As part of our new YOMYOMF Network series, The Short List, where we present short films we love every Friday at Noon EST, we’ve reached out to the filmmakers with 5 Questions to see what’s up since the production of their short film. It’s a way for them to revisit their film and get an update on their next projects. You can view all The Short List films here.
We asked 5 questions to Sean Wainsteim, the director of this week’s short film, Lost For Words.
1. How did you come up with the concept for this short?
This film, the first short I made in about ten years, is a love-letter to the time I spent in libraries pouring over fantastic books filled with magical illustrations and being absorbed by storytellers and puppeteers. It’s also a bit of a nod to the films that furthered my love of story and inspired me to dream (often darkly). I often describe the film as a cross between Labyrinth and Pan’s Labyrinth: a dark dream from the recesses of childhood that jumps from fantastic moment to bizarre occurrence and is governed by a logic system all it’s own.
I was fortunate enough to collaborate with illustrator Nathan Jurevicius (www.scarygirl.com) who provided the creature designs. We’d been chatting for some years about collaborating and this seemed like the perfect place for it.
2. Any challenges or setbacks during the production?
Hrmmm…. challenges to production. You mean like working with first time child actors, complicated puppets, building enormous sets with very little budget, shooting exteriors around torrential rain and flooding, doing it all in two days? Those kinds of things?
No. Not at all. Why would you ask?
3. Any funny stories from the making of this film?
A trickle of water over some rocks turned into a gushing neck high river. We needed to get across that river to shoot. Luckily one of the grips happened to bring scaffolding (???!!?!?) and was able to build a totally stable bridge in about 45 minutes. We used that bridge to move our lights and large crane. Good crew is GOLD!
4. Where has your film played? Festivals or other places around the world?
The film has played at quite a few festivals in odd corners of the world. Everything ranging from Sprockets (the children’s division of the Toronto International Film Festival now known as TIFF Kids) to After Dark, a horror and oddities film festival. It’s had a wide range of audiences and always seems to get a great reaction. Personally it’s really satisfying to find how many kids connect with it.
5. What’s been going on with you, filmmaking wise since the completion of this short? What are you working on next?
All sorts of things.
I’ve done a few music videos, like this sci-fi one in India:
This fun one for Walk Off the Earth was retweeted by Russell Crowe:
I just got back from shooting another video in Brazil for a great Canadian band called Hey Rosetta! That’s a time/space traveling love story. Obviously. That should be released next week.
I worked with Chokolat to create a doc about inner city high school basketball for MTV2.
We filmed in Harlem and Oklahoma City and had a couple world class NBA guys drop by to hang out. That’s probably my favourite project. It’s available online in the States. You can view it here.
Some other web and tv endeavours… but most importantly…
I’m currently developing a number of feature film projects, one of which is a feature version of this short.
For more on my work, check out www.seanwainsteim.com