A lot has happened in the two months since the first Absolution blog went up on November 20, except for the week or so over Christmas and New Years where very little happened. As it should be.
In late November I was hoping and starting to try to recruit crew to help make Absolution. I am very happy, surprised, grateful and lucky to have had a team of people come on board to make this short film happen.
Before I give them all a big thank you I thought I’d just explain how the band got together. Maybe some of this will be useful for other aspiring filmmakers (individuals, duo’s or small groups) particularly in Perth (but hopefully this will apply more broadly) who want to make a short or feature film, but can’t do it without help and don’t have deep pockets.
People know people and there’s some awesome people out there
If I literally tried to recruit every individual crew member myself by approaching them out of the blue it probably wouldn’t happen. But people know people. And approaching people out of the blue was my approach, sort of. On some fronts.
The initial roles I thought I needed to fill first was a producer and a production designer. So I started by just asking people. An e-mail out of the blue to a very talented, helpful and friendly Perth based production designer (Monique Wajon) led to her passing on the details of one of her very talented, and also friendly and helpful set dressers, Kaylee Higgott. After sending a script to Kaylee she agreed to meet and subsequently came on board as production designer. AWESOME!
The same day I met with Kaylee I also met Daisy Benson (WA Screen Academy Graduate), who would be our 1st AD on our country shoot. Our meeting came about a bit differently. John Rapsey (WA Screen Academy) was a scriptwriting teacher of mine at ECU. I visited him at the Screen Academy and told him myself and DP Shane Piggott (also a past student of John’s) were looking to team up with a producer. I’m very grateful for him for putting a call out on the Screen Academy Facebook page.
That didn’t land us a producer straight away, but did result in writer/director Daisy Benson getting in touch. We met up and she agreed to help out as an AD. She has plans for another short of her own soon so it’ll be great if Shane and I can work and help out on that film.
From there Daisy set us up with producer Hannah Moran (fellow WA Screen Academy graduate) and costume designer Jacinta McDonald whom both kindly came on board. Hannah’s brought a level of organization and direction to pre-production that has been incredibly helpful, organised casting… heaps of stuff. Then Hannah put me in touch with Daniel Purcell (WAAPA sound graduate) who has kindly come on board as everything sound – recording, mixing, composing, etc. As well as Callan Manner’s, our trusty first AD through our first two very late nights – thanks for coming on board so late in the game and meeting us on the day!!
Declan Tier, a driven and talented filmmaking student at ECU had worked with us on ‘Parents that Fight’ for Legal Aid. I knew Shane needed at least two guys in camera department (In hindsight should have probably tried to wrangle two for grips and two for lighting/electrical as those guys worked their asses off).
I asked Dec if he’d be interested and if he knew anyone else who might be. He was and he did. He brought Robert Faulkner into the fold and Shane has been stoked with how the team have performed under some very trying focus pulls on very shallow shots.
So I suppose the most important thing is don’t be precious with your script. Don’t talk about writing it or talk about making it (or at least don’t do this when it’s a long way off). When you’ve written and re-written and re-written it. Share it. Get it out there. Contact people. See who else might be interested in getting more filmmaking under their belt (in whatever role that may be). You can return the favour in the future and thus work on more projects yourself, learning, contributing and hopefully making more contacts. You may get no responses from some, rejections, advice, whatever. It’s all part of it. Take it on the chin, who the &#%! are am I? It doesn’t matter what you plan to do, just what you actually do. (Thanks Uncle Ben)
Now that a massive 3 nights and a day of shooting are behind us Shane and I just want to say a huge thank you to the crew and cast. Kaylee Higgott, Jacinta McDonald, Hannah Moran, Daisy Benson, Stephen Burge, Anita Jacobsen, Declan Tier, Robert Faulkner, Callan Manners, Daniel Purcell, Dalip Sondhi, Gemma Cavoli, Jess Colgan-Toohey, Shaylan Sondhi, Melody Rom, Cody Brown, Mariza Butler and Nicole Crouch. Thank you!