While in pre-production for the Boone Shepard teaser trailer, my DP Charlie Alexander decided to put me in touch with James Vinson, director of the beautiful 2014 period piece Airgirl (to the right). He was looking for a producer to put together a fantasy film about childhood wonder, innocence, and an unreasonably high nostalgia for the early-2000's... all things right up my alley!
The end result was Passage of Flick, a 10-minute short about an adventurous young girl called Flick who travels through her wardrobe in order to come face to face with her future selves.
Sounds awesome right? You know what's less awesome? A month to pull it off. Less, technically. James had certain deadlines for the film, and in order to pull it together, we needed to get working day 1! Build a set from scratch? Done. Create bedrooms with 2000's Hilary Duff and Simple Plan posters? Sure! VFX shots? No problem.
It was insane. It was stressful as anything. But my God, it was awesome.
Let's Make a Movie!
First things first, we needed a set. Empty spaces large enough to accommodate are hard to come by, but Karl Millard was generous enough rent us out his spare warehouse so we could convert this...
To do this, our fierce construction gals worked tirelessly... most of the time.
OUR STAR CAST
And then of course we needed our awesome cast. Meet our star, playing the adorable Flick: Mariah Cini!
Of course, Flick has to run into her older self, which was handled brilliantly by the amazing Monique Fisher!
We couldn't have landed with a better paired cast. Did we happen to stumble across age-differenced doppelgangers? You decide...
There were times when Young Flick had to run into herself (as time-travelling paradoxes can get a bit wibbly-wobbly), and luckily for us, Livinia Andriopollos was a star in being our Young Flick's double up. No, sorry, we didn't manage to actually invent a time-travelling wardrobe, and instead had to rely on some tricky camera placement and special effects. Movie magic, I tells ya.
So Light Em Up Up Up
A movie doesn't come together without some awesome camera and lighting people to bring it to life. With Charlie Alexander as our fantastic DP and Andy Messersmith as our gaffer in charge, we managed to turn a slab of four walls and a blue screen into a magical bedroom throughout the ages.
Initially, there were problems with how to handle the window and the view to the outside world. We first considered projection, but when moving around with Steadicam shots in a 3D space, we realized this would be too difficult. Instead opted for a blue screen, which actually turned out really nicely. Which is good, because decent projectors that show up as bright enough to sell in camera are incredibly expensive too (and then you add in flicker rates, it just becomes a logistical nightmare). Cheaper option = Happy producer.
We shot on the Arri Alexa Mini.
Side note: That beautiful picture of Charlie had me pestering him with quotes from one of my favourite parody videos. What DOES it mean to be a cinematographer?
And Then The Buzzkills
It can't just be all fun and games. When you've got a bunch of adults playing pretend for a living, SOMEBODY has to keep them in check and do the paperwork
That's a Wrap!
In the end, I think we ended up with a beautiful film that I can't thank James enough for getting me to be a part of. We can't wait to show it off to the world, and once we run it through the festival gamut, we'll hopefully get to share it out with everybody else. Stay tuned!