Interview with Filmmakers/Composers Ania Reynolds & Carl Polke (AUDIBLE LOCKDOWN)

AUDIBLE LOCKDOWN was the winner of BEST SHORT FILM at the February 2021 Dance & Music Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Ania: We received a commission from the Australian Music Centre to create a new work in lockdown to be presented online. Initially the idea was to make an audio composition out of field recordings gathered in Melbourne under lockdown with some basic accompanying visual imagery, but during our expeditions to gather material it became apparent that the visuals would play an equally important role in shaping the creation of the work. Often I’d set out to record audio and end up filming footage the whole time instead! With the absence of human presence in the city, it became easier to focus on inanimate objects, machines and scenes devoid of people.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

We started gathering in mid-May 2020, and the work premiered online on September 4.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Audiovisual kaleidoscope! (Or…Audible Lockdown!)

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

A 5km-radius restriction was imposed with the stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne at the start of August, meaning we could no longer travel to the CBD to gather any more material or to reshoot. Luckily by that stage we were mainly editing, and it was also an interesting creative parameter to work with what we had, with no option to re-record or re-shoot.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Ania: I was so rapt that the audience enjoyed the visuals, and also that they got a sense of what I strove to convey in the work, which was that although the environments were generally devoid of human presence, they were far from inanimate, and that there was a certain beauty and whimsy in that. I was also stoked that people appreciated the detailed synching of the sound with the video edits – as a soundtrack composer I find that immensely satisfying and it was great to hear that it resonated with audience members too.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. What are your passions in life?

Ania: Art, music, moving image, ideas, good food and conversation, languages, travel, running, wine.

Carl: Music, ideas, performing, guitar solos, saxophone solos, surfing, finding beauty, making very loud and often somewhat abrasive sound!

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Ania: Allegro Non Troppo

Carl: Dark Star.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Ania: as a newcomer to filmmaking I found the platform very accessible, a great online database that provides information on and gives access to film festivals all over the world, many of which I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Ania: Carl’s mum’s Greek baked beans, fassolia.

Carl: ..mmm… anything in the hearty wholesome home-cooked territory, baked spud/leek/tomato thingy with lots-o garlic and chilli was pretty damn good the other night! (Something fancy and expensive I don’t have to pay for can often be a favourite too…)

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Ania: We are currently working on two more audiovisual compositions in our This City This Sound series (which Audible Lockdown is part of). I’m working in the regional city of Albury, Australia for much of this year and planning to use the opportunity to make a This City This Sound Albury. The one thing I’ve noticed so far is how many cockatoos there are here, and how ridiculously raucous they are! That’s already a source of inspiration…
We are also making a work as part of an artist residency through the Centre Culturel d’Ambronay, France. Because of the pandemic we’re unable to travel to France to make the work, so we’re doing it remotely. We’ve asked the community in Ambronay to gather audiovisual material (recordings, photos and videos) from the village for us, which we’ll use to make the new work. We’ll also incorporate footage and sounds of natural wilderness environments here in Victoria, which will hope will present a significant contrast in environments, from the 12th century abbey in France to the windswept coastline of Phillip Island, Australia.

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