A SHORT FILM
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BEHIND THE SCENES
South African director Robert dos Santos Film and Commercials Director
A Moment is an international award winning narrative short film by director Robert dos Santos, a short but hard hitting tale which follows the moment when everything goes wrong.
Shot on the Bolt-X the short film follows the tense split seconds which pass as two enemies face each other in the classic Mexican standoff
With inspiration from real life experiences Robert dos Santos drew inspiration from personal experience to create something which is both exciting and introspective.
Having never gone to film school and having been in a commercial space I have never had the opportunity to make a narrative short film.
As such I wanted to take a step into this world and gauge whether I had the chops to present a narrative and create excitement around a short film.
While the obvious call would be to focus on something with strong dialogue I wanted to take it a step further by creating something which tells a story, or part thereof, in a unique way.
Most importantly I wanted to engage in visual storytelling and speak to the audience through camera movement and a series of strong reveals.
Offered the opportunity to create a short film on the incredible Bolt-X we came up with a concept which would put the machine through its paces and test the very limit to which it could go.
The Bolt-X allowed us to go from macro to close up to medium to wide and from a dolly shot to a crane shot to a dolly zoom to a 180 degree pan, all in the space of around 10 seconds.
Stories should not be spoonfed but should instead have the audience engage and keep them at the edge of their seats wanting to know what is going to happen next. A moment is an exercise in this task.
Dropped into the middle of a story we are left to find out where we are, where our characters are, and what is going on.
In essence the story is told through 5 reveals which are created through the movement of the camera.
The initial reveal of the characters eyes, the reveal of his cuts and bruises which hint at something being wrong, the reveal of the gun which confirms this suspicion, the reveal of the antagonist and our character’s obstacle, and the final moment which cuts us off from this world and leaves us wanting more.
Our hero, played by Sean Cameron Michael, is standing face to face with death. Instead of standing in absolute confidence as an action hero he is caught between fear and the human will to survive.
The voiceover which carries the story, however, is aware of the events which is transpired and he speaks over the events with a self aware dryness which hints at the knowledge that life is fleeting.
Preparation is everything in a single take scene. To achieve this I worked hand in hand with Peter Constan-tatos, who is the primary operator of the Bolt-X in South Africa.
We spent three full days together setting out the shot and plotting the movement of the rig, looking at where the camera would go and how we would achieve each one of the reveals.
Together we plotted out the primary flight of the camera and how we would utilise zooms, focus racks, and camera movement to achieve our reveals, whereafter we brought in the rest of the team who did everything possible to make this into something extraordinary.