I expect the short film will be from 6 to 10 minutes long. My integrity to the film remains steadfast and it will be as long as it needs to be. This trailer is very short but will provide audiences with some context and an appetite to view the film when it’s released.
The RISE UP Keyframes
We are used to seeing glamourous Hollywood actresses appearing so meticulous and composed. And although the character of Maya in RISE UP aspires to walk the red carpet amidst throngs of flashes, tragically, she is subjected to the most horrible of fates, sexual assault.
Through our due diligence, Annaliese McGuire, who plays Maya, prepared for her role by learning of and understanding the trauma experienced by sexual assault sufferers and survivors. As a further requirement of being able to play the role of a survivor of sexual assault, I asked Annaliese to consider the change of body language that may occur in a person deeply traumatised by sexual violence. And consequently, how the traumatic physical and psychological experience of a sexual assault may manifest in the mannerisms and gestures of a survivor.
During the film’s shooting, I dedicated some time to shooting B-roll footage of Annalise displaying anguished mannerisms in close-up. I surveyed some passages by the keyframe to witness and learn how Annaliese’s conscious and unconscious gestures translated into storytelling artistry.
At 24 frames per second, that equates to thousands of keyframes. By studying footage by the keyframe, I was bringing some of my painting and photography experience into the orbit of filmmaking. I was able to assess the quality of the footage’s light, tone, saturation and compositional framing in more depth.
And I was pleasantly surprised that some of those keyframes would make compelling paintings or photograph stills. I also learnt that motion blurred, soft focus and out-of-focus passages can convey as much narrative and emotional information as the in-focus passages. Nevertheless, it was a valuable exercise to plumb the depth of the footage by reviewing some of it by the keyframe.
I have a predisposition toward the film noir genre. The moody and mysterious lighting treatments, framing and styling devices I find analogous to the work I want to express now. To embrace the darkness is necessary, not because I want to frighten people but rather because I am working towards creating a world where that darkness won’t be so ominous. And currently, it’s a very ominous world.
Art offers a pathway out of that tunnel maze of uncertainty and despair. Sometimes one needs to pass through the darkness in order to overcome it.