Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 09/22/2020- Director Paul Komadina’s live action short Abduction focuses on a woman who tries to retrace her steps after waking up in the middle of nowhere. This film won the 2020 CinefestOZ Audience Choice Award at Cinefest Oz.
What are you most proud of as a Director?
That’s a tricky one to answer as I’m never satisfied with anything I do. Every project involves a load of compromises and it’s really hard to watch something you’ve done and not see the flaws. That said, if I had to pick something it would probably be this latest short, Abduction. I really feel like we made a film that’s about something important and so far people seem to be connecting with it. At the end of the day, that’s always the most gratifying thing.
You self-financed your feature The Director’s Cut. Tell us about this project.
The Director’s Cut is a horror/comedy about a director trying to make a film out on a farm when his crew starts getting mysteriously picked off one by one. It’s kind of about ego and self-delusion, things I’m sure all creatives grapple with at some point. It was shot for very little and made mostly with people I met at film school. I made it out of the frustration of my career not moving fast enough. It played at some festivals and got distribution in the states but really it’s pretty amateur. That was shot around 13 years ago now. I enjoyed doing it and learned a lot but I find it slightly embarrassing these days. I guess it’s all part of the journey.
Tell us about your live-action short, Abduction.
Abduction was conceived by writer Frances Elliott. She had her drink spiked out at a club one night and went through quite an ordeal. On top of that, a lot of her friends didn’t believe her or insinuated it was her fault. They said things like “You shouldn’t have left your drink lying around”. We’re really close and I was the first person she called the next day. A little while later she sent me the first draft of a script and it really moved me. She had crafted this alien encounter story as a metaphor for her experience. It’s the kind of storytelling that really excites me, dealing with social issues through genre. It can be a really evocative way to talk about things. She asked me to direct and I immediately said yes.
Is there synergy between your film Abduction and your other films?
I definitely like using genre as a way to talk about things. I don’t like films that are too prescriptive or too on the nose but they should definitely be about something. I feel like we hit that balance with Abduction. So, yes, there’s a synergy between it and my other work but if I’m being completely honest, it might be the first time I’ve done it right.
Did you face any challenges while filming Abduction?
It was actually mostly smooth sailing. We applied for government funding to make it and were denied. That was definitely a setback but Cody Greenwood, the producer, and I felt so strongly about making it that we decided to fund it ourselves. Once we made that choice we just forged on. We had an amazing cast and crew that generously gave us their time. One location had a huge storm the night before shooting and we had to delay filming there for a bit while the owners cleaned up fallen trees and so on but as these things tend to, it gave us more time to think about those scenes. The post process was definitely quite protracted as we had companies doing sound, music and vfx for us in-between their usual commercial work, as we weren’t paying for it, but the work was so fantastic it was all worth it. So, yeah those were challenges but it’s just part of the process. If you believe in something you just keep moving and you find a way.
What is next for you in 2020?
I’m currently working on a feature script for an outback horror. These things take time but maybe that will be the next one. In the meantime, I’m directing commercials and walking my dog.