Unexpected, Unexplained (2022)

As the director of Unexpected, Unexplained (2022), I was given the responsibility to provide my team a story with enough value worthy of telling though the production of a documentary. In deciding to centralise my idea on telling the unique recounts of ‘ghost stories’ or ‘paranormal encounters’, I aimed to ensure the documentary idea was widely open for absolutely anybody with a relevant story to share their experiences. It was this decision that allowed me to interview my talents without having to overly script questions or overly prompt their responses. All I asked my talents Steven and Alexander Cakarovski to do, was simply tell their encounters with as much detail and expression as possible. However, this is not to say I did not prompt them at all. In order to achieve my desired level of detail, I would ask for further elaboration, whether it be detail for context or a recollection of their emotion and reaction during the time. By asking each talent to tell the same story twice over, I ensured each talent was able to gain comfortability before the camera as well as to ensure I acquired the most comprehensive recounts I possibly could.

In recruiting two of the three talents for the documentary, I decided to host the interviews in my own home. My intention was to provide each talent with a respective background for their interview and give me the responsibility to plan and set up an appropriate scene for each story. My first talent, Steven Cakarovski, was originally supposed to be interviews inside a small, dark tin shed, a reflection of his personality and occupation as a fitter by trade with a love for all things mechanical. However, due to sudden rain, I was forced to improvise on the spot and change the location entirely. Bringing the interview inside allowed me to better control the material and minimise compromising the audio due to natural interferences. Alexander’s interview however, remained at its original spot; that being before a large bookshelf as a reflection of his enjoyment of reading and academia.

Being the only local member within the team, one of my major contributions was providing locations for the acquisition of appropriate B-roll that subscribes to the themes of fear, horror, unknowingness as well as the energy of aquatic bodies. Our first location was the actual home in which two of the talent’s stories took place, a decision with authenticity and context in mind. Travelling to the house, I intended to capture images of its desolate position, as it stood as the last structure on a street. Secondly, I attempted to capture images of a nearby abandoned structure overgrown and surrounded by large public grasslands, another perfect expression of our thematic concerns. Lastly, I travelled to the Hill 60 ‘Witches Tunnels’ in Port Kembla to capture some original audio, such as doors creaking, glass breaking, loud echos, and eerie ambient sounds as well. With my intention to subscribe to the theme of supernatural activity and horror, I considered these locations to be perfect for collection of our B-roll.

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