You Keep Me Hanging On: A Short Film

You Keep Me Hanging On (2017) dir. Sarah Indie

“You Keep Me Hanging On” is a short single-location melodrama about a guilty and desperate older brother who seeks forgiveness for abandoning his younger brother. David, the older one, has come back home to LA to get his younger brother Anthony out of the psychiatric hospital, where he has been admitted for mental illness. We witness David, frustrated, trying to get through to Anthony who has taken a vow of silence to spite him. David has even obtained visa papers for his younger brother to come back home with him to Australia, but this proves difficult as tension heat up over the course of the visit. 

This story is written based off David’s point of view, but he isn’t the ‘protagonist’ in the story. Both characters need each others’ reaction and expression to drive the story, just the way dance works. And so you can see two really alpha male characters trying to beef each other up, struggling to reserve their ego. David’s really trying to be the “good older brother” that he has recently felt the ‘overburdening’ guilt to be. Anthony can see through that and he holds onto his resentment and bitterness, spitefully ignoring his brother. So you may ask – what is Anthony’s motive then? Simply, to undermine David’s chance at forgiveness and peace. 

BTS You Keep Me Hanging On

By Josh Marcelino (2017)

This scene is part of a whole script. It is occurs halfway and is a pivotal moment in the story. The story really starts at this point and goes into full speed thereafter, collateral damage and all. I wanted to channel as much emotion into this scene – I could relate to it based on some personal experiences. It was important that as the film’s director that I translated that energy into screen, and as an editor, the images into a concise and impactful short film. 

Ben (the cinematographer) and I instantly had the same vision in terms of its’ cinematic direction. We were drawn to the unconventional screen dynamic of the TV show, Mr. Robot (it’s one of the best cinematography that I’ve seen). We took inspiration in the jarring framing style, the tension between the characters through the compositions, the lack of sound, the open airiness, and the lingering silences. We wanted to translate that same awkward tension and unconventional framing into our short because that’s essentially what it would feel like to be right there in that moment. 

BTS You Keep Me Hanging On

By Josh Marcelino (2017)

With that being said, the pre-production process took a lot longer because we had a very specific look and style. We only had three hours to work with for the shoot, so it was time under tension all the way. Should we have had more time, we would’ve tightened the shots and added more variety. For example, we felt like it could do more with close up of Anthony, or even wider shots to bring up the awkward tension – and wider space with more empty chairs and tables would have worked well, too. 

Credits:

Written and directed by Sarah Indie

Director of Photography by Benjamin Ling

Sound by Roger Chen

Edited by Sarah Indie

David played by Charlie Jones

Anthony played by William Rogan-Johnstone

BTS/Special Thanks to Jose Marcelino

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Garden of Marionette: A short film

 

Garden of Marionette: A short film for my HSC art major

Don’t let fear follow you. Don’t let fear consume you.

A short film I did 3 years ago for my HSC Visual Arts Project.

I was inspired by the first chapter of the Bible, the tale of Adam and Eve – particularly about Eve and how she was succumbed by the snake, leading her to bite into the apple and be forever banished. I took this concept and added my own philosophy: How fear can lead people astray and consume them if left unfettered. Fear is also in the mind.

This is a story about a young girl whose nightmares get her caught up in her own head – an Alice in Wonderland sort of journey. We see her trotting through the dark forest, her heart rate pacing up as she wanders, letting her ego and curiosity get the better of her. She finds herself in a hollowed out dead end deep in the forest, and that is where she comes face to face with the thing she fears the most – death. The snake can sense her fear. He gets into her head and traps her from inside.

Embellished with dark and twisted symbolism, references, and idioms, the ‘Garden of Marionette’ is a film that was made during a very low time of my life. Young and lost, I tried very hard to make sense of the world around me, and this was the final product. A six-minute roller coaster through my head; a brief but concrete depiction of the struggles some may have to go through every day. A battle that exists inside of our heads and tantalises us.

Don’t read too much into it. Enjoy.

Love,
Sarah at 18

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Revenge, Take A Seat

 

A class exercise for ARTS2065.

Exploring camera and sound work (using ZOOM microphone).

Edited on Final Cut Pro.

A short film of a man who seeks revenge after the door was slammed in his face, literally.

In this class we explored linear storytelling and experimented with the ZOOM recorder for the first time. The guidelines for the project was to make a very short story based on the moment in which the protagonist seeks revenge. We were to leave out dialogue so much of what is driving the narrative is action-focused.

 

The Godfather – Hospital Scene Film Adaptation

Blood and Loyalty Prevail: An Exegesis on The Godfather Adaptation\

 

When you start out as a filmmaker, you do parodies, because you can’t really compete on a studio level.

– Bill Paxton

 

The hospital scene in The Godfather is a turning-point of the film in which Michael Corleone finally stands up and becomes the son that his father Don Vito (“The Godfather”) wanted him to be – and it couldn’t have come at a better (or worse) time. As his father lay there, on the last breaths of his life, Michael holds his hands and gently whispers to him, “I’ll take care of you. I’m with you now.” Don smiles up at him, a tear running down his face. It is an intimate moment between father and son. It is shortly after when Michael stands outside with Enzo, ‘the baker’s son’, that we witness the transformation of Corleone’s youngest. Michael and Enzo stand there, hands in pockets “like they’ve got a gun”, vigilantly watching the front of the hospital.

We decided to only focus on the second half of the scene as we believed that this half was the climax of the turning point of the film. That moment uncovers Michael’s unavoidable loyalty to his father and sensibility to the ‘family business’. Even though Michael has spent most of his life rebelling against his father, joining the army, and avoiding the mafia life, it is this moment that we come to see Michael’s transitioning: a war hero turned family gang criminal. It is also a character-to-character/relationship development between him and his father. Michael essentially steps up and accepts the power and responsibility in this dire moment.

Naturally, adapting such a classic scene at our level had to be purposefully exaggerated – so it would be made into a parody. But it was also a personal tribute to the film, so it is a dedication to my love for American gangster films.

As the director of photography, my job was to extricate that specific scene into shots, analysing its’ quality in terms of composition, framing, camera angle, and shot type. This had to be done during the pre-production stage – everything had to be carefully and thoroughly organised for perfect execution. The post-production stage of the filming process also played a crucial role. The remake also had to have the original score and emphasis on similar sound effects because this particular scene in the film has a very somber soundtrack – it was not to be overlooked. The music, along with the shots, tied the overall ethos of the film, and it drew the right feel and atmosphere to the remake, and it added that element of authenticity to the parody.

It was not important to keep the character appearances/age and props the same: the ‘modern’ look of the film would uphold the ‘timeless’ value of that scene, and all that really mattered for us was to keep the dialogue, continuity and shots the same.  If only we had more time we would have been able to get the lighting and editing right and improve on the performances.