Watch! Sunday Shorts: Grid Face

Grid Face

Directed by Naveed Farro
Starring Athan Bellos
Grid Face highlights the issues regarding creative freedom by following a man leading a double life as an architect and a graffiti writer.

Director Naveed Farro (right) on the set of Grid Face.

Written by Naveed Farro

Grid Face is a short film that follows an architect, Felix, who is leading a double life as a graffiti writer. Constantly being forced to compromise creatively at work, Felix finds solace in his tactical graffiti missions. The topics of architecture and graffiti represent the sliding scale of creative freedom, and, ultimately, these worlds come colliding together in a catastrophic, yet rewarding, denouement.

The idea for Grid Face spawned from my own millennial fears of what would happen after finishing an arts degree. It made me transfixed on all other relative career paths that the majority of society deems as ‘useful.’ This led me to research texts on the sociopsychological impact of creative freedom on the artist, before writing the script for the film. Ultimately, it’s a film that centres on “the dream of creative freedom,” which I believe, most creatives hold. I chose architecture and graffiti to represent the two sliding scales of creative freedom. But in all honesty I’ve always wanted to see a man in a suit doing graffiti.

“Architecture is the masterly, correct, and magnificent play of masses brought together in light. Our eyes are made to see forms in light: light and shade reveal these forms.’ – Le Corbusier

Another key underlying focus of Grid Face is the strong relationship between architecture and film. The project was part of an Honours Thesis at Murdoch University that studied this relationship that film has with other art forms. I believe that all art forms are interconnected in some way or another, and this research targets these two areas specifically. Film is linked to architecture in the way that we perceive space. When we travel the walkway of a city promenade we are experiencing the significance of the space through our visual and spatial awareness, while creating movement through our feet. The renowned architect and theatrical set designer-turned-filmmaker, Sergei Eisenstein, believed that the journey through any architectural space is comparable to montage and movement in films, where our eye is similar to the camera (Eisenstein 1938, 116).

This Honours dissertation is an analysis of how architecture has been used in my short dramatic film, Grid Face, to symbolically represent underlying notions of the narrative as well to support the mood and feel of the story. You can read the full text here.

Cinematographer Lewis Rodan on the set of Grid Face.

Written by Lewis Rodan (Cinematographer)

A key priority for Naveed and I when preparing for Grid Face was to find a visual language that would distinguish between the emotional underpinnings of Felix’s life at work, and his moonlit identity. The answer to this question was discovered both by conceptual and circumstantial factors. 

We shot the work scenes on the RED Scarlet in a fairly traditional cinematic approach. We tried not to overly sensualise these scenes, using only static tripod shots or smooth pans/tilts where necessary, paired with a fairly airy and soft lighting scheme. 

In comparison, Felix’s rebellious intents where filmed on a Sony A7s (w/ Atomos Shogun) in a somewhat espionage and noir style. There is a sense of tension and excitement in these fast paced Steadicam roaming of hard lit alleyways, draped in shadows and accents of neon and sodium coloured lights. The Sony A7s ISO capability provided us with the ability to work with available lighting, often only having to further push the light further with portable LED panels. 

Working on Grid Face was a rewarding experience to see it find its shape and voice, and pushed my skill set and understanding as a filmmaker.

Got a short film you’d like to screen as part of our Sunday Shorts program? Submit it here!

Athan Bellos in Grid Face.


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