We’ve already seen the winners of the technical, genre, and major award winners, but now with voting closed for the People’s Choice Award, the most popular short film in the 2016 My RØDE Reel Short Film Competition been announced and it is both charming and exciting.
“Joe and Armstrong are engaged in battle. They fight with ferocity but there is more to this fight than meets the eye. Find out who is pulling the strings!” – Logline for Power Play, the 2016 My RØDE Reel People’s Choice Award Winner
All too often, low budget action fight scenes can come out very poorly, as ill trained actors find they pull their punches too much, or the fight choreography is unimpressive. Not so with POWER PLAY by Rock Chang and Sketch Juice. The director of this film did his homework, and hired proper martial artist experts to deliver a pretty legit battle performance.
The story is all about two friends who are playing with action figures while their martial arts counterparts battle it out within their imagination. Then one of the boy’s sister decides she wants to play, and the balance of power shifts with surprising results.
Chang shot the film using a Sony α7S II and to capture the audio, he deployed a huge quiver of RØDE products, which included the RØDE NTG2 with Blimp, the VideoMic Pro, and RØDE Lavalier microphone, along with other supporting accessories. Foley was also added via a Schoeps CMC641. He also employed a SmallHD 702 Monitor, Teradek 2000 wireless system, and LED light panels from F&V. So it’s clear that Chang and company at Sketch Juice spared no expense to get the best possible result.
“I never had an action film before, so to debut it with a bunch of amazing martial artists was quite an epic adventure. Shooting action is very different from traditional forms of shooting. There’s a lot of movement and you have to follow that movement.” – Director Rock Chang
But frankly, I’m shocked they didn’t win the best Behind the Scenes video, too, because their entry is a riot. Setting the stage like it was part of a campy anime cartoon, it then shifts into talking about how the film came about. In it, Chang talks about how he wanted the kid’s play world and the martial arts world to look dramatically different.
“We really wanted to keep the kid’s world and their imagination world different,” Chang adds. “They should contrast each other a great deal, from color, music, to pacing and action.” And Chang didn’t just show us the products in the background, he described where and what mic he used, and when.
The accolade is well earned, and with it, Chang and company win a selection of products: A 1-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, RED Giant’s Magic Bullet Suite, a Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K camera, Electronic Viewfinder and shoulder mount kit, a Freefly Systems MōVI M5 Mimic Bundle, and a veritable boatload of RØDE products.
Tomorrow, we’ll see what My RØDE Reel film judges Shane Hurlbut, Philip Bloom and Rodney Charters have to say about who wins the whole shebang. So stay tuned. Meanwhile, to view POWER PLAY and the other entries, click here.