Kudos for teen filmmaker from Medlow Bath

A young Medlow Bath filmmaker with a passion for silent films, has taken out a couple of awards in an international competition.

In October, Olive Blakemore, 16, was named best director and received the best cinematography award in the kids section at SmartFone Flick Fest 2020, for the film Bush Vampire, created with her brother Ludo, 19.

The Bush Vampire is a silent, black and white film, inspired by Charlie Chaplin, and filmed over just one weekend.

"When we were kids we watched Charlie Chaplin and found him hilarious. He obviously was an icon and legend, but the whole genre of it intrigued us," Olive said.

"You always think comedy is meant with lots of good [spoken] material. But so much more can be said with nothing. The music, the outfits, makeup, props and sped up timing was all so fantastic."

After revisiting the old world of silent film, the siblings started thinking about making their own.

"My brother was inspired to play a 'Charlie Chaplin' like character and I his angry friend. I always loved the clumsy and angry duo idea. We then had to also play the other characters - because we had no actors. I edited the film, which was a bit of a struggle to piece by piece make it all old and scratchy but achievable," Olive said.

They shot the film on an iPhone 6S with a cinematic wide lens attachment, a hand-held camera stabiliser and tripod, and then Olive edited it on her Mac Book Pro using the Final Cut Pro program.

Olive said they were ecstatic to receive the awards, and hope others enjoy watching their short film.

"We really hope people will laugh as much as we did making it," she said.

The siblings have been making films for seven years, after Ludo discovered he could make short films using his iPod. They have now made more than 10 short films together and have started their own film production business Wombat Films, with a bit of help from their parents.

The duo's latest film Ami, was also commended at SmartFone Flick Fest 2020, selected in the Blue Mountains Blue Shorts Online Film Festival 2020 and is in consideration for several other festivals.

It is a silent film tribute to the French films of the 1920s and was filmed mostly around Blackheath in the eerie aftermath of the bushfires and the relatively empty streets due to COVID-19. It stars Ludo as a lonely young man looking for friendship in an increasingly hostile and empty world.