AACTA Spotlight Featuring PINCH ME

Interview with Director/Producer Michael McLennan

What inspired you to create this production?

 

Pinch Me was inspired by the void we all looked into in 2020. Passports became marks of death, our economic futures were suddenly exposed as empty, and it became quite apparent that it might not work out well for all of us. Our time deserves new attempts at Decameron, and the stories people tell should expose the insecurities of our time.

Synopsis

In a library, on the night before a university student leaves for a new life, her friends share their dreams. As each tale emerges, her premonition grows that something is not right.

The VISUALS

Rasmus’s work as cinematographer is exceptional, proof if any was needed of the thoughtfulness of his aesthetic. From the light of consciousness that hovers above their heads of each dreamer to the complex balance of symmetry and asymmetry within each scene, he brought so much to this film.

THE INFLUENCES

It was a mysterious premise, and enchanted us all. The extraordinary art cinema of the 1960s – Hiroshima Mon Amour and Persona – were early references. Equally though, so were the dialogue rhythms of Aaron Sorkin. The film language of dreams is a wonderful thing. Looking back on the film, it’s surprising how many touchstones slipped into the work. Some we knew about, like 2046, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Arrival, Malick and I am Love. Others snuck in undetected, like Last Year at Marienbad, Lynch and La Jetee.

THE ACTORS

I met the four actors who were to be at the centre of this film in July 2020. Slowly an idea began to take shape that embodied all our fears. Four university students, played by four university students, would share their dreams, in the style of the Decameron. Each dream would be a vision of a future, of lives spent, in empty cinemas, call centres, endless video calls, at the edges of functions, re-encountering old faces that no longer knew us, always feeling like they hadn’t made it. Except for the fourth student, central to all their dreams, whose departure from the comfort zone of the group was imminent.

THE DESIGN

Emily’s work as designer – aided by Taleece and Nichola – compliments all the locations. The library as realised on screen is a major achievement by that team. Jesse Watt’s music is a major work, navigating the diegetic barrier with agility and finding the right balance of momentum, scale, intimacy and mystery to each moment.

THE EDIT

As an editor, I’ve never been more blessed with material, and able to bring together ideas about storytelling, montage rhythm and sound/music design. Above all, I thank the actors. For their openness to be themselves on screen, and yet somehow also be the many other people they had to play as well. They were wonderful allies, in particular through the long journey of audio post-production.

Cast

AMANDA

DYLAN

HAMISH

MELANIE

VOICES

Anjelica Murdaca

Declan Montgomery

Henry Taylor

Maddison Lamb

Tihana Vulcik

Crew

DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/EDITOR

SCREENPLAY

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

PRODUCTION DESIGN

FIRST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

MAKEUP

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Michael McLennan

Cat Sole

Michael McLennan

Rasmus Callmer

Emily Kemp

Holly Fraser

Elizabeth Lewis

Mark Seton

MUSIC

VIOLINIST

VOCALS

COMPOSED BY


(‘ I KNOW WE’LL MEET AGAIN’)

LYRICS

SOUND MIX / ADR RECORDING

SOUND RECORDIST

Jesse Watt

Fransoafran

Clara Fable

Jesse Watt

Jesse Watt

Michael McLennan

John Hresc

Simon Allen

DESIGN ASSISTS

CAMERA ASSISTS

SOUND ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

CONTINUITY

BOOM OPEARATOR

ADDITIONAL SOUND

GAFFER

BEST BOY

Nicola Allen

Taleeee Paki

Tas Madnez

Sean Victoriano

Ebony Loloa

Caitlin Capon

Amy Lawler

Daniel Montgomery

Reuben Tirkey

Lachlan Knight

Richard Hawkins

Steffanie Waston

About

pinch me is a short film written, directed and produced by Michael McLennan.

A Wavelength Films Production in Association with Excelsia College

© 2022 – pinch me | Developed by MetaKave Designs