Recently, Haruka and I spent some time creating a short film for the Matti Haapoja film festival. The theme that Matti set was around the pandemic.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it here. Be sure to set the resolution to 4k and watch it in full-screen (don’t worry, it’s less than 3 minutes long).

It should noted that acting is definitely not our forte. We’ve also never made a fictional short film before, so this was 100% new territory for us.

We were originally planning on shooting something a bit more complex, but we really wanted to push ourselves to think outside the box and try to tell a unique story without explicitly spelling it out for the audience.

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We concepted a few ideas, but we ultimately went with a more intimate story.

We came up with the concept while laying in bed, literally staring into each others eyes like we were in the film. Having both been in long distance relationships before, we both know the pain of being apart from the one you love. That distance is even more tough during a pandemic. This whole thing thing is tough on everyone, but we wanted to show off a unique perspective that hasn’t really been talked about much.

We aimed for story-driven, so we kept the visuals to 3 simple yet intimate shots.

To keep the viewer focused on the story, we kept the shots and gear super simple and focused on things like sound design, music, tone, composition and dialogue instead.

We shot it all in our studio apartment, with one camera, one focal length, one key light and 3 simple shots. That’s it.

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Love me some good audio tweaking. 🔈

Production wise, we grabbed an upbeat song from Arlist.io and played with the frequencies until it sounded like it was coming from a record player in the same room. We used various sound effects, also from Artlist.io, to make the viewer feel a bit more anxiety. We also muted the colours and contrast to give it a more gentle and easy tone.

A very subtle colour grade to set a relaxed, somber tone.

As for the story arc — with every day that passes, we find ourselves feeling different emotions… and what’s really interesting is that these emotions changes so quickly now.

Sometimes we’re stressed and anxious, other days we’re hopeful or relaxed. So we wanted the viewer to go through that same feeling. We wanted them to almost feel jolted as the moods in the film change so quickly.

This is kinda how the world feels right now, so we wanted to blend that feeling into the store arc.

We had a lot of fun making it, so we really hope you like it. If you have any constructive thoughts of comments on how we can do better next time, feel free to leave a comment below or give me a shout on twitter.

Side note: If you’re interested in video production like I am, go check out Matti’s YouTube channel. Him and his team have found a really awesome way to blend tips, tutorials and reviews — with life, family, business and entertainment. His kid is also super cute. You won’t be disappointed. 🤘

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Note: This post was originally posted on my Medium profile and is being syndicated here with permission.

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Published on
April 22, 2020
from our office in
Victoria, BC
.