For Allysha Webber, pursuing her passion was a tough decision, especially while mid-way through her medicine degree. But the 25-year-old believes becoming a filmmaker was the right choice. Port News journalist Melissa Pretorius caught up with her to speak about her animated film ‘The Last Artist’ and the importance of doing what you love.
Hi Allysha, firstly why don't you tell us a little bit about where your passion for film stemmed from? Is it something you've always been interested in?
It stems from my early teenage years and my exposure to Quentin Tarantino and Ingmar Bergman films. Seeing these filmmakers tell their stories in unique, independent ways that differed from mainstream Hollywood filmmaking, made me realise I too could share my unique stories and be able to find an audience. It ultimately came down to me being true to what I loved most, and not just what would get me a stable career.
Most people would agree the film and art industry is renowned for being highly competitive, do you believe you have what it takes to make it?
I believe my current film, 'The Last Artist', has a real chance of competing on the international film festival circuit and will give me a boost into breaking into the film industry. I believe I have the drive, determination and passion to see this pursuit out.
You've now completed your studies and you're working on a very interesting project of your own. Tell us about The Last Artist, where you drew your inspiration from and where you are hoping to go with this project?
'The Last Artist', my short animated film, is about the last man on earth, William, an artist, who revolutionises his artistic practice away from society's eyes and channels uncensored art straight from his soul. I drew inspiration for this film from my own artistic experiences, and how we as an artistic majority censor ourselves to a certain degree in order to produce work that society deems 'good'. I'm hoping to enter this short film into local and international film festivals and gain exposure and recognition as a filmmaker.
How much work is actually involved in getting a project of this scale off the ground and of a quality that would rival other work from around the world?
There is a monstrous amount of work involved in getting an animation off the ground, from perfecting the script to drafting the storyboard, it takes a lot of time and effort before the actual animating even begins. I have been collaborating with animators from a Sydney based company called MotionLab, and as such funding has been a major hurdle. I still require funding to finish the film complete with sound engineering and a composer, and that is why I am reaching out to the community to help via the crowdfunding site indiegogo. People can contribute as little or as much as they want via this website; www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-last-artist/
What sort of genres do you explore and is animation your passion or just one of many?
'The Last Artist' is my first major project, however I have made three other small live action short films. I explore genres such as drama and dark comedy, as I love exploring the human experience. Animation is a major passion of mine and I hold it with as much importance as live action filmmaking.
Where do you see yourself headed as an artist?
I hope to see myself headed for the local and international film festival circuit, and am counting on the success of 'The Last Artist' to get me there. Once on that circuit I hope to network and find investors in the film industry and work towards getting my first feature film made.
How important is it that young artists like yourself, get support from the local community to turn their ideas into reality?
Often successful ideas have very humble beginnings, and it is so important that these ideas have the grassroots backing of local communities to get the idea off the ground and turned into a reality. I am counting on local support to get my film to a high enough calibre that it can compete on a global stage, and if it is successful, that success will reflect the generosity of the local community.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.