A film-maker has put Kosmo Foto’s Agent Shadow to spooky effect this Halloween – and made a short experimental film with it.
Will Nash, a film maker from the UK, shot the short film on Agent Shadow earlier this month and unveiled it on YouTube on Tuesday (31 October).
The film ‘The Welsh Werebit’ is a “still image film” (or “picture movie”) utilising dozens of different still to tell the story. It’s a technique that was widely used by experimental directors for short films, especially in Europe. (Even ‘Star Wars’ director George Lucas made a short film using the still-image technique.)
The ‘Welsh Werebit’ is a horror-comedy which sees a young woman (with a dairy allergy) answer a mysterious ad for a cheese taster.
Kosmo Foto spoke to director Will Nash for more detail about this ghoulishly funny short film… (You can see the film below)
Where did the idea come from?
“Storyline wise, the idea came from wanting to shoot something for Halloween. But some sort of comedy sketch. I was playing around with some of the more well known concepts of Horror films and from Werewolves I was thinking what other “Weres” can there be? My brain then jumped to rarebit, the Welsh dish ,and that became the seed for the rest of the story. Concept wise of shooting it on stills came from something I’ve been wanting to do since I was at art college and a lecturer showed me ‘La Jetée’ (1962) by Chris Marker, a film that later inspired Terry Gilliam’s ’12 Monkeys’ (1995).
“I loved the way a still image can be used to show movement, especially in black and white. Another inspirational French film was Renaissance (2006) which was an animated feature created purely in just Black and White. No greys! When it came to costume design, props and sets we tried to make everything in just those two colours. It’s a concept I’d love to push further in future projects.”
How long did it take to shoot the film?
“The film was shot in one day in mid-October. We’d had about five weeks of prep before hand so pretty much everything was lined up to shoot on the day.”
Where was it shot?
“We shot at Mount Ephraim Gardens in Faversham in Kent, a fantastic venue and very thankful to them for letting us shoot there.”
How many rolls did you shoot it on?
“Five rolls in total, I brought more just in case. When I’m doing candid portraits which is my usual style of photography I tend to only take one or two rolls with me and take the shots in the moment. With this I took maybe two or three at most for each shot. When I was a camera trainee on TV dramas that were still shooting film it was embedded in me that you don’t shoot unless you’re 100% ready which is something I keep with me today. Not just for the sake of saving film but also performance wise, after one or two takes things can start to unravel.”
Have you done anything like this before?
“I’ve shot half of another project again in black and white but still need to complete the rest of principal photography before moving onto post production. But shooting something wholly as stills and then turning it into a film is something I haven’t really done since my art college days.”
How hard is it to “see” the narrative when you’re shooting stills?
“I think it’s been very similar to shooting motion pictures, but the main thought I had to keep in my head was capturing what would be a moving shot in motion picture to capturing that same essence in a still shot. Making sure I knew I had that part of the story covered so when it comes together in post it makes sense for the audience. I storyboarded everything before and which was a great help for something like this.
“Post-production becomes a thing in itself too. I knew I was going to have to change some of the more modern aspects in a few photos so took to photoshop and for the first time tried the AI generative fill tool. That was a huge amount of fun changing Ford Focus cars into a horse (with six legs) and cart and placing extra Victorian-looking people in shot. Even the train over the bridge was re-designed and if you look closely it’s just a weird lump of AI tiles. As this was a comedy I fully wanted to embrace the AI options for something at this level.”
What gear did you use to shoot it?
“My trusty Canon AE-1 to shoot on. I’ve got a 50mm and 28mm lens, the latter was only used in some of the dining scenes as I prefer to stay on the 50mm when shooting. Lights wise we had Nanlite Pavotubes and an Aputure Amaran with a smoke machine to get some of those science lab shots.”
Will there be a sequel?
“You never know! Now the “Were” door has been opened who knows what beasts of the night may emerge? I think my kids would like to see more Werebeasts!