Although our film is finished, I’m not able to upload it and share it on our site (yet). But, as soon as I can – I will. Subscribe to my newsletter-thingy at the bottom of this page if you want to be kept in the loop…
Starry Night is a short film conceptualised by my husband, Nick, and co-written by the both of us. The film was funded by M-Net (South African broadcaster) – and produced by Helena Spring.
Nick is a well-established, award-winning film editor here in South Africa… but for a while, he’s been wanting to create and direct his own films. This short-film was our first step towards that goal.
Because the budget was tiny, we had to draw on the favours and talents of many, many friends… and it also meant that we had to do a (lot!) of multi-tasking and juggling. Apart from co-writing the script, I focussed mainly on the visual elements of the film (production design, costumes, etc).
Since we’re both musicians (we played in a band long before we started dating)… this film gave us the opportunity to pick up our musical instruments again and write songs together. The first song featured in the film was co-written by us and performed by our lead actor (and good friend), James Alexander. I wrote an additional song for the final scene of the film which was recorded and sung beautifully by Lebo – but we ended up using a more dramatic piece from Mozart.
I’m proud of what we accomplished together and I also think Nick and I work really well as a team. I’d love to work with him on a full-length feature or a fun, quirky series for TV. I’d focus on production design and aesthetics… he’d do all the directing and technical stuff… and we’d co-write scripts (and – occasionally – music).
Interestingly, writing and creating this short film of ours had an… unexpected… affect on me personally. It impacted me in a very profound way and… unlocked… something deep inside of me.
Before this film (which we began working on in January 2016) – I considered myself an “illustrator” or “scribbler”. I figured that was all I was capable of. I didn’t see myself as a “Real” artist. The thought of expanding my creative horizons hadn’t even crossed my mind. It’s like telling a baker of cupcakes (who is happy and comfortable baking said cupcakes)… that she actually had the capacity to become a Master Chef. She’d probably laugh at you.
I would have laughed too.
Until the need arose for me to create sets and props for Starry Night.
There was nobody else to do it… we didn’t have the budget to employ people… and since one of the characters in our film is a painter, I decided to create some large scale paintings to decorate her ‘ art studio’ (our lounge).
And – as I did… something inside me awoke. But it didn’t just wake up with a polite yawn and a little stretch… it woke up ROARING! I attacked walls, old doors, giant canvases… and I created more large-scale contemporary art and installations in 4 months than I have created in my entire life.
Whatever it was that ‘Starry Night’ awoke inside of me, it hasn’t slumbered since.
Here’s a couple of blog posts that I wrote about Starry Night and the process of making it: