We’re spotlighting another INTERPRETATIONS entry that made an impression on the jurors, but didn’t make the final five: Michael Aki’s THE NECKLACE. We asked the filmmakers to share their experiences working on the project.
Karin Anna Cheung (actor) is an actor, singer/musician and artist who loves every form of art. She made her acting debut in Justin Lin’s BETTER LUCK TOMORROW and currently has a new film with director Quentin Lee called THE PEOPLE I’VE SLEPT WITH (due March 22 on DVD). Robert Burke (actor) has worked at the craft of screenwriting for a number of years since transplanting to Los Angeles. He worked as a co-screenwriter on Cine Hous’ feature film STRANGERS, and is working on directing a low budget thriller titled CLEAN. Pryor Praczukowski (DP) is a graphic designer, photographer, hobbyist filmmaker and Cine Hous founder. Bill Poon (Executive Producer) feels film has the ability to change, shape and create the ideology of a person’s perception of their surrounding. He considers himself a fan of the process and its end result. Eric Nakamura (Executive Producer) is the founder of GIANT ROBOT.
How we got involved in the film:
KAC: I was hoping to write/direct my own Interpretations short, but between a painful accident in July and promoting TPISW in festivals and its theatrical release, I couldn’t get my head in the right space to create. So when I was approached by the team to be a part of THE NECKLACE, I said yes. I love the idea of having a female lead who’s a hitman. And I’m always game to be a part of anything related to Giant Robot. I feel blessed to have the chance to work with a great team.
RB: Through knowing Michael Aki. I previously worked with him on a film called STRANGERS.
PP: The director Michael Aki and I have been working together on projects for what seems like 10 years now, and when this opportunity came along it seemed like an interesting challenge.
BP: Michael and I have known each other since our days of turning would be routine singles into outs. He called me one night and said, “Do you know of this contest through YOMYOMF? Write something.” After pitching five or six different ideas, two days later, Michael chose his story.
What was our part in the film:
KAC: I played Charlie.
RB: Wear the right shirt and hit my marks.
EN: My part was tiny, some eyes during editing. It was fun to see a film like this with huge limitations of “rules” work itself out. While some films force the lines, I thought THE NECKLACE was able to use them in the most realistic way of all of the entries that I saw. It’s regular conversation that happens all in an instant, and although the film doesn’t revolve around actions to make those lines appear, it’s the opposite. These simple lines are what propel this short tale.
PP: I was the cameraman.
BP: Aside from the initial plot development, I was Michael’s extra eyes to watch for continuity, flow and rhythm during the filming. We work well together because we can fight and argue but its never personal and we ultimately understand the concerns and solutions provided by one or the other.
What gave us concern during the filming:
KAC: Thrusting the gun left-handed was extremely painful, but at the time I didn’t know the extent of my injuries. It turns out I have a fracture and torn sheath in my left wrist.
RB: How all that story was going to fit be cut down into 3 minutes.
PP: How we were going to cut down three and half hours of raw footage down to three minutes.
BP: Michael’s film are always on the taught edge of a thriller and an action movie. However, with a limited budget, sometimes, special effects as small as a gun shot to a person suffocating can come off unintentionally humorous. But the actors, Pryor and Michael made us all work effectively and convincingly.
Any part of the film we wish we could change:
KAC: I think we all wish we had more than 3 minutes to tell the story.
RB: A shot of my profile needs to be CGI’d.
PP: No, I don’t think so… I think we learned a lot of lessons from bumping up
against the restraints on this project. Many of which, can probably be put to
good use on future projects.
BP: Man, there’s some great stuff on the cutting room floor. Have a director’s cut which was longer.