Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Interview with short filmmaker,
Eric Albertson

Friends, a real treat today! Filmmaker, Eric Albertson is here to talk about his short film La Liberte' de l'Interieur, his inspiration for this power house clip, and how he envisions his work in the ongoing transformation of the world.

About the film…
La Liberte' de l'Interieur is a film about how a man, confined to a door-less, window-less cube is helped to freedom by a mysterious stranger. He finds that the ultimate source of freedom is found within and explores what his response should be to this liberating gift.

Click here to view this inspiring short film (it's about 5 minutes in length).

Eric, share what inspired you to enter the world of short films and combine inspirational images with rich and symbolic imagery?

Making films has always been a dream of mine. As a kid, I made movies with my dad’s movie camera and throughout high school my friends and I had fun making movies. Liberte’ was my first real film, however. In the last few years, I had been working toward making a film (saving up money, learning software. . .), when my wife found out about a film contest and encouraged me to enter. I'd had the idea for Liberte’ for a long time and thought that it would be a great first movie (one set, one actor, one line that has one word. . . which is in French). The story really resonated with me personally and I thought that others might like it too. As far as the symbolic imagery, I thought those images might help to convey the spiritual messages of the film in a visual way.

What specifically was your inspiration behind La Liberte' de l'Interieur?

Well, La Liberte’ de l’Interieur means Freedom Within in French. The film is about how a man discovers that the path to freedom really starts on the inside. It is my own journey. There are times in my life that I felt stuck, but with a little help from others pointing the way, I found a tremendous source of power inside. Once I found that, it began to transform the rest of my life.

There were two elements that I really appreciated because of their strength in communicating a transformation, without a single spoken word. One, the transition from monochrome to color, and two, at the end when he picks up the sign and runs toward the other “prisons.” Share some of your thinking in creating this imagery.

As the man begins to experience freedom, his world begins to come alive. I wanted to show the transformation from a hopeless, trapped existence to one where there was life and freedom. I felt color would be a way to visually represent that change, moving from a gray, monochrome palette to one full of color.

I saw the sign as a way that people could share the message of freedom to one another. At the end, when he runs toward the other prisons holding the sign, we realize that he has chosen to use his freedom to help others find their own freedom.

From start to finish, can you give us a brief glimpse into the process of making such a film?

Sure! It started as simple sketches in my notebook. When the idea came to me, I began to draw the things I saw in my mind. I kept thinking about the story and then drew more storyboards. When it came time to make the film, I drew more detailed storyboards and made an animatic (a simple version of the film, using my video camera, an action figure and a small cardboard set) to help figure out camera angles and timing. From there I designed and built the set, purchased costumes, made props, got permits (to film in the park), recruited people to help and learned how to operate the camera.

The preparation took about a month and a half. Then, we spent about a week filming. We filmed at night from 8:00–10:00 pm and then spent one very hot weekend filming the exterior shots. After that, I spent about two weeks (working at night) editing the film and then spent another two weeks working with the audio and special effects. I got a chance to work with a composer who is extremely gifted. He was 14 at the time and he wrote, performed and recorded the music in about 3 hours. In all, the film took about 3 months to complete from start to finish. I had help from co-workers, family members, neighbors and friends. We had so much fun.

The Jesus films seemed to break ground in using film to communicate the salvation message, and more and more I’m seeing video used to proclaim even more about the kingdom of God. Do you think this form of communication is more effective to today’s busy generation and is it effective?

In our fast-paced society, people look for ways to get their information quickly and usually turn to video- or film-based sources to get it. Because of that, films that accurately communicate spiritual truths, especially short films, can be very effective in helping folks understand the kingdom of God and visualize realities of the spiritual world.

Do you feel the work you’re doing is fulfilling God’s calling on your life?

I feel that God has given me the ability to think visually, a love of storytelling, a knack for problem solving and a passion for making films. I have gotten a chance to use these skills to make films and it has been an exhilarating journey walking with God through the filmmaking process.

I understand you recently completed your latest short film, entitled Freeway Dating. Can you give us a glimpse of this new story?

Absolutely. Freeway Dating is a mockumentary about people who find love while they are driving on the freeway during their morning commute. It follows an author who has written a book about the topic “Romance or Roadkill: The Ins and Outs of Freeway Dating,” a couple who met on the freeway and an expert freeway dater who shares some tips for successful freeway dating.

What part of this process have you enjoyed the most?

While I have been fortunate to have won some awards at some film festivals and competitions, I am most excited about how people have seemed to find a connection with the film. Many people have told me that they have found something special in it for them and that is really exciting to me.

Eric, thank you so much for sharing with us and giving us a peek into the world of shortfilms!

Some additional exciting news about Liberte':
Liberte' is one of 19 films selected to be shown at The Indigo Film Festival (TIFF) during World Youth Week in Syndey, Austraila. This is a huge spiritual gathering for youth sponsored by the Catholic Church (the Pope goes there to speak on the last day).

1 comment:

Heather said...

Very cool. Thanks for sharing.