Winning a brand new Toyota Vios car for a film that cost 25,000 baht to make – that’s not a bad deal, right? Well, that’s what happened to Steven Rouse’s film production company.
It won first prize at the Style by Toyota 9FilmFest held in Bangkok in September. Their film “The Guardians” was a drama about a “crazy man” in a river village who is in mourning over the drowning of his young son. The man is determined to learn to swim so that he can look after the other young boys in the village. The film also won prizes for best actor (Supachai Girdsuwan) and best design and costume.
Steven Rouse’s film production company won first prize at the Style by Toyota 9FilmFest held in Bangkok in September.
Steven spoke to the Pattaya City Expats Club on Sunday, November 3 about the film and showed a video of it to his audience. Steven first explained how a few people got together in 2011 and decided to start the 9FilmFest to promote short films. Prizes were modest at first, but very quickly the festival began attracting film directors and the value of the prizes went up. Over 200 entries were submitted for the 2013 version of the festival.
All films have to be nine minutes long. Steven said that each year the 9FilmFest has a different theme. For 2013, the theme was “water.” Steven described “The Guardians” as “disturbing” because “over and over again we see on the news stories of young men being drowned.” Steven said that the film crew received excellent cooperation from marine police and from the riverside village where the film was shot. During the film, there were two swimmers standing by in a boat in case of an accident or problem encountered by their cast when in the river; particularly the lead actor, who spent a lot of time in the water during filming.
The film was shot in two days using a digital camera; editing and graphics took another five or six days. The film was finished one day before the deadline for submitting it to the festival. Steven further said that although the film was shot in colour, it was edited in black and white because colour detracts from the actors whereas black and white gives more depth and more readily displays feeling.
Steven said that the nine films that made it to the finals of the 9FilmFest will be shown at other film festivals, such as Rome and Sundance. Total cost of the film was 25,000 baht. None of the actors or crew were paid. The money they spent was used mainly for food and materials. Steven explained that his company did not expect to make money on the film. Rather, he said, they did it to give the company credibility. Already, he said, since winning the award his company has received two commissions to do documentary films. Steve said his company is also planning to shoot a feature-length film in 2014, a horror movie to be called “April Fool.” The film will be shot in Thailand and is expected to cost $150,000.
Steven shows the Award for winning the Toyota9FilmFest (also, a brand new Toyota Vois, not shown) as MC Richard Silverberg presents him with a Certificate of Appreciation for his most interesting presentation.
Steven is from the U.K. and has been involved in the film industry for many years. He currently has several projects in progress as producer, director, and/or writer. He has been living in Thailand since 2002. Steven said that “The Guardians” and the other eight movies that made the short list should be available on YouTube. To view the trailer for “The Guardians,” visit at www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-qiwKicd88.
Member Dave Anderson advises members of the progress of the glasses collection project; used and or broken eyeglasses are collected, repaired and cleaned, and then distributed to the less fortunate.
After Steven answered many questions from the audience, Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg updated everyone on upcoming events and called on Toney Heron to conduct the always interesting and informative “Open Forum” portion of the meeting; where questions are asked and answered on Expat living in Thailand.
For more information on the Club’s many activities, visit their website at www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com.