Recently I sat down to chat with Sean Hellend, Writer, Director and Producer of the Shadow, a horror short centred around sleep paralysis. The Shadow was selected for the Setting Sun Film Festival where it screened earlier this year.
Sean formally studied film at Edith Cowan University in WA before moving to Victoria to become an active member among Melbourne’s independent filmmaking scene. He’s currently working on a number of forthcoming projects, one being a film called ‘Repetition’.
In this second instalment of the Common Creative Podcast, (first episode here) Sean talks about many of the challenges he faced making his recent short as well as many of the valuable lessons he’s garnered with years of first-hand experience behind him.
The recent psychological thriller was one of the most challenging productions he’s directed, having to summon an extensive number of resources to bring it to life. The project was a demanding effort for Hellend. However, it’s perhaps through some of the hardship he endured during its production that we’re now listening to a more seasoned filmmaker and one that is well equipped to take on more ambitious endeavours in the future.
Among other topics are some key points made about managing expectations in the filmmaking process, deciphering between constructive and unhelpful criticism as well as a discussion about preparation and discipline in filmmaking. I felt this interview holds some vital considerations for screenwriters that struggle with procrastination and offers some ways to overcome the time-sinking void it can create for writers.
Sean also gives advice to newer filmmakers aiming to move forward in the industry, including those with their eyes set on the festival circuit.