Steam machines: Mel’s film steams to Berlin
Mel created Steam Machines using a technique called fusion where still and moving images are blended seamlessly into a short film.
Steam Machines gained a Silver Distinction award at last year’s Epson/New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers (NZIPP) Iris Professional Photography Awards in the new Fusion category.
Mel spent a total of three days shooting in the Steam Traction Society’s storage sheds, located just outside Feilding, filming and photographing images for the work. The editing took, on and off, approximately 6 months. “This is typical for the filmmaking process; shooting can take only days and editing can take months, sometimes years!”
“Documentary film makers have used still and moving images for years,” says Mel. “But this new fusion style has specific requirements.”
The film must be recorded on a DSLR camera, have one single track of music and no sound. The film must also be edited to less than 2.5 minutes.
“The criteria seem very strict but it makes you very clear in your story telling,” says Mel. She sometimes prepares her filming with the use of a story board but prefers to use a more organic approach. “I just go and shoot and often the unexpected becomes the best part of the film.”
“Steam Machines was quite documentary in style, so it was difficult to storyboard,” she says. “I just spent a lot of time in the space, before shooting and took note of whatever I thought would be a strong image.”
The Berlin Independent Film Festival is regarded as the epicentre of low budget film making in Europe with an emphasis on showcasing new film makers who do great things with small budgets.
In its fourth year the festival runs at the same time and just down the road, from the European Film Market and draws on all the film industry power gathered for that event.
Sixty films – 20 feature length and 20 shorts are selected each year. They will be shown in cinemas in downtown Berlin from 8 – 18 February.
Mel Edmon is a Video Lecturer on the Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging (BAVI) programme at UCOL.