It’s always a pleasure to see that the creatives you surround yourself with are developing new ideas. When I learned that Adam Sandy and Jon from Instinctive Photography were working together on a secret project I was very excited. Both have been previous guests on my podcast show (Adam and Jon) so knowing the high standard of their cinematography and photography, it only seemed reasonable something great was coming.
They produced little teasers and shots from their work, which obviously was going to be a short film. Instinctive has worked in sublime settings in the past, usually manor houses and country estates. These have resulted in some lovely family photography shots and a few corporate images too. Knowing Jon, I thought this had to involve some lavish architecture and boy what a treat it was.
The film is called “the audition” and is approx 20 minutes long, shot in a mixture of colour and black&white. They have carefully used music against the amazing scenes and interspersed with text to break up the sections, like a play.
It’s great to see the story unfold in front of you, with the model (Aiden Van Rensburg) producing a lovely performance as the immortal dancer hoping for a chance. The plot follows her attempts on her journey to make an audition (hence the name).
Behind the scenes
I was lucky enough to get behind the scenes and talk to all 3 of the team together about this piece of work. These are presented in an answer/question format for you.
(Phlogger) Jon, where did the idea come from?
(Jon) I’d been in conversation with Aiden about a themed photoshoot. Before we had a chance to do it, I’d hooked up with Adam and started to think about the potential of making a film together
(Phlogger) How did your idea become a reality?
(Jon) The location gave kind permission as Instinctive has supported them for a few years. As I knew Aiden has a love for dance and desires to act, I thought we could push ourselves to deliver a beautiful story and so it was written. Getting us all together took a while, eventually happening on the hottest days of the year.
It’s been a great process, not all scenes made it to the screen, some just become unnecessary. Adam and Aiden have been first class with their empathy towards the character and story. Adding their own touches too, often on the fly or through improvisation.
We all wanted the same result, a beautiful, emotional, heartwarming and uplifting film. I’ve been really impressed with how Adam and Aiden have brought this character to life. Seeing your own dreams become a reality on screen is a pretty special thing!
(Phlogger) Adam, what were the challenges of making this film?
(Adam) I think the main challenge for this film was the relatively short amount of time we had to film alongside the distance between areas that we wanted to film. We had about 5 hours on the first shoot day and around 4 hours on the second, which for a 20-minute film with multiple different locations, meant we had to be quick and efficient! I think we coped by adopting what I’ve come to call an ‘instinctive’ style of filming, which is all handheld and thinking on your feet, accepting everyone’s suggestions and capturing what is there in a raw and realistic way. All to mirror, within the filming style, what Jon achieves through his photos.
(Phlogger) How did you plan which seen to film when?
(Adam) Jon had a pretty good idea of where to film and had it mapped out as to what route we’d take. Certain scenes had to be filmed at certain times like the internal section at the end of the film was shot first as that’s when we had access to the location. Otherwise, it was mostly motivated by what made most logistical sense for getting to the next area and not coming back on ourselves later in the day. This meant we had to have a grip on the story which I like to do using my preparation and then my shot list on the day. Jon then helped maintain continuity from shooting out of order so that Aiden knew how the character would be feeling for each scene so she could act accordingly.
(Phlogger) Aiden, was it easy to get in character?
(Aiden) Yes, it was easy to get into character, as we have so many similarities; a passion for dance, being a tad clumsy, a tendency to stumble and trip but always getting back up, and having a laughing about it, and then being late for everything. (My whole family agree “the being late part” is exactly like me – hahaha).
It was a little more difficult getting into the mindset of feeling anxious and nervous, but I could relate because I’ve had those moments from time to time, when I was younger, e.g. before Ballet Exams, fortunately, now I just get excited.
It was easy to show the happy effect which dance has, and share the joy felt from eating Jelly Beans! I might have got that scene with the Jelly Beans wrong on purpose a few times, just so we could re-take and I had more chances to eat jelly beans. It was great to express being so carefree and relaxed because I love to be positive.
(Phlogger) What was your favourite part?
(Aiden) Wow…. where do I start! Everything! Every minute, from the second of meeting Jon and Adam, through the filming on one of the hottest days of the year, to experience the brilliant response to the trailer and then finally the actual short film!
If I had to choose, I loved the very first scene in the car with the uplifting music, day-dreaming and preparing myself for the audition, and of course, taking a few selfies along the way as us teens do. Of course, I loved all the dancing scenes too, and the funny bit when I lose my shoe in the field amongst the Deer and a couple of them look up from grazing towards me, as if I’m mad!
Overall, It was great being myself, having the best time doing things I love with an amazingly talented team to capture it!
It’s a well-shot, edited and composed piece of work that everyone will like. There is a belief of a dream-like essence, where the dancer has this amazing time by herself, that so few can handle. I did like the end dance and really shows Aiden has a great gift, which is only complimented by the talents of Jon and Adam.
Well done Adam, Aiden & Jon on a great video, we look forward to seeing future work!
Adam Sandy – find him on Instagram here
Aiden Van Rensberg- find her on Instagram here
Jon Scrimshaw – find him on Instagram here
If you want to hire Instinctive – check out their website here
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