The Charter School 2018

Holly McCandless-Desmond, Amy Hill

Wes Amsterdam - short film

Their story, in their words….

We’re Holly and Amy & for our Mark Evison challenge ‘Wes Amsterdam’, we decided to combine Holly’s love for film and Amy’s passion for psychology. We set out to create a film based on how creativity, specifically art, can inspire change in a repetitive, industrial city environment (London). Taking inspiration from Wes Anderson’s use of architecture and colour, we travelled to Amsterdam to convey our character’s journey in discovering how to improve her mental wellbeing. Our trip was 4 days long, we dedicated 6 hours per day to filming and spent the remainders of our days reviewing the rushes and planning for the following day.

We had many challenges in our film making and literal journey. Due to the complete independence of the project, we learnt how to make our own travel arrangements in a foreign country, discover interesting locations for filming, sticking to our rigid schedule while being creative. However, we really felt the experience made us a strong, inventive team as we were able consistently problem solve together and cooperate well. By dedicating each other jobs from the beginning of the project (Holly as technical director and camerawoman and Amy as production manager and actress), we were able to collaborate appropriately and similarly to how it would be on real film set. Our cinematic success is fully dedicated to our organisation above anything else, so our advice to anyone else (and our future selves) is always plan plan plan.