Making ’10’

10 is a short film created by Bailey Cook which is about a bullied teenager who starts to see glowing numbers above the heads of his friends and family. The film was selected for Top Design 2016 and received a coveted People’s Choice award for is audience pleasing blend of drama and black comedy.

When he was writing his screenplay, Bailey drew inspiration from the screenwriting book Save the Cat in which Blake Snyder describes where the key dramatic points in a narrative should fall. When formulating his screenplay, he used these as markers to maintain audience engagement.

When you’re writing a screenplay for a short film, Bailey recommends showing the drafts to other people for feedback to help refine your story. He encourages young filmmakers to focus on their screenplays, pointing out that it’s too late to make changes when you’re in post production.

When casting a short film, Bailey recommends approaching students who are undertaking Drama or Theatre Studies classes. “There’s plenty of budding actors and people who want to be in front of lights and on screen or on stage,” he said. “So maybe give them a visit if you’re looking for people to act.”

Bailey believes that thorough organisation helped him create a successful film. During the production, he gave himself plenty of buffer room just in case something went wrong. “I set a due date for myself for the film about two weeks before my teacher did,” he said, “just so again I had buffer room just in case something went wrong or a hard drive died.”

During principal photography, Bailey explained that ensuring the safety of your cast and crew is paramount. In the storyboards, Bailey planned a violent knife fight. When they were on set, they took extensive precautions to ensure that everyone was safe. In the medium shots, the actors were holding fake, plastic knives. When the camera cuts to a close up, they would switch to the real knives, never wielding them in a way that could injure anyone. The final stab in the film was achieved using a plastic knife with a retractable blade and fake blood.

During post-production, Bailey purchased royalty free music from Triune Films who make the successful YouTube series Film Riot. For $5 he was able to purchase royalty free tracks that added to the drama and humour of his film.

In principal photography, Bailey shot on a camera that captured footage larger than the HD sequence he was editing in. This meant that he was able to achieve slow zoom and dolly effects that were impractical, time consuming or difficult to achieve on location.

10 required a great deal of special effects. Bailey used Adobe After Effects and Element 3D to achieve these and spent hundreds of hours in the editing suite. ” It’s really important that any special effects you do doesn’t take your audience out of the story,” he said, “otherwise anything that breaks the immersion that they have in the story really detracts from your film.”

“Do something that you really love and make sure that you make a film that you’d want to see. Having an idea that you really love is the key to keep you going.”