Final Trailer :
Welcome, to the Premier Release of the Trailer of ‘Grimm Wards’. To know more about the making of the film, we have with us here today, Raiza, Natasha and Jiaxian, the makers of the ‘Grimm Wards’
Interviewer: So, How did you agree on recreating various characters from several children’s tales instead of focusing on one?
Raiza: Well, we couldn’t find one particular tale which we found important enough to focus on and while discussing the different characters, we felt that it would be more interesting to explore their problems in relation to one another and through a modern eye. So we decided to make the different characters from various tales interact with one another.
Natasha: I personally felt that it would be more appealing to bring characters people already recognise and create an entirely new plot, yet retaining the characteristics of each character so that there will still be some sense of familiarity. To follow closely a plot, then, merely adding a modern twist to it, would be less exciting as it is ‘expected’.
Jia Xian: Adding onto what Natasha said about creating an unconventional / unorthodox plotline, we felt that the best way to bring the characters into the modern day was to think: how would fairy tale characters be treated or viewed in modern-day society? Pretty insane if you ask me – it doesn’t take long for one to realize that a lot of fairy tale characters have some kind of mental illness. Belle from Beauty and the Beast has Stockholm Syndrome, Rapunzel probably has hygiene issues, the list goes on. So that was the key inspiration; that in a modern-day context, all of them would be in a mental ward. We were playing around with the idea of a film where they would interact with each other, and that became the trailer.
Interviewer: What were your inspirations in the creation of this short film?
Natasha: When I first received the project brief, I instantly thought of other infamous spoofs such as Epic Movie, and the Scary Movie series.
Raiza: Popular TV shows like ‘Once Upon a Time’ and movies like ‘Into The Woods’, as well as the general trend of recreating classic fairy tales.
Jia Xian: The core concept of the film was something we came up with entirely by ourselves, though. It was later on during the filming and editing that we took inspiration for cinematic effects and visual styles. In our research for a light-hearted take on a mental ward, we came across “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”, which we took most of the visual reference from; something amusing on a grey, mental ward background. When conceptualising Salice’s hallucinations. I also pulled reference from Valve / Team Fortress 2’s Meet the Pyro, a animated short about a psychopath and pyromaniac who sees the world very differently and is unaware he is a mass murderer.
Interviewer: Although this is a light-hearted project, is there anything that you want your audience to remember from it?
Natasha: It is light-hearted indeed. However, Disney movies, despite being intended for kids, impart valuable life lessons. Through our project, we wish to bring an awareness that the mental illnesses, like other physical disabilities, are real.
Raiza: On top of that by using well known characters whom people don’t normally associate with mental issues, we can bring across the message that anyone could be suffering from them and it may not necessarily be visible.
Jia Xian: I think the main takeaway I envisioned for audiences was the theory that “all children’s stories are messed up when you look at them as an adult”. Comedian Dave Chappelle once stated that kid’s shows like Sesame Street taught children to judge and label people from an adult’s point of view – and I wanted to capture that sense of “how the heck did I think that was an innocent story” for audiences. There’s something equal parts hilarious and depressing when looking at a “ruined childhood” – a duality that is symbolic of the two sides of insanity (madness and hysteria).
Interviewer: Lastly, what would you say is the most memorable experience in the entire process of getting this project done?
Raiza: I think it would be all the time we spent actually filming the video as we had to redo several of the shots again and again. Trying to bring to life all the ideas in our heads was definitely easier said than done and I learned about several aspects of videography which I didn’t take note of during the initial takes. Seemingly small things like the background and accessories that the actors are wearing make a huge impact on the final video. It was fun trying out all the different camera angles and cinematography techniques then seeing it all translated in the screen.
Jia Xian: Filming was actually quite fun for me; I really got to explore the characters I was playing, from both in person and sound effects / voice acting. It was a long and exhausting process to film and re-film shots, but over time you could really start seeing how a clearer concept and refined acting with that knowledge pushed the film forward in a very convincing way. That said, we did have a few silly moments during filming…
Natasha: You need to watch the bloopers for that!
Interviewer: Thanks for your time!
Natasha: No, thank you.
Jia Xian: Yeah, thanks for having us.
Raiza: You realise this interview is staged, right?