Croissants, black ties and bumping into a stumbling drunk James Franco – all perks of getting to Cannes. Not to mention taking a few important business cards back home as souvenirs.
A complimentary remark from his film lecturer and Brisbane writer/director Glenn Wauchop was ready and determined to get to Cannes. The Fairest of Them All had a quirky appeal that could stand out at the world’s premier film festival.
It’s a bumpy road only cut out for filmmakers who take their craft seriously and it pays to be nifty with tight budgets. But Wauchop says getting to Cannes is achievable for any budding filmmaker who puts their passion behind the camera.
“It was surprisingly easy if you just concentrate on the film and find where it fits into.”
Wauchop underestimates his talents. He boldly took up the role of producer for the first time and teamed up with fellow Griffith Film School student Kine Skimten Andersen, who draws on her Scandinavian storytelling roots to deliver a killer screenplay filled with wonder and tension.
The short film runs just shy of ten minutes but leaves you wanting more. Seven characters from our favourite fairytales are in the mix in a sinister whodunnit with a twist.
The flowing soundtrack compliments the eerie setting of the Beerburrum State Forest well to highlight the darker subtext behind bedtime lore.
Natural light is expertly showcased with dark violet shades coming out from the shadows during the night scenes. The Fairest of Them All has ace cinematography, original costume design and some talented acting on display, particularly from Gavin Edwards as The Huntsman. Wauchop has done considerably well on a $5K budget.
And that budget wasn’t easy to stick to. One of the major expenses he found came during post-production and promoting the film with posters and DVD’s. Wauchop says this expense is necessary for reaping any kind of reward, even after being selected to take part in a prestigious film fest such as Cannes.
“At that point, it’s important to have a good film but for people to actually watch it, it really comes down to poster design and being really savvy with your marketing.”
Wauchop is no stranger to sourcing and utilising every last cent after selling his property to fund his film studies – what he describes as his “quarter-life crisis”. Working in IT as a software developer still brings home the bacon for Wauchop but he speaks lovingly about his passion for filmmaking and of his time in Cannes.
And who wouldn’t? This sunny Mediterranean town along the French Riviera more than doubles in population to host the world’s paparazzi, super-celebs and the next new talent in film. There’s a buzz about Cannes during May with every bar and café filled with producers, distributors and virtually anyone with an interest in film.
Wauchop says playing the socialite at any available chance to mingle and pitch your film is unquestionably necessary for networking, selling a script or filling seats at your screening.
“If you see someone sitting by themselves, get a coffee and sit down next to them. You need to be bit brave and start talking to strangers.”
This can be hard for some filmmakers who typically inherit the sensitive personality trait of a creative genius but with hundreds of other short films to choose form and only one shot at filling the 10 – 15 person cinema, there can be little choice.
After missing out on a red carpet screening in high demand (that’s a 2Km red carpet, by the way), Wauchop begrudgingly checked in at the nearest bar only to find two producers from LA and London willing to share their time and business cards.
That beer may have cost him 18 Euros but could have been well worth it if it means his script gets priority over the rest of the pile. That overpriced beer is in fact a bargain in comparison to the $200 entry to the American Pavillion where the most valuable contact details are exchanged.
After experiencing the glitz and glam of Cannes, Wauchop is enjoying the prospect of taking The Fairest of Them All to Sydney for Fantastic Planet – a niche film festival for sci-fi and fantasy. Wauchop says these smaller film festivals that focus on specific genres are valuable for any filmmaker looking for critique and a wider audience.
On the horizon for Wauchop is a music video for Brisbane band Lunar Seasons and a feature film currently in post-production, The Hunter’s Club, in which he took the role of First Assistant Director.
See a trailer and behind-the-scenes photography of The Fairest of Them All at TheFairestShortFilm.com or a selection of Glenn Wauchop’s work on his youtube channel.