sound design / foley artist - richard cavagin carey
    For me “Becoming” presented a wonderful challenge in that the entire film was shot without any audio being recorded on set (MOS).  This blank canvas meant that every single sound had to be recorded and added in post production. The beautiful locations used for the film - waterfall, forest and cornfield - all have their own signature sounds, from background atmospheres/ambiences right down to the smallest movement an actor might make in each environment.  So it was a welcome opportunity for extensive location field recording. I used three separate locations in rural Ontario.  A day was spent at the waterfalls where the film was shot (with colleague, Shawn).  I spent a day in a forest in the Kawartha area, and finally a day in a cornfield north of Peterborough.  I had a rough cut of the film as reference, so a lot of work was done at each location to capture specific sounds from a ‘shopping list’ I created based on spotting the film and talking with Ayelen and Joseph. 

    When you are alone in these places, listening closely to the way things sound and the way in which even the smallest Foley movement and interaction create sound, it can be truly inspirational.  It can also be pretty amusing sometimes… There I was, alone in a cornfield on Thanksgiving Day, microphones set up, running around (attempting) to mimic the actions of the actors… I don’t quite have the agility of Jessica and Sanford obviously.  It was for the best I think that no cameras were running that day.
    Armed with the raw audio from these field recording sessions, it was then a case of editing this material into a final soundscape within Pro Tools.  The film involved a lot of detailed audio editing; for aspects such as the firefly animation, an entire separate sound design process was carried out as we gradually gave the flies an aural identity.  And then all of these sounds were married up with Rubin’s wonderful music composition to create the finished audio mix.  I feel honoured to have been a part of the process for this fantastic film. A magical film to work on from the sound design perspective.
producer / director - ayelén liberona
    Becoming began many years ago when I envisioned a tetralogy that explored our increasing disconnection with nature through what I feel is the most primal connection to nature that we know, our physical body.  Specifically, I wanted to investigate this relationship through the lens and wisdom of a feminine archetype.  In Falling, part one of the tetralogy, a womanly creature is born from a cocoon and uses movement to transform through the elements.  In Becoming, part two, I knew this creature now needed to encounter Man.

    Both Joseph and I agreed that we wanted Becoming to stand as a film and not be considered only as a dance film.  Coming from the dance world myself, and Joseph from the film world, we were fit to the challenge of bridging these two mediums.  Personally, I have always been obsessed with film and the moving image, and I realize now that my creative process as a choreographer has always been somewhat filmic.  I enjoy creating narrative from moving imagery drawn from my dreams and everyday life.  With Becoming, I was drawn to push the boundaries where choreography meets cinematic language. My particular challenge was for every movement to have a purpose, a reason. The praying mantis was a huge source of inspiration in creating this movement language and also the underlying aesthetic principles. It became clear that the choreography had to be created as a response to the environment so that I could stay true to the idea of movement as a primal necessity that is intrinsically linked to narrative.

    I quit film school to make Becoming and in the process learned more than I ever could have learned in a classroom.  The collaboration with Joseph was a huge part of that learning curve. Overall, the experience taught me that film is not so different from the world I had known.  It’s all about the people you choose to work with and the commitment to the vision, no matter how surreal.  Becoming speaks to the talent of the incredible artists and technicians that came together to make it happen and the particular bravery of our lead Jessica, who so gracefully handled the rugged elements. So what is Becoming?  Perhaps it is fantasy or a dance or a dream that came to life as a film. In the end, Becoming is whatever meaning manifests itself between the spectator and the film, so you tell me!
cinematographer - guy godfree
    For Becoming, much of the challenge was with keeping the crew and equipment small and portable but still capable of accomplishing interesting and challenging shots.  Working closely with Ayelen in the movement, choreography and framing of the film, and relying on Joseph for the technical, story and editing foresight, was very fulfilling for me.  With a script that has no dialogue, much of the story relies on the all the other elements of filmmaking.  For this task, Joseph was invaluable for the keeping the film together as one piece and Ayelen was incredible in appropriating the right movement elements from the performance essential for each shot. 

