Logline: Dave has run out of skin to tattoo and subsequently lacks purpose. In search of meaning, he looks at his weathered skin for answers.
Length: 9 Minutes
Director: Robert Redfern is an indie filmmaker based in Melbourne, Australia with a background in sociology and psychology. Last Tattoo is his second short film.
Producer: Kythera Watson-Bonnice is a freelance producer and academic who specializes in gender studies.
Looking for: distributors, film festival directors, journalists
Made in association with: N/A
Release date: May 2016
Congratulations! Why did you make a film called LAST TATTOO?
Thanks! I decided to make my second short (Last Tattoo) after working on what seemed to be everyone else’s short films. I felt it was now my turn to have another crack at it and reach out for favors in return for all those I had given. To me Indie short filmmaking is all about creative collectivism, which wouldn’t exist without like-minded creative’s collaborating for art and not money.
Also filmmaking is addictive and I had been itching to make one for several months though I didn’t want to just make any film. I was waiting until I felt I had a strong story to tell that was going to be worth the blood, sweet and fears.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
I would recommend seeing Last Tattoo for the underlying theme of identity, which I feel an audience can relate to in some way or another. I believe we all subconsciously project facets of our desired identity and image through the commodification art, body modification and fashion. Also seeing a person having their face tattooed is always interesting.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
The film’s prevailing theme is identity and art, which becomes clear when we first see John's colorful skin canvas, a body that is fully covered in tattoos. It is a commentary on a person’s exterior and how this contradicts their interior. The use of kitsch knick-knacks and mirrors in the film is further used as a metaphor to communicate this, which extends to Dave reflecting on his life and its purpose.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
Interestingly Last Tattoo began as a documentary after meeting John Kenney, who was cast as an extra on a short film I worked on. I was fascinated by his colorful skin and wanted to hear his story. However, after initial shooting commenced the film soon evolved into a scripted drama, as my filmmaking tends to gravitate towards the creative and narrative side of things. I discussed the change of direction with DOP Keir Suggett who shared my vision. Once John agreed and Eva Sweid, the films production manager got on board and started locking in locations, there was no turning back.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
As the film has only recently hit the short film festival circuit I am yet to hear much feedback. However when it recently received an official selection at Maryland Film Festival, I of course, took this as a huge positive, feeling privileged to have it screened there.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
To be honest I am going into the festival submission process with an open mind and am happy to have it reach an audience big or small, local or abroad. It’s always humbling when the industry recognizes your work, which as a filmmaker validates your decision to make the film.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
Exposure and having an online presence is always a positive step. Having the film as a calling card and work that I can refer to help’s establish myself as an emerging filmmaker.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Film festival directors and journalists would be desirable.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
For people to emotionally engage in Dave’s story and to reflect on their own identity.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What are the motives behind body modification?
What are you developing or working on now?
I am currently developing a few short film ideas inspired by minimalist cinema. The real, raw and candid moments a character has interests me. The challenge of minimal locations, dialogue and camera angles also excites me, with less options available, the right choices have to be made.