Director, Kyle Stevenson, tells us about his science fiction short film

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Who is Kyle and what exactly do you do?

I am a writer / director who occasionally dabbles in the dark arts of production. Last year I completed my post-graduate at AFDA Film School in Cape Town where I received a BA (Hons.) in Motion Picture Medium and got onto the Course Director’s List. One of my favourite film director’s Krzysztof Kieslowski was once asked what does a director do, to which he replied: “I help.” Director’s are revered by the public and despised by the crew. They do not need a specific skill like costume design, editing or lighting design; rather a director must understand how each department functions within a project. As a director I prefer the filmmaking experience to be a collaborative one, where everyone can give a suggestion and I “help” guide these ideas towards the theme and tone of the film.

Please tell us about your exciting post-graduate project at AFDA?
For my final honours production I co-produced, co-wrote and directed a forty-minute short film called There Are No Heroes. It is a set in Cape Town several years after a nuclear power plant had a meltdown. Drew, a young single-mother and factory worker, must fight to survive in this dystopian future ruled by a sinister pharmaceutical company called DARCORP.

How long have you been working on the project and what’s the inspiration behind it?
It took 10 months from inception to release, which is tremendously expeditious by filmmaking standards. I wanted to co-write a script with, a good friend, Donald Leitch who was the editor on the film. We both have a fondness for Science Fiction and he introduced me to Lauren Beukes’ cyberpunk cult-classic Moxyland. One of the years’ requirements was to adapt a South African short story for the screen, although we ended up being the only adaptation created in our year group, I believe the film is better for it. The original story was by Charlie Human, it had won a short story competition run by Lauren Beukes’ publishers. The competition was to write a short story based on the Moxyland universe, which is a dystopian future Cape Town ruled by corporations. It is not a completely faithful adaptation to the original short story and, with Charlie’s feedback; we fleshed out many ideas within the story.

Where will the film be showcased?
The film has been selected to screen at the Cape Town Celludroid Film Festival in June, the Burundi Film Festival in June and the 33rd Durban International Film Festival in July. There are more festivals coming-up towards the end of the year, join our twitter @noheroes_film to keep up-to-date.

What can our readers expect from you in the future?
I am currently in research and development for another short film that will be in pre-production at the beginning of next year – it’s a drama about a forgotten people in South Africa.

What advice would you give creatives looking to do what you do?
Don’t quit your day job, just yet. The South African film industry is still the Wild West, where anything is possible and there isn’t a strict structure in place. This is exciting because most under-funded local productions can do a bit of Robert Rodriguez low-budget filmmaking without permits etc. (of course running the risk of being arrested). On the flipside the lack of the big movie business for local productions means that you can’t expect to survive on your filmmaking alone. You need a bread and butter job, while creating your films on the side. I would advise getting a job in the film, TV or commercial world, so you can be apart of the South African entertainment community and know what’s going on.

Lastly. For readers who want to follow your work, where would they go?
You can check my latest showreel on Behance – there is a scene or two from There Are No Heroes. If you like the sound of my latest film check out – and LIKE – the facebook fan page (www.facebook.com/therearenoheroes) or follow us on twitter (@noheroes_film).

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kyles director showreel 2011


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