    Becoming was not without it’s share of challenges.  Timing and execution had to be exact.  With much of the crane and remote head work, this timing meant absolutely precise choreography between myself, the dolly operator, the crane operator and the focus puller.  Not only that, but coordinating that with the movements of the performers was the key.  Needless to say, all of us got a work out, but when all those elements combined the results were immediately obvious.

    The last section of the film that we shot was the high speed flying shots.  The plan was to cleverly place a trampoline near the cornfield and shoot from a few rows in to make it appear as though we were in the middle of the field.  After trying a few different shots, it became apparent that this wasn’t working.  Someone noted that if only we could get the Olympic sized trampoline into the field, this might work.  Well, our incredible farmer friend, said why not.  We all put down our camera gear and the entire crew began to push the trampoline through the corn. I guess those shots stick out for me as a real example of the team work this film required.  The choreography, the hard locations, the intricate shots, precise timing, all things that are difficult for crews with endless resources and scores of people to help.  This film is a great example of a small crew, with simple tools, accomplishing some stunning work.
producer / director - joseph johnson camí
    I think I began the Becoming creative experience with a good dose of excitement and a pinch of fear. I suddenly found myself immersed in a creative process unlike any I had experienced before. You see, Ayelen’s mind, her very relationship with this world of images, is very different from mine. She envisions colors and shapes and movement, and I suddenly felt empowered to create a technical ballet of camera movement and film history around her imagination. And when the filming began, and all the insecurities of revealing the very nature and quality and faults of your talent to the person you love finally dissipated, it felt incredible to watch what our colliding worlds had created.
the making of

b e c o m i n g

actor - sanford kong
    When we first started training for this short, I didn’t really know what to expect. Weeks were spent working out the moves and choreography for the chase and fight scenes. I remember one of the first moves Ayelen wanted Jessica to do was a windmill like turn over my shoulders. We tried it but ran into a few difficulties. I aggravated an old shoulder injury, and when we got down to it, I don’t think we could pull it off especially with me being shirtless, sweaty and all. Eventually Ayelen and Joseph decided that a different approach was needed for the fight, which required me to be more of a base for Jessica. I started to supplement some weight training workouts for my core and legs, doing dead lifts, and exercise ball exercises etc. At night I would study various animals on youtube, listen to many scores and songs to invoke the spirit of the character, who was very primal, simple and ancient.
    When we got to the location and I began to feel the dirt under my feet, the coolness on my skin and the heaviness of the blade in my hand, it was as if there was a shift, and a part of me stepped forward. For the first time I truly felt a connection to the natural environment. To spend the whole day bare foot, feeling the cold mud and dirt between my toes grounded me. I remember the kid inside was excited about doing some action and stunts. But after falling on my back, with no mats, with a 120lbs woman on me for at least 20 times, the kid was not too happy. This friggin hurts! So then, my warrior part had to step in and take all the countless pounding and knocks. No complaints. And my soldier had to keep it all in order, taking the required commands. I remember thinking, okay let’s hit the target, so we can all go home to our loved ones.

    The feeling of tranquility stayed with me for a long time after the shoot. There was a part of me that got it, you know, to live off the land, to be truly independent and self-sufficient. If all I had were food, two shorts, shelter and
a blade, that’s all I needed. The role of Man allowed me to be with that primal animalistic self for the whole two days. For weeks I would see the corn stocks bending in the wind when I lay to sleep. Now, at any moment I can go there. Whenever I walked down Bloor St and was in the presence of exotic cars, fine clothing and expensive living; it held no power over me. Nothing really did. The rag shorts, bare feet and blade that this character wielded, fully activated a part in me which had no need for external displays of wealth. By sourcing Man energetically, it gave me a point of reference to begin shedding, and ultimately an eventual liberation from all this.

the equipment

movie poster


RED Accesories

Zeiss High Speed Prime

Angenieux 25-250 T3.5

Lighting & Grip Material

EZ  FX Jib Arm

Camera Turret PT24

Produced with a grant awarded by CTV’s

Bravo!FACT (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent)

Shot on RED

Sponsored by

Production Services