HollyShorts Film Festival

Don’t forget to get your tickets to #HSFFMonthlyScreening April 23rd @ChineseTheares         HollyShorts Monthly Screening Series Thu. April 23, 2015 7:00 PMHollyShorts Film Festival BUY TICKETS      HollyShorts Monthly Screening Series Thu. April 23, 2015 9:00 PMHollyShorts Film Festival   HollyShorts Monthly Screening series is an annual monthly film showcase highlighting various films from all genres. Now 10 years running and 8-9 screenings a year around the HollyShorts Film Festival in August. In Los Angeles, the screenings will take place at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres.  6801 Hollywood Blvd  7pm Feature Film:  SIMPLE BEING  92 min | Drama, Romance, Docu-fiction  Cast: Sol Mason, Paul Sand, Jasmin Radibratovic, Jeff Adler Director: Marco Ferrari Producers: Chiara d’Alfonso, Susana Hornil, and Mauricio Vedovato Executive Producer: Patrick Narea   A young man who feels he doesn’t fit in, decides to embark on an intimate journey. Three weeks for three impediments: deafness, mutism and blindness. Three weeks not to escape, but to find reality.                                                                           ★ ★ ★ ★ ★       “A movie – experience”     Flavia Ribeiro – Veja         “Innovative yet meaningful at the same time,       style and substance, idea and image”     Sam Coe – Shlur         “Unforgettable       it will stay with you through       the end of the day,  the next day, and so on”      Raquel M.Cukierman – Almanaque Virtual                                                                             ★ ★ ★ ★ ★   THIS SPRING EXPAND YOURSELF   Official website | Presskit | Facebook     HollyShorts Monthly Screening series is an annual monthly film showcase highlighting various films from all genres. Now 9 years running and 8-9 screenings a year around the HollyShorts Film Festival in August. In Los Angeles, the screenings will take place at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres.  6801 Hollywood Blvd  9PM Short Film Program:  Avenge Dishonestly Yours The Other Client List Turncoat  Oceanmaker The Trunk Ending Up Clean Break The Joneses The Event What Happened To Haley Spencer?

Don’t forget to get your tickets to #HSFFMonthlyScreening April 23rd @ChineseTheares 


HollyShorts Monthly Screening series is an annual monthly film showcase highlighting various films from all genres. Now 10 years running and 8-9 screenings a year around the HollyShorts Film Festival in August. In Los Angeles, the screenings will take place at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres.  6801 Hollywood Blvd

7pm Feature Film:  SIMPLE BEING

92 min | Drama, Romance, Docu-fiction

Cast: Sol Mason, Paul Sand, Jasmin Radibratovic, Jeff Adler
Director: Marco Ferrari
Producers: Chiara d’Alfonso, Susana Hornil, and Mauricio Vedovato
Executive Producer: Patrick Narea


A young man who feels he doesn’t fit in, decides to embark on an intimate journey. Three weeks for three impediments: deafness, mutism and blindness. Three weeks not to escape, but to find reality.

                                                                         ★ ★ ★ ★ ★       “A movie – experience”     Flavia Ribeiro – Veja         “Innovative yet meaningful at the same time,       style and substance, idea and image”     Sam Coe – Shlur         “Unforgettable       it will stay with you through       the end of the day,  the next day, and so on”      Raquel M.Cukierman – Almanaque Virtual                                                                             ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

THIS SPRING EXPAND YOURSELF


Official website | Presskit | Facebook
 

HollyShorts Monthly Screening series is an annual monthly film showcase highlighting various films from all genres. Now 9 years running and 8-9 screenings a year around the HollyShorts Film Festival in August. In Los Angeles, the screenings will take place at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres.  6801 Hollywood Blvd

9PM Short Film Program:

Avenge
Dishonestly Yours
The Other Client List
Turncoat
Oceanmaker
The Trunk
Ending Up
Clean Break
The Joneses
The Event
What Happened To Haley Spencer?

Filmmaker Spotlight: Ben Aston

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By Chelsea Fung

@CineChel


London Film School student Ben Aston bares all with us about the making of ‘He Took His Skin Off For Me,’ a short about a relationship, answering the question: ‘What would you do for love?’

He Took His Skin Off For Me was harmoniously put together by a band of students along with guidance from SFX professionals, which took them to this year’s prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Aston tells us about the journey from page to crowdfunding to screen and how he went about making his short so bloody fantastic.

What drew you to tell the story of this couple?

When I first read Maria’s remarkable story I couldn’t believe it didn’t already exist as a film. The imagery and the language were at once haunting, dark, tragic and beautiful. It feels so familiar yet it’s totally unique. I just simply couldn’t stop thinking about it, I was dreaming about it. I could see it. The worst thing about ideas like that is that you have to make them to get them out of your head. I guess I was drawn to it because I didn’t want to keep having dreams about skinless people.

How did you go about adapting the story into a script? What changed from the original story?

There was a very long writing process, but it was almost entirely structural. The content itself sticks very closely to the story. I pretty much trusted in that special thing she had channeled and tapped into, it felt like a precious commodity and worth preserving. Anything new (like him returning to the closet or her testing her own skin) were embellishments that naturally came out when trying to retell the story to someone else.

Tonally it was all there from the start, paradoxically mundane and horrifying. Obviously SEEING a skinless dude is a very different experience from imagining it, so we had to compensate somewhat. Just like with the robbery in Dinner and a Movie it felt important that we make it the friendliest version of this story possible, lest it becomes unbearable. I was scared that the skinless man would just look silly when speaking. The decision to keep the voice-over was long discussed throughout the adaptation process. I felt that it was essential as a way of communicating the tone of the story and effectively deflating the horror that only showing the imagery would result in. I loved the wordplay present in Maria’s prose, but we had to be able to let this film exist on its own. We decided that the voice-over should fill the holes that the audiences can’t directly see and should, where possible, work against what we are seeing to create a dynamic that reveals more about the character. However, given that the plot of the film is very unusual, it was important that the voice-over also explain what was happening on screen without falling into the trap of simply describing it. The best way we thought we could achieve this was by losing all dialog entirely. We felt it would secure the voice-over and prevent it from feeling invasive. Finally it also helped avoid an inevitable production problem, I was scared that the skinless man would just look silly when speaking.


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Tell me about your process of bringing the story from page to screen:

We had to achieve a skinless man, but never really had any idea exactly how we were going to do it, we just sort-of knew we would. We were in the process of developing the screenplay adaptation and had taken a few meetings with both VFX and SFX houses across London but weren’t being quoted realistically achievable amounts. Turns out it’s super expensive to make something impossible.

It was by chance that I heard that Colin Arthur, who was the SFX supervisor for The Never Ending Story and countless other films, was holding a weekend workshop about prosthetics and practical effects. I attended the class and afterward had a long chat with Colin and his wife. After some pints and a few great war stories, they were in. His one condition being that we construct our team using people from the class. This was how I met the amazing Jen Cardno, who became our SFX supervisor. She had just dropped out of the Royal College of Art and was at the time a guardian at an abandoned old-folks home, which would become our ramshackle studio! Colin really wanted to give back and help. He was able to share his years of experience with our young and vibrant team of makeup artists and sculptors.

In the end, we had an FX crew of over 12 people constructing hundreds of individual muscle pieces in a wonderful abandoned west-London retirement home. It was amazing, especially considering that no one was paid anything more than the smallest possible amount (we could only Kickstart the basic costs of materials). It was a real passion project from all departments. This film is a testament to their incredible talent and dedication. What they were able to achieve is genuinely groundbreaking. It delights me to see their careers take off, off the back of this film. We never considered touching it up in the computer, they made something incredible, we only want to show it off. Everything on screen is practical.

Who was part of your writing team?

Maria Hummer, who wrote the original story, was my co-writer on the film. Or rather I was her co-writer… I was just in the room really. It’s her brain on screen; I just gave it a voice.

How did you go about assembling your crew?

Almost everyone was a friend. We’ve been making and working on shorts in London for the last 4 years, so our network was pretty large. Coming to the shoot was like a big reunion party. For those people, we didn’t know the greatest draw we had was the capital of the idea. Who wouldn’t want to work on a film like this?

Who else besides the VFX artists were students?

It was my graduation film from the London Film School. The vast majority of the crew, including myself, were students.

If you were to take your skin off for someone, who would it be?

Ha. Nobody, you really shouldn’t do it.

Who would you ask to bare it all and take their skin off? (physically or metaphorically)

This is a pretty hard question to answer. The film demands you make sense of it; in constructing an interpretation you necessarily draw on your own life experience and in a way, become a part of the story. It’s a fairy tale. And the wonderful thing about fairy tales is how they relate back to our real lives.

