Creating a short film

Creating a short film

Making a film requires a lot of planning, inspiration, and blood, sweat, and tears.
In this myView blog, Film student Elora Battah discusses the experiences she had directing her short film blood! sweat! tears!

Elora Battah directing on the set of blood! sweat! tears!

Kia Ora, I’m Elora Battah

With great ambition comes a need for a safe environment to learn and perfect one’s craft. Our university offers this opportunity through the Undergraduate Film Production courses and by encouraging undergraduates to work on the films created by Master’s students.

Through these opportunities, I have had the chance to take on many different roles within film production, allowing me to develop a respect for the variety of skills needed to make a film. Most recently, I had the chance to direct my first fictional short film ‘blood! sweat! tears!’.

The premise of our film

blood! sweat! tears! is a short film about an artist who, in the days before her final assignment is due, becomes convinced that her painting is trying to communicate with her.

The vision for making it and what I needed to do as a director

With every film and creative project, I learn crucial skills that form the basis of my knowledge moving forward. As an actor, dancer, and singer, I have worked on a multitude of productions over the years, all of which helped me understand what it takes to have and carry out a creative vision. 

Actress Natalie Ingram plays ‘Iris’ on set at Webb’s Wellington.

When I was appointed director of blood! sweat! tears!, I knew I needed to have a clear vision of what I required from my team to make this film a reality. This began with a meeting with the writer Kiera McCarthy-Joseph, to discuss what the heart of this narrative was. From there, I read the script many times and sat with my ideas, giving them time to grow. During this time, I asked my heads of departments (cinematographer, lighting designer, editor, sound designer, and producer) what their interpretation of the script was, and if there was anything they wanted to experiment with. This collaboration was key because I wanted to make sure the film had a solid vision in all departments. After consolidating my vision and communicating it with my team, we moved full steam into pre-production.

Directing on set

A key challenge I faced with directing was balancing my creative vision with the resources we had available to us. The script required multiple locations, extras, a sizeable crew, and a large amount of production design, so I had to be realistic about what we could achieve in the time we had.

I was fortunate that my team was so patient with me and understood that my decisions throughout the process were made with a focus on the bigger picture. Their trust helped us enjoy the film-making process and made for a positive environment on set. We had a lot of fun working together and lots of laughs.

The main character ‘Harper’ (played by Bree Griffith) at her breaking point.

Where to next for me on my journey in film

Having the opportunity to direct this film has given me insights that will be key to my growth within the film industry as I move forward in my career. I look forward to developing my skills at the University and sharing more stories with the world. The film will be available for public viewing in a few months.

Elora Battah is studying for a Bachelor of Arts double-majoring in Film and Theatre studies.

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