A young foster girl finds a mysterious bell that opens the door to imaginary figures around her. When one befriends her asking for help, will she run away with him to return him to his family?
I wrote this film shortly after moving to Seattle in June 2021. I had an idea of a young girl making an imaginary friend and running away with them and created Kitsune around that idea.
I've wanted to work in black and white for awhile and did some test shots of environments early on that made me comfortable enough to commit to that idea. I felt it lent extra to the fantasy element of the story. The film was (actually) shot in black and white which allowed me to more accurately compose each shot on set.
Kitsune was completed in early 2022. This was shot during 8 days spread out over the course of a few months. Post-production work took around a month, with most of the time devoted to practical special effects and music. We spent more time on music than usual on this one, using new instruments and ideas to help bring out the character of an invisible friend. For the special effects, we tried a number of things but ended up going with 90% practical effects with a couple post tricks added to make the "lights" feel more organic.
This was a really fun project to work on with a great set of talented actors. JS Tate, the star of Main Street, flew to Seattle for the role of Henry. He's always great to work with and I try to find any excuse to have him play a role in my films. Angela DiMarco was a great connection I made after moving to Seattle and I worked with her closely on this film, including in casting Adelaide St. John and Cisco Keanu Hoberock, 2 of her students. Adelaide showed composure beyond her years while making the film and I look forward to working with her on another film in the future.
Written, Directed and Shot by Joshua Woodcock
Music Composed by Topher Horn
Produced by Joshua Woodcock, Angela DiMarco, and Topher Horn
Starring Adelaide St. John, JS Tate, Angela DiMarco, and Cisco Keanu Hoberock
Production Assistants: Emily Anderson-Woodcock, Matthew Niemi, Kamal Sangwan
Audio Post Production/Mix by Zach Shipps
Post Production Consulting by Kento Watanabe
Filmed in the Seattle, Washington area.
I always create mood boards for my films to help me create the visual "mood" for the film. They're probably not necessary for everyone, but I find that incredibly useful. A lot of this is to problem solve locations ahead of time since I'll be both directing and filming during production. But it's also to send Topher some shots to help him start creating the "voicing" of the musical score. That way, I can have some rough ideas of music ahead of shooting.
I like to do comprehensive shot lists for each scene of the film. These are from our house scenes and are listed in sequential order of story to how I planned on editing the scenes. On set, I would use a different organization of shot lists and it would be in the order of what I planned to shoot. This is easier to understand while reading the script and watching the film.
I tend to shoot to a cut that I'm already thinking of, so I shoot a lot of set ups in a short amount of time because I don't overshoot for coverage.
This is the call sheet used (with personal information redacted) for day 2 of our shooting. This is the scene where she meets the boy in the woods, and the scene where she runs away. We also filmed her "lost in the woods" sequence. I include this because it might be useful to others trying to make their first short film to see how a day might be broken up.
As you can see, we shot these sequences pretty fast. We shot 5 pages of script in 4 hours.