When people tell me what they think it means (ie. Is it about baring oneself?) they are often revealing part of themselves as well. The power of the allegory is how multifaceted it is. Every audience member has their own take; sympathies and meanings seem to go in almost all directions. For some, this is a story of nakedness, about the problems that arise from holding out when your partner has bared themselves for you. Others read it as a cautionary tale of trying to lie about your true sexual identity. Others see it as a parable on sacrifice, that a love that demands such one-way giving is fundamentally doomed. By this reading, the film urges us to see a toxic relationship for what it really is – horrifying. We, the audience, see this from the beginning, and the moment the narrator understands it for herself the story ends.

The one thing that’s pretty clear from Maria’s story is that it’s probably a really bad idea to take your skin off for anyone! Things just get messy.

How was your experience at Sundance?

Insane. So many wonderful people, too many really. The whole thing was a kaleidoscope. It was an honor to have our little film played against some truly amazing other shorts. Made far too many new friends.

Was it your first time attending?

Yeah, and I now really want to go back.



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What are you working on next?

Right now, we’re developing a wonderfully mad feature called JOHN MOVES IN, which I can’t say too much about, other than it’s wacky. Basically John and his fiancee Rachel move in together, and then the next day John moves in again and again. Think Being John Malkovich meets Project Mayhem. Maybe? It’s a weird one.

If you could imagine a life outside of being an independent filmmaker, what would you be doing and why?

I’m not quite sure why, but I always thought I’d be a good counselor, I’ve never been to therapy, but from what I understand about the process it seems like a fulfilling and giving thing to do with one’s life. Also a dinosaur, I’d really like to be a dinosaur.

I’m noticing a theme with your storytelling, couple dynamics, what is the inspiration behind that? anyone, in particular?

Goodness, I’m not really sure. I guess they are all about love in some way. And any character-lead story is going to be somewhat relational. Filmmaking is therapy, you get stuff out and only in looking back do you recognise something authorial. Feel I need to make a few more before being able to properly answer the question.

Who is on your team for your feature?

It’s loosely based on a short story by Maria Hummer (HTH SOFM) and is co-written by Russian Roulette screenwriter Oli Fenton. We’re getting the band back together basically!


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If you had the curse/ability to rewind as your characters do in your upcoming feature what would you do differently making your short or while attending film school?

Every film is always unfinished so I’d want to tweak a little bit of everyone. But the biggest thing I’d do differently is to have watched a lot more films, especially shorts, a lot earlier. I guess I was a little threatened or something, and in not exploring that as long as I did I perhaps postponed my development as an artist. It took going to film school to force me to expose myself to work outside my comfort zone, which was basically anything that didn’t have ninjas.

What advice do you have to student filmmakers?

Making things makes things happen. It’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of re-writing, editing, funding, festival submissions etc and essentially standing still as a filmmaker. It’s a kiss of death. Keep making stuff all the time, at all budget levels, in all mediums and genres, just to make them. Take 48 hour challenges if you need a kick-start. Make as much as possible as often as possible. It only makes you a better artist, expose you to new people and will unblock any stagnation that larger projects might create.

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Check out our latest #FilmmakerSpotlight with @justintagg @mousexfilm by @CineChel

10th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival LATE Deadline 6/6 !

LATE DEADLINE is coming up 6/6! Submit to #HSFF2014 before it’s too late!

Check out our categories:

• Short Animation
• Short Live Action
• Short Documentary
• Student ($5 discount)*
• Music Video
• Webisodes
• Commercial
• Trailers
• 3D

Filmmaker Spotlight: Kim Garland

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Some flirt with the line between life and death, but for Kim Garland; she embraces it and injects it into her filmmaking. As a writer and director Kim has developed her filmmaking style around the congregation of those who celebrate life and mourn death, having grown up above her family’s funeral home in New York City. In Kim’s supernatural shorts trilogy she utilizes the space to challenge her characters with the idea of life and the act of death.


Kim Garland biography:

Kim Garland is a screenwriter and director from Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. She is a co-owner of City Kid Films, a co-founder of Scriptchat, and a columnist for Script magazine. At Script, she covers her ongoing experience writing and directing her first films in the column, Write, Direct, Repeat.

Kim graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Creative Writing and began her career in book publishing at Random House while continuing to write fiction. She studied screenwriting at The New School University in NYC and transitioned to the film industry through her work in literary acquisition at Braven Films, a production company headed by Producer Frida Torresblanco (Pan’s Labyrinth).

Kim made her directing debut in 2012 with the award-winning short film Vivienne Again, a supernatural thriller she shot in her parents’ Manhattan funeral home. Shortly after, she directed her second short film, Deal Travis In, a supernatural thriller starring Nick Sandow (Boardwalk EmpireOrange is the New Black).

