The Top Screen 2021 filmmakers discuss the successes and challenges involved in making their short films.
Chaired by the State Reviewer for VCE Media, the panel will explore the ins and outs of producing a VCE Media film, from choosing an idea, to sound and lighting.
The panel discussion will take place in the cinema immediately after the screening.
Wed 31 March 9.30am
Wed 28 April 9.30am
Wed 5 May 12.30pm
Thu 13 May 12.30pm
Thu 20 May 9.30am
Films screening in these sessions
Anise Perry | 2020 | 6 mins | Short | Animation, Magical Realism
In the dead of night, Peachy’s boring life is brightened as he discovers a peach tree placed mysteriously on his doorstep. At his office job, he savours the peach, devouring its delicious flesh, his only respite from the drudgery of work. However, what initially brought him joy now reveals itself to be a thing of nightmares.
In making this project, the director intended to create an animated short film in a magical realist style to explore artistic expression. Inspired by the Japanese animators Atushi Wada and Q-rais, it seeks to comment on the dystopian lifestyle of corporate workers.
VCE Media 2020, Williamstown High School
In My Dreams
Elle Vanden Boom | 2020 | 4 mins | Short | Drama
Ash is a teenaged girl who deals with the struggles presented by the COVID-19 lockdown. As she adapts to the challenges of being isolated and unable to do the things that make her happy, she reflects on the times before the pandemic through her dreams.
This production explores themes of youth and coming of age. The director hoped to represent the effects of the lockdown from a teenage perspective.
VCE Media 2020, Genazzano FCJ College
Elaf Elsheikh | 2020 | 4 mins | Short | Animation
A young boy struggling to perfect his passion for art learns to acknowledge the changing environment. With a focus on deforestation, this tale delves into the harm it has on nature's beauty. The story journeys through Sam's life as he grows older and draws comparison with the land decaying around him.
In making this film, the director hoped to draw attention to the issue of deforestation by showing the perspective of a younger boy who realises its devastating effect on the world. She wanted to empower audiences to make a change.
VCE Media 2020, Southern Cross Grammar
The Final Thought
Tadji Ulrich | 2020 | 10 mins | Short | Science Fiction
Phen is a recently single uni student looking for some money and a little romance. He accepts an offer to join an experiment in which he will interact with a female humanoid AI, Mila. He is told the experiment is about whether an AI can love, but the question arises: what is the real intention of the experiment?
In making this film, the director intended to construct a speculative narrative that questions the power of love by exploring its effects on AI. He wanted to harness a non-linear structure and twist ending to subvert the expectations of the audience, inspired by the work of Alex Garland and Ridley Scott.
VCE Media 2020, Box Hill High School
Baptiste Emery | 2020 | 2 mins | Short | Animation
A solitary robot toils at a single, monotonous task within the depths of an enormous factory. However, a strange turn of (mechanical) fate plunges him into a strange and unknown world. Flourishing with nature and light, the new world presents itself as the antithesis to his industrial tomb.
The director's intention was to create a film which emphasised the isolation, disenfranchisement and insecurity faced by younger generations, who have to contend with a changing social and economic climate. It is inspired by films such as Blade Runner 2049 and Metropolis.
VCE Media 2020, Melbourne High School
Flynt Robbins | 2020 | 2 mins | Short | Animation
The film follows a young boy as he is guided to a place of acceptance by his yellow balloon.
The director set out to make a film he wished he'd seen in his younger years. He imagines the film being screened before a Disney animation, as it was heavily inspired by the short film Paperman (2009). It explores themes such as isolation and belonging in ways that can be understood by children.
VCE Media 2020, Padua College
Breakfast For Maisie
Zak Scott | 2020 | 5 mins | Short | Stop Motion, Horror
Two characters find themselves locked in a room with a giant, slumbering creature. They are faced with the task of feeding the creature, raising the question, who will become breakfast for Maisie? This stop motion horror short focuses on cultivating a claustrophobic, tense atmosphere.
The director's intention for this film was to create an entirely visual story. Relying on animation techniques such as those used by Henry Sellick and Robert Morgan, he aimed to create something uniquely nightmarish that would stick with the audience long after the film was over.
VCE Media 2020, Brighton Secondary College
James Miller | 2020 | 10 mins | Short | Mockumentary
A film crew follows the struggles of an intrepid director as he attempts to make his magnum opus.
Through this live-action/stop motion hybrid film, the filmmaker sought to create a self-referential mockumentary that blurs the lines between satire and autobiography. In doing so, he aimed to highlight the artificiality of traditional documentaries, provide a humorous look at the artistic process and prompt audiences to reflect on the underlying purpose of art creation.
