Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) opens on Thursday 3 November and continues until Sunday 6 November. To celebrate the launch, we are running a series of interviews with the filmmakers throughout October. Here you can find behind-the-scenes stories and learn more about what motivates our filmmakers. Across the weekend, visitors will have the opportunity to experience their short films first hand. To get your Weekend Festival Pass, visit the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) website to purchase your ticket. We look forward to seeing you there!
Aesthetica spoke to Sean Pruen, Producer of the music video The Deep, before the launch of the festival next week.
Firstly, congratulations on being in the Official ASFF Selection! What impact do you think this screening will have on your career?
Thank you, it gives me a great sense of pride to be accepted into this year’s ASFF. I really enjoy showing my work to an audience in a public setting and seeing different reactions. It is also great to have the opportunity to network with filmmakers working in such a variety of genres.
How do you describe your work?
Many of my personal projects, such as The Deep start from experimenting with different technologies. However, I always try and stay true to the idea that even though it may start with research and development, it needs to become part of a story if it is to be shared with an audience.
Many animators create shorts that show amazing technical ability but it often falls flat on audiences that have no idea what the processes have been or they simply don’t care and want to be entertained. For me, the importance of narrative is key to engaging a wider audience.
Collaborating with other creative people is also a drive of my work. In the past I have created shorts with different photographers. Having film content to complement their still photography has proven popular with online audiences and clients alike.
Could you tell me a little about the film and how it came about?
Like I said, much of my personal projects come about from personal experimentation. The Deep was the result of working out a way to give 3D depth to 2D video using animated particle effects. To put my tests into a context I decided to combine the discovered technique with public domain archival footage from the 1940s to create a short story. By consistently grading the animation to match the old film footage I was able to create a feeling of something mysterious from the past.
What were some of the challenges involved in making the film?
As this was a solo project, my main difficulty was finding a piece of music that I could incorporate with the sound I had designed. I used the creative commons website ccmixter.org to collaborate with DJ Rkod. I think online collaborations between musicians and filmmakers that form in this way are great for both parties. I had a similar collaboration with Scottish electronica artist Araya for my short The Mast, which was a finalist in the ThinkSync film competition back in 2009.
What is your all time favourite short?
There are many short films that have had an impact on me. I am constantly seeing incredibly talented and professional work being produced on low budgets and winning awards. In recent years, platforms like Vimeo have expanded the reach of the short form film greatly and fantastic opportunities can arise by sharing in this way. If I had to pick a recent gem it would be Words by Everynone, directed by Daniel Mercadante & Will Hoffman. A simple idea executed with a beautiful subtlety, go and check it out.
What are you working on next?
I currently work for the digital production company B-Reel. I am based in London but we also have offices in NYC, LA and Stockholm. I work with a team of incredibly intelligent and creative individuals and together we produce projects that initially seem impossible. We work heavily with film within digital and have also recently opened B-Reel films in London.
Collaboration is a big part of who I am as a filmmaker and so within B-Reel and personal projects I will continue to collaborate with talented people and create interesting stories.
The Aesthetica Short Film Festival is the first film festival ever to be hosted in the historic city of York. The festival is a celebration of independent film from across the world with 150 films being screened from 30 countries. ASFF opens 3 November and continues until 6 November. For tickets and further information visit the website www.asff.co.uk or call (+44) (0) 1904 629 137.