STUDENTS REVEAL BEHIND THE SCENES OF THEIR FILMS

1 Jul 2020

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1

Jul

STUDENTS REVEAL BEHIND THE SCENES OF THEIR FILMS

1 Jul 2020

At SAE, producing your capstone project in your bachelor degree is one of the most important pieces of work you can create during your studies. 

We spoke to four Bachelor of Film students at our Melbourne campus about their capstone projects and found out what inspired them to create their films.

Brydi Frances

Frances Brydi 

What is the title, a short synopsis and the genre of the film?
Title: Night Shift
Genre: Drama 
Synopsis: Nikki is a private support worker for Albert, a young man with autism. Albert requires 24/7 care at his home. Young and new to the job, Nikki is overwhelmed by the stresses and demands that come with being a carer. Unsuccessfully doing her best to cope, she snaps and breaks one of Albert's favourite toys. Questioning her suitability for this job, she questions if her love and care for Albert is enough to keep her around.

What was your role in the production? 
I was the Writer and Director. 

What did you most enjoy about the production process and what was the most valuable thing that you learnt? 
It's hard to pinpoint only which part of the process I enjoyed the most because I found every stage to be equally challenging and yet rewarding. It was my first time directing, and therefore the first time I had to be across all fronts in a creative capacity and I loved it.  
There were two major lessons I took away from this process, firstly, you can never be too organised and secondly and most importantly, you are only as strong as your cast and crew - so choose wisely and treat everyone with the respect they deserve and the respect you expect.

What would you like audiences to walk away with after watching your film? 
This story is very personal to me and explores a side of this world that I believe is rarely seen or noticed. We explore the unique relationship between a person with a disability and their carer. We're not family members but we are involved, care and love them as if we were. We need to know the line between our job and our heart - never an easy thing to do.
I wanted this film to break down the unrealistic stereotype that disability support workers have to be these perfect people, simply because of the work they do. In reality, they are just humans and humans stuff up and aren't perfect. There needs to be room for error and forgiveness.
So in short, I hope audiences walk away with empathy, a sense of joy and hope. 

What types of films do you aspire to create after you graduate? 
Truthful stories that take us into the lives and stories of people, to reveal the human condition, in hope to make audiences feel a connection or a sense of belonging - for a brief moment, to not feel alone in whatever you're getting through. 

Who else was on the crew?
Myself, Victoria Brennan (Write/ DOP) and Josh McAuley (Producer/ 1st AD), were the capstone students involved in this project. We also had past and current students from lower years, as a part of our crew as well as other capstone students from different areas (audio). 

Alex Konis

AlexKonis 1 

What is the title, a short synopsis and the genre of the film?
The Couch
It's an absurdist comedy about a guy who finds the perfect couch to sit on, only to be challenged for his right to do so.

What was your role in the production? 
I was the writer and director of the film

What did you most enjoy about the production process and what was the most valuable thing that you learnt? 
I enjoy all of it. From collaborating in pre-production with my cast and crew, to the challenges of production and working to a budget and deadline, right through to post. Even though this post-production was weird with having to work remotely. My favourite part is probably working with the actors. Rehearsals were hilarious, and production was just a blast.

What would you like audiences to walk away with after watching your film? 
Being a bizarre piece, rife with symbolism, it has been interesting to see and hear other people's interpretations of what the film is about. They're all different, and they're all unique, and more often than not are a reflection of that person's lived experience. I'd like for them to first and foremost, laugh (hopefully), and secondly, after coming to their own conclusions on what the film's about, to ask themselves why and how they came to that conclusion, and what that might mean about their opinions of the world.

What types of films do you aspire to create after you graduate? 
Silly, happy, thinky, beautiful comedies.

Who else was on the crew? 
Josh McAuley - Producer
Liz Calingasan - Director of Photography
Oliver Whelehan - 1st Assistant Director
Jackson Alexander - Production Designer
Benjamin Baker - Editor

Jaala Jensen - 1st Camera Assistant
Victoria Brennan - 1st Camera Assistant
Sunny Chan - 1st Camera Assistant
Nongbonn Nie - Key Grip & Camera Assistant
Cornelius Marco - Gaffer
Sameed Rabbani - Grip
Ben Spadaro - Sound Supervisor
Isabelle Pelle - Sound Recordist
Rob Greenwell - Composer
Rosalind Leon-Thomas - Script Supervisor
Tsz Jun Jason Liu - Assistant Editor
Andrew Petropoulos - Colourist
Mytharia Johnston - Graphics Designer

Emmalene Vidot

Emmalene Vidot2 

What is the title, a short synopsis and the genre of the film?
‘I’m Not Your Heroine’ examines pain, loss, and addiction, and the space in which they intertwine. It is the story of a mother who is helpless to alleviate the pain of her son, who turns to drugs after his father-figure commits suicide.
 
