Sunday Shorts: The Artifice

The Artifice

Written, Produced and Directed by Matthew Holmes
Starring Jushua Jaeger, Nadia Holmes, Bailey Barbour, Gregory Quinn, Adam Wilson and Michael Resce

Article written by Matthew Holmes

In a way, The Artifice was the short film that launched The Legend of Ben Hall. Nearly all the crew on this film formed the team for TLOBH, such as DOP Peter Szilveszter, AD Micheal Resce, Make-up & Hair Supervisor Deirdre Dobbin, Caterer Mary Rose and of course actors Joshua Jager, Bailey Barbour, Gregory Quinn, Joanne Dobbin and Adam Willson all appeared in TLOBH. We all got along so well and worked so smoothly together that we decided to make another short film straight away, which was the original Kickstarter short film for TLOBH.

Whilst working with young Bailey Barbour was a joy, it was a very difficult shoot because of the strict laws in Victoria when working with children. We shot The Artifice in summer so it didn’t get dark until 8:30pm, and we were not legally allowed to work with Bailey past 11:00pm. So each night we only had 2.5 hours to shoot all of Bailey’s coverage. When he left, we filmed all the other scenes that didn’t require him. This meant myself and the DOP had to be extremely careful in planning the shoot.

Because there were quite a few scenes, we had shoot extremely quickly. Our crew was tiny so many people took many jobs. Cast doubled for crew at times. It was all shot on a Canon Mk3.

The Artifice was essentially a proof-of-concept piece rather than traditional short film. A feature script was being developed at the same time by Matthew Holmes with some strong interest in the film in the US. The feature script is underway again with Adelaide writer Gregory Moss collaborating with Matthew Holmes. Whilst still dealing with the Black Eyed Children mythology, the story and characters are quite different to the short film.

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