“Today much of our lives are centered on “work”. Giving us a break from life’s monotony, this visual reimagines our daily routine and offers a surreal depiction of the everyday hustle. It’s a reminder to make the most of what you have and to enjoy the journey!” Director Chris Scholar on PETER $UN – WORK which screens at SxSW 2022.
Welcome to SxSW and congratulations! Is this your first SxSW experience?
This is our first SXSW experience for the Film Festival. We are excited to be selected for the IMDB Pro Music Video Competition.
Tell me about your previous experience here at the festival and what you showed!
Previously, Chris Scholar participated in the SXSW Music Festival and was featured in a Pepsi Campaign with Ty Dolla $ign and Fetty Wap. In 2017, Chris also performed on the ASCAP stage and will be performing this year at the Beats & Beer and Balanced Breakfast showcase.
How did you first hear about SxSW and wishing to send your project into the festival?
As people working within the entertainment industry, we learned of SXSW years ago. It is a dream to be participating in the SXSW Film Festival.
Tell me about the idea behind your project and getting it made!
Many members of society experience anxiety around work, career and life progression. As hustlers and self-taught creatives trying to foster a healthy work-life balance – we were motivated to create a piece that reflects such. We want the audience to find excitement and sense of pride in their work while at the same time remembering to chill, maybe light joint, relax and enjoy life. This project is also special because it allowed us to collaborate with an artist from our hometown in Richmond, VA . It’s representative of the creativity coming out of the 804.
Who are some of your creative inspirations? Any particular filmmaking talent or movie that inspired you for this project?
We were influenced by ATL (2006), THE LAST DRAGON (1985) and FRIDAY (1995). Each of these films are coming of age comedy/ dramas that largely influenced our childhood/ adolescence.
How did you put this together from a technical viewpoint? What sort of cameras/lenses did you use and/or did you have any creative challenges in making it?
We shot this project on a Z-Cam. One of our biggest challenges involved the opening shot and the integrated VFX throughout. The video opens with a continuous shot, with the camera pushing through a window frame into a bedroom. The idea was to focus on the television screen for creative title integration before revealing Peter $un superimposed in the Ludacris poster. Due to budget constraints, the DP had to smoothly pass off the camera from the outside of the window to an AC in the inside, who would follow through with the continuous shot. In post, this scene along with many other scenes required quite a bit of tracking and masking to achieve the integrated fx. But we live for a challenge and were happy with the outcome.
What would you suggest to film festivals as a way to show more short films or make them more accessible to audiences across the country?
Not sure if we have any suggestions. As newcomers to the film festival world, we don’t have much of an opinion on accessibility to audiences just yet.
If you had one piece of advice to offer someone to get their start as a creator or filmmaker in the industry, what would you suggest?
Our advice is to connect your passion to purpose! We are passionate storytellers with a purpose to highlight black and brown experiences, while also responsibly integrating messaging we believe uplifts or improves the fabric of our society. To any creator looking for direction or to get their start in the filmmaker industry, YouTube is an amazing resource for learning. We have used YouTube to answer many of the technical aspects of our work from equipment suggestions, filming and editing. The more you dive into studying and putting what you learn to action the better you will become. Also, networking is great but we believe great work speaks volumes and will likely find its way to the right people/ clients.
And finally, what is your favourite short film of all time?
Burberry’s “Open Spaces” is currently one of our favorite shorts. To achieve the surreal flying shots, the production crew rigged the talent to harnesses and choreographed gravity defying movements. It’s amazing to watch:
This film and many others like it will be showing at South By Southwest taking place March 11-20. For more information point your browser to www.sxsw.com!