VCE Media 2020, St Kevin's College
Holly Rumble | 2020 | 3 mins | Short | Stop Motion, Comedy
This film pokes fun at a situation that many have found themselves in under COVID-19 restrictions and quarantine: complete, unadulterated boredom. Two brothers navigate life in a pandemic by trying to occupy their newfound time in some rather unconventional ways.
Inspired by the stop motion stylings of Aardman Studios, the director aimed to poke fun at some of the more trivial challenges of life in quarantine through light-hearted claymation. Her hope is that the absurd lengths the characters take to remedy their own crippling boredom resonates with audiences.
VCE Media 2020, Eltham High School
Matthew Cantone | 2020 | 5 mins | Short | Horror, Comedy
A young man moves into an old Victorian style house, only to find it already inhabited by a creature of the night along with other horrors that await inside. He must run for his life to outlast his malicious yet clumsy foes if he is willing to live in this monster of a house.
The director intended to parody and replicate the works of classic 1920s silent films through horror and comedy. He utilised German Expressionism to create an atmosphere of mystery, uncertainty and stress contrasted with slapstick. Films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu inspired his work.
VCE Media 2020, St Bernard's College
Miki Flett | 2020 | 4 mins | Short | Animation
Orla, a cadet lost in space discovers a creature who seeks a cup of tea. After sharing a cup, the creature returns the favour by providing a warm hue which washes over Orla before vanishing. When Orla feels hopeless, the creature returns but refuses to provide their warmth.
In making this animated short, the director explored the exaggerated use of lighting as a major component of narrative. Not only did it represent the protagonist's emotions, it also directed actions throughout the plot. The whimsical aesthetic quality was inspired by the many works that have come out of GOBELINS.
VCE Media 2020, Templestowe College
Joel Rasmussen | 2020 | 10 mins | Short | Documentary
This documentary tells the story of Wrangler Studios, a DIY music venue in Melbourne. It covers its conception and development of the establishment and events held at Wrangler. It also addresses the impact of COVID-19 on the venue and how they are handling the situation.
The director hoped to shine a light on the volunteer run, non-profit venue which provides a positive atmosphere for so many people from all walks of life to create and enjoy music. He hoped to bring awareness, interest and support to Wrangler, both during COVID and into the future.
VCE Media 2020, Casey Grammar School
The Girl Who Cried Sick
Ruby Taylor | 2020 | 3 mins | Short | Stop Motion, Dramedy
A child hypochondriac's escalating attention-seeking lies lead her parents to dismiss her complaints when she becomes genuinely ill. Inspired by the cautionary tale The Boy Who Cried Wolf, this hand-crafted animation gives humour and heart to a grim true story.
Within the walls of this animation’s richly textured sets, the audience follows the humorous and escalating fibs of a hypochondriac. Works such as Fantastic Mr. Fox and Negative Space inspired this film’s immersive sound design and detailed mise-en-scène.
VCE Media 2020, Kardinia International College
Blair Smith | 2020 | 4 mins | Short | Animation
Superheroes can’t save everyone. And in this case, it's sadly true. After a horrific encounter that ends in the loss of life, the superhero feels responsible and returns home to deal with the heavy weight of her job. As the superhero struggles with her mental health, she looks for strength within herself.
In making this film, the director hoped to create a story centred around mental health through the lens of superheroes. By combining our real world with the unique comic book world, it allows for an immersive experience that leaves a lasting message about dealing with mental health.
VCE Media 2020, Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School
Like No Other
Montepulciano Callen | 2020 | 10 mins | Short | Drama, Horror
Cillian is a Year 12 student in her last days before her Specialist Maths exam. However, with a global zombie pandemic in the way, she needs to decide where her priorities lie: a good ATAR, or her own life.
The director originally wrote the film to allegorically express the challenges that VCE students face when they neglect their personal wellbeing in the pursuit of academia. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Victoria, he tailored the story to be more fitting for the year like no other. He wanted to create a sense of fear, tension and sympathy, inspired by the work of Denis Villeneuve and Alejandro González Iñárritu.
VCE Media 2020, Brighton Secondary College
Ana Luiza Souza Alberti | 2020 | 3 mins | Short | Animation
Ana, a young immigrant girl, struggles to adapt after moving from her small hometown in Brazil to a big Western city for university. She finds comfort in replicating one of her grandmother’s recipes, which remind her of home. This film is about nostalgia and homesickness with a slightly surreal twist.
The director wanted to explore the struggle that many immigrant women face when moving to a different country alone. Through this personal story, she wanted to deliver a message of hope to those who feel homesick or isolated, and encourage others to reach out for help and embrace their cultural roots.
VCE Media 2020, Melbourne Girls' College
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