When a courier delivers a package to an old friend from primary school, the pair grapple with unexpected grief whilst reminiscing about their first kiss.
Length: 7 mins
Director and writer: Kacie Anning
Producer: Kacie Anning
About the director and producer: Kacie Anning is an Australian writer / director / performer who works in comedy and drama. She is the creator of the female comedy series Fragments of Friday, as well as the satirical web series Minister For Men featuring Gretel Killeen.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): Film festival directors
Congratulations! Why did you make a film called First and Second?
I’ve always made shorts to keep developing my filmmaking muscles, to make sure I’m continuing to learn and grow in between other opportunities. A lot of my other work is in comedy and I made First & Second with the deliberate intention of developing my dramatic skills within a contained and achievable setting.
More personally, First & Second is a meditation on grief. I’d had one of those years where a string of family members and friends had passed away within a few months - some close to me, some more distant - and while life goes on, that layer of grief can sit in you in a quiet, ever-present way. The film became an outlet for the subtle and textured ways grief can come to us, and the nuances of conversation around death and memory.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
For it’s simplicity - it’s a conversation between two people that takes them to an unexpectedly intimate place. No tricks.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I think we’ve all been touched by death - the film was a personal response to my own recent experiences, channelled into a fictional story.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
I started with a rough two-hander script and from there my co-star Julian Shaw and I talked at length over many coffees about the themes within it, how we both related to it. Juls and I had gone to film school together at AFTRS and both of our bodies of work as writers and directors share a personal texture. Beyond that, we’re close friends who can speak candidly and vulnerably about our personal experiences, so I think the script became imbued with those inflections.
Once on set, we were both performing and relating to the script as actors so it was about finding the right rhythm and moments of connection. The story was reshaped significantly in the edit - because it’s a conversation, the bare-bones nature of the film means that every moment is exposed. We shaved off anything that didn’t relate to the main story and ‘re-wrote’ some sections, stealing responses here and there until it all built towards the climax in a way that felt organic and believable.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Oh, a few sneaky tears in screenings I’ve seen so far - both happy and sad. I think because of it’s simplicity and grounded tone, the film has a tendency to catch people off guard.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
No nothing too surprising - I was quite nervous putting this out into the world, with most of my other work being comedy. The first minute or so of watching with people who know my stuff is usually quite agonising for me as people stop looking for the gags and settle into the drama.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
We've shown at a few festivals in Australia, but it would be great to get international festival eyeballs on it.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I’ve always make shorts to keep learning and growing as a writer and director - it’s a bonus if it reaches an audiences and extra bonus-y if that audience connects with it.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
How well do we know the people from our past?
What are you developing or working on now?
My online comedy series Fragments of Friday continues to keep me busy: www.fragmentsoffriday.com
Interview: May 2016
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela