"Toi La Who?" Short Film



Producer David White from White Balance Pictures and Director Sally Tran asked me to be the DP for this short film shot in Wellington. I had worked with Sally on a music video for Hanna Grace, and she was keen for me to shoot this interesting story.

sally-tran

Sally's unique visual style again came through with this film. The art direction and costumes are bold and interesting. The performances and choreography are amazing. Having twelve children moving through set and all synchronized together was a pretty huge achievement. Best of all, the script was good, and the story compelling.

ben-ruffell-finder

The film was funded by through Creative New Zealand's Independent Film Fund, and David also secured some great sponsorship deals. The script was very ambitious, but with such a strong and compelling story many suppliers and crew gave their time and equipment generously.

alex-mcdonald-2

We shot in Wellington where myself and Steadicam Operator Alex McDonald were kindly accommodated in fantastic apartments by The Museum Hotel. We had two days filming on location, and the rest of the shoot took place on set in a studio kindly provided by Camperdown Studios and Jamie Selkirk.

camera-team-int

We shot on Red MX cameras provided by Rubber Monkey. The bulk of the shoot was shot with two cameras, as we were on a very tight schedule working with a lot of young children.

matt-hearte

Matt Hearte was my Gaffer, and we worked with a small lighting package also provided by Rubber Monkey and Portsmouth. Working closely with Rubber Monkey was fantastic. They supplied me with a great camera and lighting package, a Panther dolly, and viewing the days rushes in their comfortable screening room was excellent.

ben-alex-claude

The Wellington Camera Assistants and Grips also gave their time generously and I was lucky enough to work with a great roster of locals... we even managed to pull Claude Dasan out of retirement!

ext-set

Without giving the story away, there are two distinct looks throughout the film. I achieved these different looks with on camera filtration, and lighting cues. This was all tied together nicely in the grade and visual effects by Miquel Ubeda.

crew-photo

This is just a small montage of shots from the completed film, please be sure to keep an eye out for it at a festival near you soon.
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