Short film directed by Jack Taylor Cox, | coming of age.
A dystopian drama about a girl who has to choose between family loyalty and her heart’s desire on the occasion of her sixteenth birthday.
A showcase of the latest short films produced by Creative England’s iShorts scheme. iShorts is Creative England’s entry level shorts initiative for new filmmakers outside of London, delivered through the Sheffield and Brighton Talent Centres as part of the BFI NETWORK. We produced 20 films that run the gamut of genres and styles, from quirky comedy to supernatural horror, social realism to magic realism, sci-fi to road movie. The films express regional voices from Exeter to Gateshead, Morecombe to Brighton, and one side of the Pennines facing off the other.
Each project received £5000 towards the production budget and a wealth of on-going support from Creative England’s Talent Centres to deliver the finished films, with intensive residential training supported by the Creative Skillset Film Skills Fund. The filmmakers were chosen for their passion, their vision, their ambition, and their potential. Join us to celebrate the inaugural year of the scheme with a small but choice selection of their films
Excerpt taken from Encounters Film Festival.
First I would like to thank Arri Rental for their incredible support and understanding in helping us on Sweetheart. It’s one thing having wonderful ideas, it’s another having the tools to execute them.
Sweetheart was shot on Arri Alexa with some old Cooke lenses. Jack and myself had done quite a bit of prep before hand. We had even taken the time to storyboard some of the more complicated scenes, Dulani Wilson from Bluntspear was our storyboard artist who did just an amazing job.
My personal views on storyboards.
Storyboards are great especially in commercials and VFX, you know exactly what your dealing with and how your going to approach each scene/ setup, a very clear communication of ideas. This of course also applies to narrative as well, being able to see the film before you start shooting. However I have worked with Directors who prefer not to storyboard which I am completely comfortable with and ‘find’ the film. It is not for me to say which is right or wrong, in a matter of fact I don’t even think there is a right or wrong, it just comes down to personal working styles. My documentary/ ENG background has given me the solid background to be able to think, react and execute on my feet very quickly. For sweetheart we had storyboarded a small but the biggest section of the film – The Garden Scene. I have attached the original boards done for the film. I think you can see some relation between the film and the boards. However The Garden Scene proved challenging.
Basically long story short, from my calculations the sun was going to disappear behind the house by 17.15hrs and we need to be outside in time to cover the scene, but we never did until quite a bit later – it happens. So all those lovely storyboards became strong refs, There was no time to think literally. Fabrizio Sciarra was on steadicam and an absolute pleasure to work with. We got the scene in the can but it was very different from the boards and also we cheated the line to the point of it being questionable. If we followed the boards frame for frame in this instance, the scene would have rendered incomplete and unusable – which is just not an option. Did someone say reshoots ? of course not…
Looking back at it all even though we did something different from the boards, would we have been able to work at the speed we did without them and manage such cheats ?
We were both going for fantastical, surreal type feel and look for Sweetheart. I believed this was communicated well through the gentle gracious movement of the camera, filtration, lighting and angles. The camera was to remain subtle for the most part, creating a slight but noticeable uneasiness. Jack also wanted key frames to be like paintings, creating a tableau. This I thoroughly enjoyed. Moving the camera just centimetres at a time composing the frame to communicate best the emotion at that time. Anything from 14mm to 250mm lenses were used, setting the camera height and angle became a test for patience especially under great time constraints. One tableau was used as a poster for the iShorts scheme here which I thought was cool.
Please find below the boards used on Sweetheart shortfilm