The Musical Life of Kelly Dane (August 2014)

Story: One day, a girl decides to change the world for the better, but not in the usual way but…through song.

Background: After a year long hiatus, I returned to the Summerstage Film Camp. I wanted to do something big, and original for the camp. I had always been a huge fan of musicals, and decided I would make my own, albeit a short form one. There were many other musical concepts before this, but creating a musical short film was already difficult enough so I decided to keep it simple in terms of the plot.

Pre-Production: Every step of the production process for this film was more demanding than anything I had previously worked on. I first wrote a song with the story and visuals in mind in terms of lyrics and a core melody. After that, I wrote a screenplay that was more built around getting a proper visual sense clear. Once the screenplay was approved by the camp staff members, I drew out storyboards, casted actors, prepared props, etc. The singers for the film recorded their vocals to an instrumental so that some form of the song was ready during the filming process. For this film, I wanted to begin stepping up my cinematography so I built a home-made dolly to execute more interesting shots.


Dominque Thomas (Kelly Dane) singing for the core song of the film.

Production: The shoot went smoothly, but due to the scope of the film it still took all 6 hours of that day. With the amount of preparation done things never bogged down much at all. In order to properly lip-sync during post-production, all actors who were singing sang along to a track that was playing as the movie was being filmed.


Joon Kim (Director) filming a scene of the movie with a dolly.

Post-Production: Editing was lengthy, but not too difficult. Lip-syncing was easy enough due to actors singing along to a live track. The instrumental and vocals were adjusted further before the final cut of the film. Color correction was done to add a little more color to the scenes.

Premiere: The film was premiered at the 2014 Mainstage Film Premiere, and went on to win Best Film of the night. It was later shown at the M. Allan Vogelson Film Festival and won Best Film for entrants in 9th-12th grade.

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