Spirit of the forest was the second story based short film I have made. It was inspired from watching a lot of Studio Ghibli, especially watching the film Princess Mononoke.
I have always loved being in the woods and really wanted to set a film in a forest. When you see a forest on film or in a photograph, it is a lot more magical, warm and comfortable than it actually is. The shoot days for Spirit of the Forest were amongst some of the coldest shoot days I have experienced (we even had snow at the beginning of day 1). I really want the film to have the warm but mysterious atmosphere despite the cold, wet conditions of the shoot day. This was achieved through a combination of cinematography, colour grading and sound design.
- The red leaves in which the main character is stood behind are all fake leaves. I placed them there to add some colour to the production design of the area. They also act as opposing colours to the green of the forest, suggesting that Chris is acting as an enemy or a threat to the environment. His younger brother sits behind the green bushes to suggest that he is more in tune with the environment.
- Chris is wearing a purple jumper because purple is a colour that is usually associated with death or transformation. This gives a hint to the end of the film.
- The bleeding mushroom was achieved by using a tube tied to the back of the knife in which we squeezed fake blood down.
- Some white mushrooms were added to areas in the forest and I drew small faces on them as a subtle homage/reference to the Kodamas in Princess Mononoke.
- The shot of throwing the rope over the tree at the beginning of the film took around 50 tries to get right.
- The shoot took 2 full days to get every shot needed.
If you have any questions or comments about the production, feel free to leave a comment. If you liked this blog post, check out the production blogs for my other films!