Afro Punk Girl
(Short Film – 1x 16 minutes)
- Director: Annetta Laufer
- Executive Producer: Charlie Hanson
- Producers: Shobu Kapoor, Anya Ryzhenkova
- Production company: Roman Candle Films
In a dystopian future, where a post apocalyptic Britain forces a “Happiness Agenda” upon its hungry isolated citizens, a young punk girl meets a radical old dandy to discover the importance of true rebellion.
- Starring: Danielle Vitalis and Larrington Walker
- London Short Film Festival (World Premiere)
- Black International Film Festival – WINNER BEST SHORT FILM
Working on any budget at whatever level of film is always a task, especially when it is relatively small and the visual requires an epic feel. The key focus on this project was to create a barren, toxic landscape, so finding the right location was paramount followed by spending the limited resources where it counted most.
Even as production designer my past experience sourcing props, carrying out prop makes, originating graphics, plus wealth of standby set dressing knowledge to shot, all proved to be invaluable assets to have. Although this may have not been a big production, in my eyes it just demonstrates what can be cleverly achieved from not very much.
Action Prop Sourcing
One main action prop required for the shoot was a bicycle rickshaw which had to be sourced and hired as the budget was unable to afford a bespoke make. To find something authentic was no mean feat and at first I trawled the London streets of Soho in search of possible options since I knew several rickshaw tricycle taxis operated in the area.
Relying on my ingenuity and sheer unashamed resourcefulness, I tracked down who ran all the vehicles on the circuit which turned out to be a Chinese Triad. After making direct contact with the main man and then meeting at a secret location, I was able to persuade him to assist with the project, negotiating a very reasonable hire charge in the process.
Even though in the end the final option selected by the Director was from an actual prop house, this scenario gives an idea of the lengths I will go to in sourcing what is needed for a script though of course making sure any personal safety is not compromised.
Below is an example of the thought process behind some initial ideas after reading the script together with a quickly drawn visual. This also includes a logo and a series of graphics which I created which were used as dressing in the film.
Concept and Graphics Boards
This short film represented a diverse cast and featured lead black characters which was a core theme regarding representation in the script. Such projects for me being a British white male are not so much challenging, but clearly show an understanding of the melting pot we live in as a society which I see myself very much part of.
This has been evident throughout my career having production designed BBC2 TV drama series ‘Brothers and Sisters’ twice which showcased rising stars David Harewood, David Oyelowo and Don Gilet at the time, plus recently being involved with organising an event at County Hall for the ‘Black Heros Foundation’.