What was your role in the production? 
This project was co-created by myself and Savannah James. 
My roles were as Writer/Director, DOP and co-animator. Savannah's roles were as Editor/Animator. 
 
What did you most enjoy about the production process and what was the most valuable thing that you learnt? 
Being the first animation we've made, transforming the camera footage into rotoscope animation was the most rewarding. 
But the most valuable lessons I took from this production was from the close relationship that was formed with the protagonist. 
It was the close bond that was developed in the early stages of production that moulded the way the story was told. 
 
What would you like audiences to walk away with after watching your film? 
Empathy and compassion for substance abuse issues.
A sense of understanding of the domino effect of suicide.
 
What types of films do you aspire to create after you graduate? 
Documentary and music. 
 
Who else was on the crew? 
Savannah James - Editor/Animator (co-creator) 
Tegan Clancy - Producer 
Peter Cho - Sound

Sameed Rabbani

Muhammad Sameed Rabbani

What is the title, a short synopsis and the genre of the film?

It’s On Me 

A Muslim teenager seeking an independent life is at odds with his culture, when he is expected to line up his priorities with his mother's.

Genre: Drama, Coming of age, Slice of Life

Synopsis: It’s On Me is a short drama that follows Yusuf, a dutiful Muslim teenager who helps his mother, Sakina, with her work at a kebab shop. During an exchange of a sexually fueled text conversation with his secret girlfriend, he is accidentally interrupted by Sakina. This incident, along with his desire to attend a school camp with Erica, leads to a confrontation between the mother and son. Their argument forces them to think about each other’s contribution to their family.

What was your role in the production? 

Writer/Director

What did you most enjoy about the production process and what was the most valuable thing that you learnt?  

The entire process of making this project has been immensely rewarding, starting from writing the script. It has definitely left me wanting to write more. But, the part I've enjoyed the most is the casting process and working with first time actors. The film required a bilingual cast so the rehearsals were all about using their raw skills to craft a world that was believable. 

What would you like audiences to walk away with after watching your film?  

The idea behind this film came from a thought which involved having recognition for one’s own contribution to their family or relationship. While the story shines a light on a culture that exists in the Australian society which perhaps isn't fully understood, the narrative is in fact about complex communication, attitudes and familial relationships. The story has a universal appeal yet it has diverse characters that we see around us in our everyday life. The one night shown in the film just happens to be in a Pakistani, Muslim household in Melbourne. I want the audience to be able to connect with Yusuf's struggle at balancing his two different value systems, one he was born into and one he was brought up in.

What types of films do you aspire to create after you graduate?  

SAE has been a great platform for learning under the mentorship of some amazing filmmakers. So far, my journey as a young filmmaker has been focused on how to tell a good story and I'm still figuring out what kind of films I'd like to make. I would like to write more stories, using my identity and experiences as a migrant living in Australia. I definitely want to explore films that are filled with diverse characters and truly reflect the society we live in.

Crew

  • Writer/Director Sameed Rabbani
  • Co-Producer Callum Harrod, Abhi Parasher, Sameed Rabbani
  • Executive Producer Anita Jankovic Tristan Meredith
  • Associate Producer Aarushi Chowdhary
  • 1st Assistant Director Callum Harrod
  • Director of Photography Farah Jumat
  • 1st AC Rain Flavell
  • 2nd AC Dion Wheeler
  • Gaffer Michelle Reeves
  • Assistant Gaffer Aleksander Pedraza
  • Grip Paraskevas Mourikis
  • Art Director Jesse Dienzo
  • Art Assistant Jackson Alexander, Ryan Kendall, Fanka Q Syilla
  • Make Up Artist Shiraz Patterson
  • Editor Daniel Rabayov
  • Colourist Daniel Rabayov
  • Sound Supervisor Rizky Pratama
  • Sound Assistant Isabella Pelle

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