Our knockout winner of August, Human, is a highly recommended sci-fi film, directed by Patrick Ryder. We asked Patrick to join us for an interview about his work, and share some of the challenges and thoughts he had while creating this outstanding short.
What were some of the challenges you had when creating Human?
The biggest challenge with this film was the robot suit itself. Creating something that was not only believable but practical too. So the mechanics of the suit made sense for it's surroundings and it's purpose. Myself and Alex Phillips looked at several designs and ideas for the the face structure, the use of lights and some of the key components to make it stand out. I suppose the other main challenge was budget in that regard, we have a very small budget so everything had to be planned well in advance.
What was the happiest moment for you, during the process of creating Human?
I think the happiest moment had to be when Alex first stepped onto set, dressed in the suit and seeing just how effective it was against the stark backdrop. Filming his interaction with both Leila Kotori and Nadia Lamin and how they really interacted with him on a personal and intimate level.
What reaction or emotions were you hoping to provoke from the audience? Were you worried about the use of a Robot as one of the main characters?
For all the characters in the film, they are searching for their place in the world. They feel isolated, alone yet they build a core connection with each other and it was that sense of belonging, family, hope I wanted to try and get across.
Watch the Official Trailer
Is this the first time you create Sci-fi? What are the 3 most important things you learned about filmmaking while making a Sci-Fi film?
Yes, this is my first true sci-fi film. In many ways I had avoided it in the past, not because I do not like sci-fi, far from it, The X Files for me has been the biggest inspiration in my life, it inspired me to create stories and to create. It was rather, I was waiting for the right moment to tell the right story in the best way I could. In technical level of creating a working, living prop is the biggest learning curve, creating something to such fine detail. Sound design was another aspect I developed a great deal from this project, the use of sound effects and scoring to add to the film. The third thing would be post-effects, this film was filled with lighting and particle effects throughout, for me I wanted to give the film a very strong visual style and that helped massively.
Indie filmmaking can be very tricky, yet you managed to create such a powerful film. Let's talk about technicalities:
How many shooting days did you have?
We shot over about 3 full days in total.
How many cameras did you use?
We had 1 camera, so again every scene was shot several times to capture everyone's reactions and also to set up establishing shots.
How did you get the budget to create it?
We were very thankful to Kickstarter supporters who put in around £1400, for a shot with this style and technical props it was hugely ambitious on this budget but we were really pleased with the results and how we used all the funds.
How did you find your key crew members?
The film was made on a skeleton crew, so I filmed, some days I also did sound too, Christie-Luke Jones was massively helpful on the final two days filming and really helped us cross the line.
Who is behind the design of the Robot's costume?
Myself and Alex sat down and talked about the design, I worked up several ideas with him. But it was Alex who really created the look, the props and effect materials were all his hard work and I am so thankful for the effort and passion he put into making it such a memorable creation.
Do you have any tips for young filmmakers?
Trust your heart. If you have a story you want to tell, and Idea you want to create, then do it. Do not let budget stand in the way, find a way, create it. I would also say do not be afraid to make mistakes, you learn from them, grow from them and become a much better director or writer in the long run.
What's next for Human and what's next for you? What are your career aspirations? How do you see your future in ten years from today?
Human has started his festival run so we are hoping it can continue it's wonderful success throughout this year into next year, it has several screenings lined up. I am working on several very exciting projects, 4 new shorts, one entitled 'Chimera' which teams me up with Nadia Lamin again 'Mari from Human' and also a film called 'The Doorman' with the wonderful Cheryl Neve. I also have a feature film script I have in pre-production and I am looking to hopefully get this made one day soon.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
A huge thank you for all the support of all the fans, friends and family and to everyone who supported the film at the LA Film Awards.
Follow Patrick Ryder on Twitter and Facebook.