Lana Wilson on her film THE DEPARTURE
FILM WORKSHOP is CFILM’s organization for frosh and sophomore student filmmakers. Every week, the workshop meets with one of our filmmaking faculty members to discuss screenplays, organize projects, and produce short films. Steve Collins mentored the group in the fall and Mirko Rucnov took over in the spring. Laura Perez Maquedano, a rising junior film major, joined the workshop last year and devoted herself to making a trick film in the style of Georges Méliès. The result is Un Oubli Gigantesque.
Laura shot the movie on 16mm and achieved her special effects in-camera, using techniques pioneered by Méliès between 1896 and 1913. Her inspiration was The Cook in Trouble (1904), a movie we show in History of Global Cinema.
Laura’s cook gets into serious trouble when an egg grows to gigantic proportions and transforms into a horrible dragon. The growing egg, which might look like a simple effect in the digital age, took some serious engineering to achieve. Laura drew on production techniques for The Man with the Rubber Head (1901).
Like Méliès, Laura built a special ramp to slide the egg toward the lens and double-exposed the film by rewinding the camera and carefully counting frames.
She shot the whole thing in an abandoned garage, not too much smaller than Méliès original glass studio. The film is a great example of working within limits, inhabiting film history, creating something new by returning to the past, and celebrating the joy of cinema — all things we try to teach. We can’t wait to see what Laura does in the major!