A STU­DENT-DI­RECTED SHORT FILM ABOUT SHORT FILMS

With many pho­tog­ra­phers rapidly mak­ing a move into the world of video and film, it’s al­ways very in­ter­est­ing to see what’s be­ing cre­ated in the in­dus­try. One film we have dis­cov­ered is SAE In­sti­tute New Zealand film arts stu­dent Nic Brook­land’s short docu

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Learn about SAE In­sti­tute New Zealand film arts stu­dent Nic Brook­land’s short doc­u­men­tary called The Small Short

Dur­ing the doc­u­men­tary, view­ers get to see and hear Kiwi di­rec­tors and ac­tors dis­cuss the topic of short film. “The main fo­cus was go­ing to be on seven Kiwi short-film di­rec­tors who have es­tab­lished them­selves, but we thought it would be great to book­end the ques­tions with an ac­tor’s point of view, too. So we roped in a hand­ful [of ac­tors] as well. There are three SAE alumni who ap­pear in there as well: Ni­cole Chen, Warren Ma­hani, and Evan Paea,” Brook­land ex­plains.

The doc­u­men­tary was filmed through­out Auck­land, with sev­eral of the in­ter­vie­wees “filmed in their nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment”. It took much of 2016 to com­plete the film, as there was a bit of coax­ing and wran­gling that needed to be done to get cam­era time with each of the cre­atives set to ap­pear in the film. “Nat­u­rally, get­ting all th­ese busy ac­tors, pro­duc­ers, and di­rec­tors in one room at the same time wasn’t go­ing to hap­pen, so we took our time un­til we could drag them from their cam­eras and com­put­ers,” Brook­land says. “[We were] aim­ing to get an un­der­stand­ing of what’s so at­trac­tive about short films, what are some of the pit­falls, and a few glimpses of Kiwi ac­tors and di­rec­tors who have used short film to get [to] where they are in their ca­reer. I was as cu­ri­ous to hear the an­swers as the boom guy and cam­era­man — we were all wait­ing to see what the sub­jects were go­ing to say.”

The re­sponse that Brook­land re­ceived from those he ap­proached to be in­volved was up­beat and keen — some­thing that en­abled him and his team to cap­ture great view­ing mo­ments: “I had worked with a few of the in­di­vid­u­als on projects be­fore, and they were more than happy to give up their time and weigh in on short film in a can­did, hon­est way. Those who we hadn’t worked with seemed more than hooked by the idea and were also happy to take time and an­swer a few ques­tions on cam­era.”

The film, which was pro­duced by Brook­land’s own pro­duc­tion squad, is to be en­tered into film fes­ti­vals once it’s re­ceived some fin­ish­ing touches.

He says, “It is a great info piece for film stu­dents or film fans want­ing to learn what short film is re­ally like from peo­ple who have been in­volved with short films for many years, had award-win­ning short films in Tropfest, [have been] se­lected for [the New Zealand In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val], and other, over­seas-based fes­ti­vals. Stu­dents and young film-mak­ers get to hear from suc­cess­ful in­di­vid­u­als who were in their shoes not so long ago.

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