We have a Q & A below with our festival director Jason Torrance whose video for the band Lucid called Dirt that will be in our Local Filmmaker showcase.
Torrance discusses film technique, producing with a limited budget/time and other challenges including character development.
Join us at The Strand Center this Friday May 6th doors open 6:30pm
Tickets are $5.. Students (w/ I.D.) and under 18 are free!
LCIFF: Without being too spoilery, what are some of your favorite shots or techniques you used while filming?
JT: When you are making a film with little to zero money (which we were) you have to get creative. I knew we weren't going to have time to dig a big hole and bury our lead Tavish and then reset the shot several times. It was hot in those woods. There were bugs. Tavish was half naked lying on the ground. I went for speed. So, we suggested this eruption of character out of the ground with some suggestive Russian montage techniques and oblique angles of dirt shifting. It worked well. Music video is a very incessant format. The limited time you have to establish narrative can help you economize your production resources through necessity. We had 5 seconds to establish the birth. If we did the same scene in a conventional film, we'd be struggling through 30 seconds to a minute. Bah! my back is developing a pull just thinking about all that shoveling...
But the other big thing to say about filming on the cheap is to be on the lookout for free production value. It can really add to the finished product without impacting your wallet. Lavish told me about this elephant painted into a rock by the side of the road and wondered if we should include it. We did. It looks great. And is now a memorable part of the video.
LCIFF: What drawbacks/advantages did you experience with filming a music video as opposed to a fiction piece?
JT: In this case, Dirt tells a story. Most music videos are either recordings of performances or abstract films in some sense. But with this music video we chose to tell a story. So, it's close to a conventional film in that way. However, the difference here was the time constraints. I could edit this raw footage into a 8-10 minute short film or even expand it to a more ambitious form. Instead, Dirt became an opportunity to try and tell a rich story in a 5 minute time limit. So, the biggest hurdle of the project was also its saving grace.
LCIFF: Since your film is focusing on a band, what would you like the audience to discover about Lucid even if they may be a fan already?
JT: The music. This album really spoke to me. And I am someone who likes darker music (angsty!) but I love Lucid's music. So, I hope the music video not only illustrates the song somehow but enhances the music's effect on a listener. But also thinking about the video later, I hope a viewer will reflect on the lyrics of the song and how the images marry with the meaning of the tune.
I just want a viewer to smile watching as a listener smiles listening to Lucid.