Film Produced by Ian Carr '10 Selected for Cannes Film Festival
Ian Carr ’10 and his friend Andrew Wesman, a senior at Harvard University, grew up next door to each other, hopping the fence between their houses, and making films.
Their most recent film together, “Shelley,” has been chosen as an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation competition, which features short films by students who are usually in graduate programs.
“According to the Cannes website, there are a little over 1,500 applicants every year, and only about 15 of those get in” says Carr, who produced the film with Wesman as director. “So we were completely shocked.” This year, only two of the 13 films selected are from the United States.
In the 21-minute film, “Shelley,” a 14-year-old girl commits a horrendous act. The main story is the psychological and emotional aftermath of that act and how it effects the relationship between the girl and her boyfriend. Wesman penned the script based on the original story which Carr co-wrote.
“It’s about how two people can share a single event and have completely different responses to it and how it can end up driving them apart,” says Carr. “It’s a very quiet film, not a lot of dialogue. And while there are some sensational aspects, it’s not a violent film. It’s about the aftermath.” You can watch the trailer at www.shelleyfilm.com. The film will be shown on campus, followed by a Q&A with Carr, in Rose Hills Theatre on Monday, May 3, at 6 p.m.
Carr and Wesman shot the film last summer as part of Wesman’s thesis for Harvard. Their partnership as producer and director has developed over the many films they’ve created together, including another short, “A Song for Our Lady,” which was filmed while they were still in high school and showed at California’s Mill Valley Film Festival.
“As we continued to work together, we learned we have very different skill sets,” says Carr. Wesman is a detail-oriented perfectionist, while Carr is a relaxed problem solver.
“I’m good at really trying to manage a lot and look at the big picture, and I actually think my computer science [major] has been completely invaluable towards my filmmaking,” says Carr, who also restarted the film and video production club Studio 47 with Evan Stalker ’10 during their freshman year at Pomona. “The problem-solving skills that I’ve learned in the CS Department--they directly translate into [film-making] because films really are just a series of problems that you have to solve.”
Some of the problems that Carr solved on “Shelley” including casting, always knowing where they were in the production so he could make sure everything was organized, and dealing with the logistics of an eight-day shoot where the cast and crew were actually living on the set, a house in Cape Cod, Mass.
“It’s really interesting because I’ll talk to Andrew about [the production,] and our conceptions of those eight days are very different,” says Carr, “because he saw it as a little stressful: There were some tense moments, but generally speaking, it was pretty calm and relaxed. And that’s because I did my job correctly. It was a very stressful eight days for me.”
Now, Carr has to finish up his senior year. The day after graduation, he’ll be driving back to his hometown of San Francisco to hop a plane for France to attend the festival. While his goal is to find work in the burgeoning field where film and storytelling intersect with new media, he’s purposely keeping his job options open , in case any new opportunities arise out of Cannes.
“It’s ending college with something of a bang,” says Carr. “It’s going to be interesting. It’s definitely a whole new level of senioritis.”