I’ve spent the last two weeks or so working on a short film. Not only scoring it, but editing hours of public domain footage into a cohesive sci-fi/noir short film.
When I applied for the Arts Northern Rivers Connect mentorship at the start of the year, it was a “might as well” application. I’d been told about the program by a few musical friends, and I thought I would apply as a beginning film composer. I submitted a few of my compositions (none of which had been written to films or picture at all), thinking that nothing would come of it, but I might as well put my name in the hat. I was completely surprised when I discovered that I had been shortlisted as a finalist, and had to put together a live performance audition with a few friends in just a couple of days. I was just as surprised again to find out that I had been chosen to be one of seven mentees in the program.
For the audition, we played two pieces that I had written inspired by ‘Red Mars’, a science fiction novel by Kim Stanley Robinson. That audition was the first time that any of my composed film-esque music had ever been performed live.
I had known since the start of the program that I would be performing at a showcase night at the end of everything, with each of the other mentees (some solo performers, some bands), and it was a daunting task for me to come up with something that I could perform that would be at a similar standard to the others who perform live on a regular basis, with some having live performance as their main source of income.
After some soul-searching and brainstorming, I decided that I would undertake something I’d been wanting to do for quite a while – to construct a short film using only footage available through Creative Commons licensing or from works that are in the public domain.
So here it is. It took me a week to find footage, come up with a bit of a story, and edit together, and another 5 days to write an original score. I’ll be exploring the sci-fi/noir crossroad further in the future, as I find it such an interesting and provoking aesthetic, and while this is my first foray into short filmmaking, it most definitely won’t be the last.