Featured Director: Oliver Milne - Trinidad & Tobago
“The Transform Node of Houdini”
Oliver Milne 2020
The transcript of our virtual coffee with Oliver Milne follows . . .
His name is Oliver Milne, and he's from Trinidad and Tobago. He loves to tell all kinds of stories. He captures moments on film, ‘‘Analog Ollie’’, they call him. He says the fact that his camera doesn't even have a battery in it makes him happy.
“Ever since I was a kid, I've wanted to make a feature film. That was my dream.
At a very young age, I remember being with some friends who had a video camera. We were making a film and they had me acting in it. I remember really wanting to be the one shooting it, but it was their camera. When I was between five and twelve, there were a bunch of times where I was in commercials locally. That gave me an early taste of what ‘set’ was like.
I made my first short film when I was 15 and another short film two years after. It was then that I decided to apply for film school.
So I went to Vancouver Film School, to do a Film Production course and then returned to Trinidad to create a film. In Trinidad, we have the beginnings of an industry, but it's not yet a sustainable film and television industry. We may have one or two feature films a year and it's always a very low-budget self-funded sort of indie.
My current film, ‘‘Not Now Never Now”, is a very personal family drama. The idea for it came from a moment when I asked “What am I here for? What do I want to say as an artist?”. It's a small film but I think it has a lot to say. A girl grows up to become an astronaut and she becomes the first person to make a solo moon mission. She lands on the moon in a space world by herself very much inspired by the sort of imagery of SpaceX and the Dragon Craft.
Producing ‘‘Not Now Never Now” has been one of the most serendipitous experiences of my life. Everything that I had hoped for has worked out or has worked out even better than I had imagined. The whole thing has expanded globally - which is a blow-mind for me.
I have my VFX artist working in Canada on textures, dust and particles and interaction with water. He's the one who put me onto GridMarkets and told me about your rendering service. He sends his work over the internet to GridMarkets. I don't even know where GridMarkets’ computers are, but my frames are rendered by you guys’ and then return back to him. He finishes all the shots and sends them to me for the final edit.
Using GridMarkets has really been an overwhelmingly pleasant experience. Everyone has been so accommodating and willing to help make the project happen in the most efficient and affordable way possible. The Covid Grant that GridMarkets offered for this production is one of those serendipitous blessings. I know it would not have been possible to do otherwise.
I feel really good about how the whole process has unfolded and I feel really good about the film. I think people responded well to the script and to the idea. I'm really excited to see where it leads. Who knows, this may present an opportunity to develop into something more.”