Interviews iPhone Film festival News, Aardman, animation, Criag Perkinns, Genshi Media Group, IFF3, iphone, short films, smartmoviemaking — May 29, 2012 15:36 — 0 Comments
Filmmakers celebrate winning iPhone Film Festival 3 after finding love again
Former childhood sweethearts Craig Perkins and Debora Jo Myers combine their talents to produce
Of course when it works well (think Aardman Animation) all that effort is worth it, and the same can be said for Genshi Media Group (GMG), winners of best animation and the grand prize in the third iPhone Film Festival (IFF3) for its horror short The Haunting at Danford Cabin.
GMG bagged a treasure trove of prizes worth $3,500 including $2,000 worth of studio services at Filmlook
This is the third short film with Craig in the director’s chair and the first shot as a
How does it feel to walk away from the IFF with the grand prize?
Craig Anthony Perkins: We’re very honoured, especially since there was so many great films that were entered. The fact that the judges saw and appreciated what we tried to do; even though this was a
The Haunting at Danford Cabin was your first attempt at
CAP: Honestly, we were writing the scripts to our next couple of projects which will be feature films, and wanted to do something quick and short in the meantime, so we had an idea for this short live action film… but I needed a certain type of actress, and after putting out a casting call, and getting over 100 responses, and still not finding quite what I was looking for, I was sort of frustrated and wanting to do something – anything!
Debora noticed the pictures I had taken of her father’s dollhouse that he had built for his grandchildren and said to me, “we should do a
So we did. And originally, we did it as an experiment just to see if we could pull it off. We had no intention at first to even showing it to the world let alone entering it into any film festivals, but it wound up taking a lot more work than I had anticipated and at the point I thought, “we may as well do this right” so I really concentrated on the sound and music knowing we would need this to make the rest of the animation work.
Every single sound effect was recorded by me using a Zoom H4N handheld recorder. The door creeks, clock sounds, footsteps, etc. 100% real foley work like they use to do back in the day. Debora even did the chicken voices after we tried (and failed) recording real chickens! And of course she did the ghost voices. Even the death scene at the end was me falling on boxes and groaning.
Also, we really wanted to push ourselves. I try not to do the same thing or repeat what I’ve done before if I can help, so in the past couple of months we did the fantasy/fairytale “Isobel & The Witch Queen” and then this
What was the inspiration or idea behind the story?
CAP: Believe it or not, The Haunting at Danford Cabin is loosely based on a true story! I previously mentioned Debora’s father’s dollhouse that he built. He designed it himself; it’s a cabin style house as you’ve seen in the movie, and when we were filming ‘Isobel’ here in Portland at Forest Park, there was a historical landmark showing the site of where Danford Balch’s cabin once stood. Danford was the first man to legally hang in the state of Oregon for the murder of his
How long did the film take to make?
CAP: Actual days shot I think was about four or five days at [at least] eight hours a day. People may not realize the process of
What are the advantages/disadvantages of making this type of film?
CAP: The advantage, and I say this with all due respect, we didn’t have to deal with actors, or with any other crew. Just Debora and I and the puppets (and the occasional cat jumping up on our set!) And we could take our time planning out what we wanted to do without feeling like people are waiting around impatiently for the next scene.
The disadvantage; it’s REALLY tedious and boring to do. And with the slightest wrong move I would have to reshoot the whole scene again (and again, that’s 24 still shots and movements for one second of screen time!) Also, it’s back breaking work! I literally threw out my back while making this! And it’s a little harder telling a story this way, especially since ours was slightly experimental, with very minimal dialogue, but I think we were able to convey what was going on with the editing, the atmosphere and the sound… at least I hope!
The other disadvantage is, we didn’t get to work with actors and a crew, because in all honesty, that’s what makes filmmaking special; the synergy of all the talent involved to create something magical!
GMG have been quite prolific in the last 12 months, what motivates you?
CAP: Thank you. I’ve always been an overachiever. I can never sit still and feel like I’m never doing enough or what I have done is never good enough, so, not only the past 12 months, but my Genshi Media Group (which for the past 17 years was just me) has put out a lot of work, from several music projects, published books, toy designs, photography, etc.
What’s next on the production slate?
CAP: We are working on three things. First, a short which we would like to turn into a web series called Petites Aventures de Cosette. This is the one we are still looking for just the right actress for. It’s a fun whimsical adventure, that will have some [minimal]
Unfortunately, we can’t do this stuff any more with a zero budget. And that is what we had with both ‘Isobel’ and ‘The Haunting’. For the ‘Isobel’ movie we did things like rip down track lighting from Debora’s father’s workroom to use as
Genshi is very much a partnership between you and Debora Jo, how long have you been collaborating?
CAP: Actually, Genshi Media Group was founded and run solely by me for the past 17 years. Debora became part of it just these past few months. We were childhood sweethearts back in Junior High which was a very long time ago, then we reconnected last summer online and I moved up to Portland (where she now lives) in October 2011. I then realised her writing and acting talents and also how hard of a worker and how resourceful she is, so I knew that we would be able to work together on films. So far, together, we have done Isobel & The Witch Queen and The Haunting at Danford Cabin, but if you look at the Genshi Media Group website you’ll see only a partial list of what all that I have done the past 17 years in music, film, photography and design.
The results so far have been impressive, what the secret to GMG’s success?
CAP: Thank you! For me, it’s never, ever being satisfied with what I did. As soon as I have finished something as best I can, I immediately tear it apart; looking at all of the things I could have done better, kicking myself and saying, “why didn’t I do this!” But I never go back and ”rework” anything that I have finished. Once it’s done it’s done and I try to just move on and try to be better next time.
How important is this acknowledgement from IFF?
CAP: This is very important for us, and I’d like to thank all the IFF3 judges. It has been a struggle to get to this point for both Debora and I, so we really needed this to make something happen for our next film(s). We’re hoping someone, somewhere will recognise what we’re trying to do with our filmmaking and help us get an executive producer/funding. The good news is, once we released ‘The Haunting’ to the public, we have already been approached by several professionals in the industry. For our next films, we have a really great cinematographer who currently works on two hit Primetime Network TV shows and we got an Emmy Award winning makeup artist who wants to work with us, and an amazing amount of composers (though I’ll probably stick with doing the music myself for now.) So we’re hoping this acknowledgment from iFF3 will take us to the next level!