ARLO - Short Film
BLACKTOWN SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL
Over the past two years I have been collaborating with writer-director Wayne Tunks. Together we have created two seasons of the award winning mystery web series After Nightfall, and an indie feature film According to Otto, both of which were filmed in locations around Wayne’s home in suburban Blacktown. So when Blacktown City Council recently announced an initiative to fund local filmmakers we leapt at the chance.
“Blacktown Shorts is a new western Sydney film festival, delivered as part of Blacktown Arts’ upcoming Magnify 2019 festival in Blacktown. We are currently open to short film proposals from emerging and established filmmakers, with a focus on finding and supporting Western Sydney talent.” (https://blacktownarts.com.au/blacktown-shorts-eoi/)
Wayne wrote a short drama called Arlo, set entirely in a suburban house in Blacktown. Arlo is about a young boy’s freedom to express himself in the face of his grandmother’s narrow-minded views on gender. The script was a lovely story so we immediately got the band back together, bringing back crew from both After Nightfall and According to Otto.
Fearing the weather was going to be terrible on our shoot day I snuck out to Blacktown during rehearsals and shot some late afternoon establishing shots of the house with a lovely big sun flare smashing into the lens. I wanted the film to feel like it takes place on a lazy Sunday morning, with light pouring in through the windows and Arlo’s parents lounging around in their pyjamas; the perfect morning interrupted by an impromptu drop in from the in-laws!
That evening as I was driving home from location it started raining and continued all weekend. Luckily I had the establishing shot in the can already. I arrived on set at 7am the following morning and setup an Arri M18 outside the window to simulate the morning sun. With such an overcast rainy day the light levels inside the house hardly changed at all throughout the day, so once we set the lights we were right to shoot all day.
Wayne assembled a fantastic cast with Janine Penfold (Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo) as Arlo’s grandmother who has entirely too many opinions on how little boys should dress and act. The film takes place almost entirely in the lounge room with Arlo’s parents and grandparents, so all our coverage was contained to the one space. We had the big M18 outside and a smaller Creamsource inside for level and that was it. We also used a haze machine to give the ‘ray of light’ effect to the sunlight smashing in through the window.
For the last scene of the day we had to get some shots of Arlo playing in his cubby house. We ran up the street between rain showers to use a neighbour’s cubby house, taking the Creamsource, camera on an easyrig and the lens box with us. These shots aren’t quite as full of sun flares as the rest of the film so we might have to see what we can achieve in post.
We now have two months of post-production before Arlo premieres at Blacktown Shorts and we’re super excited!
Arlo was filmed on the Red Monstro with Schneider Xenon FF lenses and Rhodium FSND.
Writer | Director | Wayne Tunks
DOP | Nicholas Price
Sound Recordist | Johno Purdon
Focus Puller | Soumya Lakmé Iyengar
AC | Cayla Blanch
Editor | Samuel Fitzpatrick
Colourist | Keiran Lee
Sound Design | Mixer | PJ Johnson
Producers | Wayne Tunks & Nicholas Price
Janine Penfold, Kelly Monisse, Tom Harwood & Kim Knuckey, with Kaden Monroe as Arlo.
DOP | Cinematographer
P. (02) 9427 4444
Nicholas Price is a Sydney based DOP | Producer who has made commercials, video clips, TV, documentary and short films. Nick is a Masters graduate of AFTRS and is always striving to bring a unique visual style to any project he works on. He recently shot the award winning web series After Nightfall and feature film According to Otto.