About the film

Written 9 years ago when Helmann started university, the script was nominated for Best Short Screenplay at the Queens International Film Festival and a quarter-finalist at the American Gem Short Screenplay & Literary Competition. Over the next 5 years the script went through 5 revisions, and it wasn’t until Helmann took a course on sex and gender that the film began to take its final form. Where the previous drafts simply focused on the romance between Sam and Claire, the final draft moved towards themes of obsession, voyeurism, and gender as a performance.

FROM SCRIPT TO SCREEN

FILMING A PARTY WITH 11 PEOPLE

The image on the right was our blocking for scene 1, which was really difficult because we had to fill the frame with enough people that would give credibility to a lively party. In addition to this, we also had to shoot day for night, which is why all of the drapes are taped at the top and the blinds are closed in the kitchen.

Since we had so few people for a party scene, we had to really focus on the composition and the atmosphere created, so we played with a shallow depth of field, low-light, and creative blocking to give the impression of a crowded scene. You will also notice that we had to re-use certain background actors – and crew members – for the purpose of cheating the shot. 

Scene 1 Blocking

VISUALS

All Things Beautiful, short film, magic lantern raw, helmann wilhelm, ava torres, canted pictures, toronto, waterloo, kitchener, cambridge, waterloo region, region of waterloo, award-winning, official selection, DSLR, red epic dragon, canon 5d mark ii, canon 5d mark 3, indie film, canadian cinema, natural light, available light

The Girl with the Pearl Earring (left), an oil painting by 17th-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, and a still of Claire in All Things Beautiful (right)

The Girl with the Pearl Earring

Is she turning towards you or away from you? Is that a look of recognition or despair? The woman in the painting is an enigma, and by breaking the fourth wall without any narrative backdrop, the subject and spectator are granted a fleeting moment of intimacy. It’s that same feeling that we wanted to evoke at the party scene for All Things Beautiful when Sam first notices Claire. Inspired by this painting and its composition, the slow-motion shot of Claire breaking the fourth wall was filmed using a vintage Russian lens from the 1840s, giving the footage a dreamlike quality through its color rendition and soft edges.

Ultimately, there is a lot being said in All Things Beautiful, but the film – like Vermeer’s painting – focuses on what is communicated visually and what’s left to read between the lines. Having a lead character with a speech disorder was a wonderful exercise on how to use film as a visual language and a great lesson on how to develop characters by their actions, not simply their words.

Poster Concept

Poster Concept with Colour Plan

Final Poster

A special thanks to the very talented illustrator, Ashley Floréal, who designed the poster for All Things Beautiful. Ashley is a freelance illustrator based in Toronto whose work combines cinematic photography, dark narratives, and surrealist art. Drawn to the visual styles and evocative imagery from film, television and graphic novels, her art is an original take on familiar faces from popular entertainment.

More of her work can be found at: ashleyfloreal.com

SPOILER ALERT

Although the video above is only 55 seconds in length, the bald cap application took a little over 2 hours to complete. 

All Things Beautiful, short film, Toronto, Waterloo, Kitchener, Short Film, Micro-Budget, Ava Torres, Helmann Wilhelm, Magic Lantern RAW, ML RAW, Canon 5D Mark iii, DSLR, Indie filmmaking, Canadian, official selection, skeleton crew, natural light, available light, Region of Waterloo, Waterloo Region, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, local filmmaker

Upgrading your Reward

A few people have asked whether they can upgrade their perk to see the film before festival submissions and the official release. For those who claimed the Behind-the-Scenes reward on Kickstarter, but would like to upgrade, you can do so by clicking the button below.

For any additional requests, please email helmann@cantedpictures.com or message me via Kickstarter!

[stripe name="All Things Beautiful" description="Digital Download Upgrade" amount="1500" checkout_button_label="Pledge" verify_zip="false" billing="true" enable_remember="false"]

A Note from the Creators

If there’s anything we’ve learned throughout the years it’s that film is a communal effort first and foremost. It’s a community, and as such, none of this would have been possible without an incredible team, as well as the support of family, friends, and strangers. We’ve been dying to make All Things Beautiful since 2008 so this is a bit surreal for us to see it become a reality.

That being said, we will keep everyone updated and look forward to meeting some of you at the wrap party.

Thank you again,

Ava
Producer & Cinematographer

Helmann
Writer & Director