Director M.P. Wills (Mark Wills) has just finished his latest short film, THE HORN, which was shot entirely on 16mm film by Kieran Fowler NZCS ACS. Produced by Yolandi Franken, Heath Ledger Scholarship recipients Rahel Romahn and Mojean Aria, and executive produced by Oscar Leal, the film tells a captivating story about an adolescent girl trying to understand her mother’s obsession with a mysterious horn sound coming from the sky. The film promises to leave audiences on the edge of their seats while delivering a strange and beautifully haunting experience.
THE HORN stars Gabrielle Chan and An Dang, who both deliver stellar performances playing their roles as mother and daughter.
Shot on location in Sydney, the decision to shoot on film was deliberate for the creative team. Having shot his previous short film Blood Orange in 35mm, which premiered at Australia’s Flickerfest in 2019, Wills explained, “I think digital camera’s really tend to focus on resolution. It strives for perfection and tries to remove the imperfection in the image; things are always so clear and feel so real in the frame, but for me, everytime I go to the movies I want to be taken out of reality, not put back in it. That’s why I always gravitate towards shooting on film, because the textures and grain are the colour of our memories; they’re able to instantly pull you out of reality and take you back in time. You just can’t achieve that in digital.”
Indeed, the team faced several challenges while shooting on film. They had to be mindful of each frame, as film can be expensive and limited in quantity. This meant they had to be very strategic in their shot choices, often rehearsing and testing each shot before rolling the camera.
But for Wills and his team, the challenges were all worth it in the end. Looking forward, Mark is also planning on shooting his debut feature film – a Thai-Australian horror on 35mm, citing film as an art-form that he feels should be celebrated and preserved, not forgotten. “I think it’s really important that more and more people continue to shoot on film and explore it as a viable option for their films. It definitely has a more complicated workflow, but if you have the right crew and you’re economical with the way you shoot, it’s all worth it in the end; on top of having wonderful imagery, there’s this kind of wisdom that it passes down onto you as a filmmaker. And you never forget those lessons.”
The film, which just finished post-production, promises to be a cinematic experience unlike any other. With a talented cast and crew and the added authenticity of shooting on film, audiences can expect a short film that is both visually stunning and emotionally impactful.