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On Campus News

Interview with Joseph Lynn, about festival winning student short film

By Naomi Laeuchli
posted Nov 27, 2012, 20:34

Joseph Lynn (a former student at Aquinas College, currently attending the Queen Mary University of London) talks about 'Winnie the Pooh', a mock-trailer, short film that is a parody of Winnie the Pooh and gritty crime dramas and was the winner of the School and College Short Film Category in this year's Screen Stockport Film Festival. Lynn talks about the important things he learned from participating in the festival and the important way it contributed to the continual interest in filmmaking for those involved with the picture.

Your film, ‘Winnie the Pooh’, was a very creative mix of mock-trailer, short film and parody. What was some of the inspiration behind it?
The original idea came from the simple premise that honey could be a drug and 'Pooh' could be addicted. We thought this fit nicely into a 'bent cop' scenario. This initially took form in a Starsky and Hutch 70's style flick. However the genre of things like 'CSI' have become so generic and formulaic that we thought it would be perfect to parody as everyone will immediately get what we are imitating. A few washed out filters here and some cheesy Hollywood lines there and it came together nicely. We are big fans of sketch shows which often mock such acclaimed series like '24' or 'The Wire', I am sure on some level this fed us inspiration.

What was the best part of the filming experience for you?
Well having two scampily dressed women sit around me wasn't a bad day of filming. But I really enjoyed the homemade quality we put into it. We made an announcement stand and microphones from cardboard and sponge! But actually the very best part was the editing stage, up until then I really could not picture how the random shots we took were going to fit together. The moment we started stitching it up it seemed so natural and the jokes seemed well timed.

What did you hope to accomplish when you set out to make this film?
Only to entertain people. Stuff we have done in the past we have made simply so our friends can laugh at them. There is no greater feeling than having someone genuinely laugh at something you have created. When we sat and watched the cinema audience watch it at the film festival we all got chills hearing people roar with laughter and applaud! Only now when I look back at how far it has got I realize we really made something that a lot of people enjoy which believe me, at the time we had no idea it would be so appreciated.

How did you decide to submit ‘Winnie the Pooh’ to the Screen Stockport Film Festival? Have you considered submitting it elsewhere and how did you decide on the festivals you submitted it to?
Unfortunately we did not think ahead (mainly because we didn't think many people would have seen it) and so we didn't use un-copyrighted material. The use of Jay Z and Kanye West was just because we thought it was funniest. We never thought we would have to worry about such issues but most festivals are very strict about ownership of material. Luckily for our next film we have got a sound designer so we can make a completely original score. Luckily though Screen Stockport (check out their website) are closely linked with the college we all studied at and so we had a helping hand in getting our film to be considered. Since then I have posted the video on forums and stuff but other than film festivals it is hard for student filmmakers to get noticed.

Do you think you learned anything from submitting the film and participating in the festival that will help you in future film-making?
There is nothing more fulfilling to a filmmaker than to see his work projected onto a 50ft screen for hundreds of fellow students to enjoy. I learned that every film you make should aim to reach the standards of festival guidelines because once your film is in, there is no greater feeling. But since winning we have been anxious to get started on make something new. How the festival helped us was simply by giving us confidence that what we are doing is worthwhile and that we should continue. I fear if 'Winnie the Pooh' had not been noticed as much we would have not been so eager to carry on.


‘Winnie the Pooh’


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