thought it would be easy to coordinate. However, the entire film hinges on the performance of the male lead actor, who carries the weight of the plot. In pre-production, I had visualised the sequence to be quite different to how it turned out during production.

When auditioning the actors, I narrowed the selection down to two applicants. One had the emotional reactions I had visualised, but the other was pleasant to work with and took my direction better than the first. It was interesting for me to choose the latter, Matthew Theodorou. Even though his interpretation was not what I had originally scripted, he realised a different sort of emotional response that ended up working incredibly well.

I also came into connection with Josie Hanuska, who handled all of the hair and special effects make-up. She was a gem to have during pre-production and would give different options and ideas about styling choices, which ones she thought would suit the theme best, and which one she thought would be most practical. It was also incredibly useful having her on set throughout the shoot as she would self-direct when make-up needed to be touched up and helped maintain continuity in the shots.

The entire team worked incredibly well, including the supporting actress Alicia Leckie, and my Director of Photography Hannah Herrmann-Payne. Despite the minor hurtles that came up during the shoot such as the weather change, we managed to resolve issues and come up with alternatives that worked out well. I was thoroughly impressed with the workings of the shoot, regardless of the footage, and thought the cast and crew all worked together impressively.

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