Films written and directed by Kim Garland have screened at numerous film festivals, including Fantasia International Film Festival, HollyShorts, Dragon*Con, New York International Short Film Festival, Flyway, NewFilmmakers New York, FilmColumbia Festival, and the Big Apple Film Festival.

Tell me a quirk about yourself:

I guess the big quirk about me would be that my family is in the funeral home business and that I grew up in the brownstone building above my family’s funeral home in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC.

Probably as a result, I’ve always been fascinated by that thin line between life and death and you can definitely see that in my work today.

When I decided to direct my first short film, I started by getting permission to shoot in our funeral home and then came up with the story idea. I knew having a free and unique location was my greatest asset going into my first film so I built everything around that prime resource.

Tell me about your column for Script magazine:

I write a monthly column for Script magazine called Write, Direct, Repeat. It’s geared to screenwriters who want to learn about directing their own work, but the type of content I cover also applies to directors in the early stages of their careers.

I’ve covered a variety of topics so far, including a hands-on project that takes you through the steps of directing a scene for the first time and another piece on selecting your first film to direct. I’ve also covered script developmenttable reads,lookbooksfilm festivals and lots more. Coming out in early June, my next article will be on marketing your short film.

Where you are in your trilogy of shorts?

I’m two-thirds of the way through creating a trilogy of supernatural shorts, that are set in a covert world in NYC where people can resurrect from the dead. The films in my Resurrection Trilogy (as I’ve been calling it) are stand-alone, each with their own stories and characters, and offer a glimpse into this world through the people trying to survive in it.

The first two films of the trilogy are complete: VIVIENNE AGAIN (2012) and DEAL TRAVIS IN (2013). And both films had their west coast premieres at HollyShorts!

Before diving back in for the third film, I needed to take a step back and develop this world much more completely to see where it was heading beyond the shorts. My goal is to share a more in-depth story about the people in this world, either as a feature film or as a serialized story, so while I’m writing the third short, I’m also developing this into a much larger world.

You can watch the first two films of the trilogy online at my website.  

What are you working on right now?

I’m developing two new short films. The first is a science fiction short I plan to shoot this year and the second is the final film of my Resurrection Trilogy.

In addition, I’m working on two new feature scripts. One is a supernatural thriller — a ghost story with a twist — and the other is a horror film I’m writing with Brad Johnson. Brad is also a columnist for Script magazine and this is our first script as collaborators.

All of these projects are in different stages of development ,but I’m very excited about each of them. I absolutely love genre films and each of these projects will give me a chance to try something new as I continue to develop my filmmaker’s voice and visual style.

If you had an unlimited budget and time to create your next film what would you make?

I don’t think an unlimited budget would change the type of stories I would tell, so I would continue to move forward with the projects I am already planning, but it would probably change the scale with which I could tell those stories.

As a genre filmmaker, I would always love access to more tools to create believable, fantastical worlds, whether that’s using practical or in-camera or visual effects to create something surprising and transporting. Visual and special effects are definitely areas where a bigger budget could bring in a lot more choices.

I would also want to spend more time in prep working closely with key cast and crew to find the best solutions to all of the challenges we’ve set out for ourselves with the film. If I could throw money at prep and buy more time to really work out the details with every department before getting on set, then I think that would be money well spent.

Who is your dream team to work with? (dead or alive)

I currently work with some very talented people who I would want to continue working with. My dream team would include my most trusted collaborators plus the hires they each felt would help them to do their absolute best work.

But in the end, I would love to work with my usual collaborators no matter what the budget. They bring original ideas to the table and work diligently to achieve them. They have impeccable taste and refuse to settle. That’s my kind of team!

Tell me about what it is like to be a woman in the film industry:

The stats are daunting, no doubt, and as much as I would love to be viewed as a filmmaker, and not separated out as a “female filmmaker,” the reality is that day hasn’t come yet. The old guard does not share power without revolution and one way or another revolution has to come.

Who has been your inspiration in the film industry?

I’m most inspired by the other independent screenwriters and filmmakers in the trenches with me. These filmmakers have day jobs and families and school loans to repay. The world isn’t waiting with baited breath to watch the next film or read the next script they produce, but hell if they don’t get up every day and pursue filmmaking with an obsessive passion that is a hallmark of the arts.

In my filmmaking circles, every day someone gets a win and someone gets a loss. But the winner doesn’t just disappear and move up to a better class of friends and the loser isn’t kicked out and ostracized. Instead, we pat ourselves on our backs or lick our wounds, but either way, we never stop pushing forward. I am most inspired when I see someone just like me refuse to take no for an answer. If they can do it, then I can do it, too.