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Making of: Enchanted Sunlit Trails ft. Lucie Poevaiki Regal

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

In July 2023, I embarked on a creative journey, crafting a Super 8 short film alongside my dear friend, Lucie. Lucie, a French beauty with roots in Tahiti and a life journey that included Bali and now Australia, exudes a unique charm marked by her elegance, crystal-clear beauty, and distinctive character. Her radiant smile and enchanting, lagoon-like eyes make her a captivating subject.

Our creative endeavour began with a photoshoot, but as we explored the idea further, I shared my vision of something different – a short film shot on a Super 8 camera. This project unfolded somewhat spontaneously; I didn't meticulously plan every detail but rather allowed the creative process to guide me.

The concept behind the short film was to portray the perspective of someone deeply in love. Lucie became the central figure, the apple of my eye. The footage we captured reflected the simple yet profound moments that resonate with a person in love – sipping coffee, engaging in heartfelt conversations, and basking in the warmth of the sun.

The title of the short film, Enchanted Sunlit Trails, is a direct nod to the location where our filming took place, primarily at Brunswick station and its charming railway surroundings. This location, which exudes a subtle Japanese vibe, had been on my radar for photoshoots for some time.

The soundtrack to this enchanting creation was provided by Laufey's Bewitched. Laufey is a highly talented jazz singer whose star has been on the rise in recent years. I had the pleasure of attending her live show in Melbourne in June, and it left a lasting impact. Bewitched perfectly complemented the theme and mood of our short film, and the synchronicity was undeniable.

It's intriguing how the inspiration for this project sparked when I was completely captivated by the song Bewitched, shortly after its release in late June. As a result, I felt compelled to create something that would harmonise with the irresistible charm of the song.

Just a heads-up, a single Super 8 film cartridge contains 50 feet of film, enough for approximately 3 minutes of footage at 18 frames per second. Considering the expenses of both the film and lab development (with only one lab in Victoria processing Super 8 film, albeit quite a distance away, requiring mailing), the cost tallied to around AUD$150. This made every frame priceless, and shooting Super 8 is, to put it mildly, a stressful process, especially without an infinite budget and time. Precision was the key, directing Lucie to perform flawlessly, leaving no room for errors. Thankfully, Lucie was an absolute pro. She required no preparation and met my expectations. I even handed her one of my cameras as a prop for a unique point of view – capturing her taking a photo of me. Needless to say, she aced that shot as well. You can see her work in the photo below.

The filming process, along with our essential photoshoot, spanned approximately 2 hours. I found particular delight in the photos I captured using my cherished Pentax 67. Thanks to the brilliant sunny weather that graced the day, I selected Kodak Ektar 100 as my primary film stock, and the results were nothing short of breathtaking. I utilised a 105mm f2.4 lens with an aperture set to f5.6, delivering exceptional detail in each photo. The images beautifully showcase how Lucie's hair danced through the air while sunlight gracefully danced in her eyes. I also had Lucie adorn a red scarf to provide a vivid contrast, and in hindsight, this choice proved to be absolutely on point.

I also had two 35mm cameras by my side on that day: a Nikon F3 HP armed with Kodak Portra 400, and a Nikon FM2 proudly carrying my self-rolled Ilford XP2 Super 400, a monochrome film. However, an unexpected hurdle came our way when the F3's battery called it quits mid-shoot. This left me with the sole option of using the camera's mechanical shutter, locked at 1/90, which led to a series of overexposed photos.

As the saying goes, "Art is a process of trial and error." While those overexposed shots may not have met my expectations, they served as a valuable lesson in the journey of creating art. It's through failures like these that we grow and strengthen our skills, right? On a lighter note, the Nikon FM2 played a somewhat unusual role that day, doubling as a prop more than a functioning camera. Despite this, there were still some shots from it that I hold dear.

Reflecting on it now, Enchanted Sunlit Trails may not be my magnum opus, but it was a lighthearted and carefree project. There was no extensive preparation, just an impromptu adventure, going with the flow. What I truly cherish is the relaxed and easygoing vibe that surrounded the making of this short film. I didn't invest much time in the editing process either. After all, how much time does it take to edit a 2.5-minute video from 3 minutes of footage? All credit goes to Lucie for helping bring this project to life.

Enchanted Sunlit Trails (2023)

As I write this post, I'm already planning my next photoshoot with Lucie, wondering where fate will lead us next.

Click here to check out Lucie's portfolio:


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