'When the Sunset Fades' is June 2021's Film of the Month

26 Jul 2021 in Film of the Month

7 mins
'When the Sunset Fades' is June 2021's Film of the Month

We are delighted to announce that the June 2021 winner of our Film of the Month competition is When the Sunset Fades, from filmmaker Daniel in London - see the winning film above!

When the Sunset Fades (engaging for 11+) sees a teenager scrolling through his phone and suddenly being struck by a surreal but overwhelming need to get more out of life.

A very creative and engaging film exploring the impact of social media and the internet.

Film of the Month judge on 'When the Sunset Fades'

We got in touch with Daniel to find out more about his film.

Congratulations! What gave you the inspiration to make When the Sunset Fades?

Because of lockdown and the affects of COVID-19, many people including myself became unmotivated and so relied on phones and technology for entertainment, or just a time passer. So I thought I could make a film to re-motivate people, as well as to keep myself productive.

What were the challenges of creating a short film under lockdown conditions?

Most of the production was done at home, by myself, because I couldn't have anyone over; some shots would take 30 minutes to an hour to get the perfect result I wanted. My tripod helped me a lot, as well as the Wi-Fi setting on my camera, which let me see the display through my phone. I definitely felt like giving up at some points, but I got through it eventually.

We love the use of archive footage. Can you tell us what inspired you to use archive film?

I take this question as a pretty good compliment, because the "archive footage" is actually of my brother, which I filmed a couple months ago, with overlays and effects that I used to make the footage seem old.

What message would you like audiences to take from When the Sunset Fades?

This film isn't telling the audience that "technology is bad", or to "get off your phone right now, you're lazy!". I think there are more pros to cons in development in tech, but sometimes we are so blinded by dopamine and short term entertainment that we forget our surroundings. 

This short is just a reminder that opportunities come from actions, and what you give comes back around. Whether you take the chance or not is your free will.

How do you think film can be useful to encourage young people to spend less time online?

I think film - as well as all sorts of means of expression - is a pretty good way of keeping you active and fulfilled, but I don't think that being online is a bad thing. Recent generations are probably smarter and more knowledgeable about the world because of being online. My film is being shown online, and maybe people are taking something from it. 

However, when people eat their life away by doing pointless things on their phone, that they wont remember in a week, that's a bit sad.

Are there any films or filmmakers who influenced your filmmaking style in When the Sunset Fades?

Everything you see and do takes part in influencing a piece of work you make, so the greenish colour palette during the house scenes was influenced by Parasite, while the story was influenced by lockdown. Although most of the film is somewhat original.

What plans do you have for your next short film?

I'm still not sure exactly what kind of short I'll be making next, but knowing myself it'll probably be some deep topic about *life* and hopefully I can learn from the flaws in this film and create something better.

What tips would you give to a young filmmaker about to make their first short film?

I don't think I'm qualified enough to be giving out tips, but...

Don't procrastinate about making a short. Even if it's horrible, you probably would have learned from it, and experience is more important than the result, especially for a first film.

The first step to making the audience enjoy the film is to create a character that the audience can sympathise with. Don't make the protagonist boring, and maybe add a little internal conflict.

Of course the content in a film is much more important than its looks, but if it doesn't look good, then people aren't going to take you as seriously - drop a nice colour grade and you're of to a good start.

Daniel's film will now be showcased to over 300,000 film club members online and all of our Film of the Month films are now on the Into Film YouTube channel, and he has also secured a £100 Amazon voucher to help further develop his future films. Think you could win Film of the Month? Find out more about how you can enter our ongoing Film of the Month competition.

If you've been inspired by When the Sunset Fades then make sure to check out the following films:

  • Ready Player One (2018, 12, 140 mins) Engaging for ages 11-16
    Teenager Wade and his friends enter the virtual reality universe of the OASIS to complete a series of tasks hidden somewhere within its vast realm.
  • The Fifth Element (1997, PG, 121 mins) Engaging for ages 11+
    Sumptuous sci-fi action-comedy, as the saviour of the universe falls into washed up Korben Dallas' taxi.
  • Transcendence (2014, 12, 119 mins) Engaging for ages 11+
    Thought-provoking sci-fi thriller starring Johnny Depp as a scientist attempting to upload his consciousness to a computer.
  • Naqoyqatsi (2002, PG, 86 mins) Engaging for ages14+
    Third in the documentary series presenting jaw-dropping scenes from around the world, this one focusing on technology, machinery and virtual reality.

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