Finding it hard to cram making a short film in between study and work? Need a bit of inspo? Blaise Borrer, an 18-year-old Year 12 student at Bellingen High School, won the Rising Talent award last year. He and his mates entered THREE films into REC Ya Shorts last year. Here’s how he did it…
You entered three films last year – that’s impressive. Were there any hairy moments?
I collaborated on the third film (Wrestless West) with a friend. We decided on it pretty last minute – a month and a half before the deadline, and it was right before our exams as well. We spent many all-nighters trying to get that one done!
Why did you want to take on three films?
I wanted to enter more than one because I heard about the prize (the film course at the Australian Film Television and Radio School) and I wanted to increase my chances as much as possible. Plus, I just know filming was my passion, and something that I want to pursue. So I try to put my passions over all my other stuff. My other two films were Greed and The School Rap.
What for you was the hardest part?
I actually found that writing it on paper is the hardest part. It’s always easier to imagine the plot in your head, and then imagine what all the characters are saying, and also relaying that story by just telling it to your friends, and when you actually go to write it down in the script, there’s almost a vulnerability to it. So, if you’ve already got your script, you’re actually 70% there!
What did it feel like to see your films screened?
It’s hard to describe the feeling. The film-making process can be pretty challenging when you think about it logistically. You spend months writing this script and making changes, and then actors drop out, all these things can go wrong. But the pay-off is when you’ve captured what was in your head, and see it up there on the screen. Those moments like that are the moments why we do this. It’s actually a privilege.
What advice would you give to other young people who are perhaps thinking about entering but are worried about not having money or film-making gear?
It’s way easier to make a film these days than it used to be – pretty much everyone has a camera, it’s on their phone. I’d just say give it a go. The festival is really supportive. The most important thing is having a story to tell, it doesn’t matter about equipment at this stage. You’ve just got to get started, because once you do, it snowballs.
What about coming up with ideas, do you have any advice for people stuck with that?
The idea is often something that may have been done many times before. Even if you’re having trouble, you can just use a cliché and subvert it in somehow, give it a twist. With my film Greed it was the idea of a crime where something’s gone wrong. But I just decided to tell the story backwards, and add a twist on a clichéd genre.
You did end up winning the AFTRS course. What was that like?
It was amazing. It’s opened up so many possibilities and I’d never really thought of film school as a serious option before that. Now I’m considering doing a Bachelor’s degree there.