Making an impression in just five minutes isn’t easy but a group of students from MetFilm School Leeds did just that.
The Five Minute Film Club challenge is run by The Unit, a Leeds based open-access production space and is a hub for production, content creators and filmmakers.
Each month the space runs the challenge where teams create a five minute film for next to no money, and sticking to a theme or rule.
Earlier this year a team of seven students from MetFilm School Leeds won the challenge with their film ‘Tomorrow’. Entries had to relate to the work of William Shakespeare.
The seven person team included:
- Director, Producer, Co-Screenwriter: Joshua Deal
- Head Screenwriter: Molly Bailey
- Director of Photography: Pranav Manchekar
- Editor & Sound Design: Chloe Ali
- Assistant Director: Fred Hiley
- Script Supervisor: Anindini Sen
- Lead Actor: Indigo Kamal-Poole
“It was an interesting project,” said MA Screenwriting student Molly Bailey.
“I started by listing the Shakespeare plays that interested me and, knowing I wanted a darker tone to my script, I opted for Macbeth. I think it’s one of the more tragic plays, especially with its themes of personal greed, destiny, loss, and grief and instead of writing a full script, I wrote a treatment encompassing the tone we were trying to achieve, character journey, and the general narrative.
“From this, I decided the ‘Tomorrow’ soliloquy was the best way to go. A strong, inner monologue for a character seemed like it would offer several visual possibilities, and as the character goes on a journey of measuring loss, moving on, and adapting to the future.”
Project Director Joshua Deal said the highlight of the film for him was how much freedom they all had to experiment on the day.
“With the one rule of the film being that it had to have a relationship to Shakespeare, the soliloquy we used ended up being very reflective of the themes of time passing, and a feeling of loss that we all seem to be confronting in our own way,” said Joshua who studied MA Directing at MetFilm School Leeds.
Script Supervisor, Anindini Sen, who studied MA Directing said it was a very enriching experience.
“One thing I will take away from the experience is that a Script Supervisor must have a strong line of communication with the director. Effective communication will help you to understand their vision, and to keep a check on things like continuity and other script elements accordingly.”
MA Directing student, Chloe Ali, edited the montage in the film in a way that told the story through the clips.
“I’m really proud of the ambient sounds present in the film. As Josh had decided he didn’t want any music, I believe the sounds of the surrounding setting had to enhance and add to the story instead.”
Having a thorough understanding of the director’s vision of the script was vital for Director of Photography Pranev Manchekar.
“It revolved around themes of the passage of time and the imminent presence of death. It was key to translate those concepts into compelling visuals that would effectively portray the gradual erosion of emotions.
“We went for a vintage atmosphere to do this, which we achieved through careful consideration of elements such as aspect ratio and film grain, all of which contributed to the desired aesthetic.”
A five minute film means that every scene counts and communication is key.
“By understanding how each department is doing, I can adjust the schedule accordingly, allowing for more creativity,” explained Fred Hiley, MA Directing student.
“I also find having a soft but firm approach helps – an intimidating figure on set can stifle creativity, so by treating everyone respectfully, and guiding them with the schedule, you can get the best results.”
The Five Minute Film Club was started at The Unit by Jordan Scott Kennedy, Programming & Engagement Producer.
“It’s a way of showcasing local talent, and encouraging collaboration between emerging filmmakers in the West Yorkshire region.
“I was especially impressed by the film made by the MetFilm School students. It was great to see cross-collaboration across the different courses, and they interpreted the theme of ‘Shakespeare’ with innovation and a fresh perspective. The writing, cinematography, production value, and overall direction was outstanding. They were deserving co-winners of the award, and I’m really excited to see what they make next.”