17-year-old Kelly Needleman has made a big name for himself online with his spectacular photography and short films.
The upcoming filmmaker joins us on Close-up Culture to talk about working on his debut feature, Lost Visibility.
Q: The screenplay for ‘Lost Visibility’ is gaining lots of interest at festivals. Can you tell us about the story and where the idea came from?
A: The logline for Lost Visibility is: ‘Maybe they weren’t as close as they thought they were. Three friends share intimate dreams that bring their secrets to reality. The movie is in the genre of teen drama, mystery, and physiological thriller.’
The idea came to me last summer when creating a short film about lucid dreams.
Q: If this film was on Netflix, what other films do you think would pop up next to it on the ‘you might also like’ section?
A: Since my film is in the genres of mystery and physiological thriller, I think it would pop up next to Inception and other Netflix series such as Stranger Things, Dark, and The Rain.
Q: You’ve collaborated with a storyboard artist to create over 500 drawings for the film. What was that process like and how is your vision coming together?
A: The process to create storyboards is extremely tedious. It takes over 15 pages of storyboard drawings to complete one page of the script.
What I love most about it is making my visions come to life through a visual frame. I feel storyboards are a crucial aspect in pre-production to be the most prepared for the film shooting.
Q: Anyone familiar with your short film work will know what a master of visuals and cinematography you are. Do you have big and inventive plans for ‘Lost Visibility’?
A: Thank you very much. Yes, I do have many visions for how I am going to shoot and execute each shot. When writing the script, I visualized each scene as I wrote it, in fact, the tone or mood of the film was most important to me.
I will be utilizing the beauty and mysterious qualities of nature throughout the film.
Q: Who or what inspires you as a filmmaker?
A: The medium of film makes a story come to life. It evokes emotion and is one of the most effective forms of art.
Q: You’ve had tons of acclaim for your short film work. Do you feel that experience has prepared you for the transition into a feature film?
A: I feel am I am prepared to direct my feature film. I am also fortunate to collaborate with an experienced crew of professionals. Though I don’t have much experience at all in this genre, I feel the creative process is the same. I will be learning something new every day, which will overall make me a better filmmaker for the future.
Q: What are your next steps for the film?
A: I am currently casting the main roles for the film. The next step after that is to work with a line producer and discuss contracts for my SAG actors.
Q: What are your hopes for ‘Lost Visibility’?
A: I hope Lost Visibility will provoke a discussion about the power of our dreams.