From script to screen: Tess Roode shares her experience producing a short film

From script to screen: Tess Roode shares her experience producing a short film

05/31/2023 - 11:49

Tess Roode, a year 1 Creative Business student, has been actively involved in the production of a short film as part of her study programme. With two other students, Tess worked on a script for a short film, which is currently being produced by three different groups.

Additionally, Tess has also directed a short movie based on another group's script, that is scheduled to premiere on the 16th of June. In this interview, Tess provides insights into this project and her role in the development.  
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Can you describe the project that you are working on? 

Tess: ‘The project started as part of a scriptwriting course. We formed groups of three, and the requirements were to create a character-driven story for a short film, with a duration of 3 to 5 minutes. Dialogue was a crucial element. We dedicated about 1.5 months to work on the script, meeting every Wednesday in the BUas Production House.’ 

‘Each group developed their script, resulting in about 50 scripts in total. Later, we formed new groups for the production phase. I ended up in a brand-new group where we selected a script. While I chose a different script then my own, three others chose the script I worked on. From there, we moved on to the next project stages.’  

‘The process involved several stages, starting with scriptwriting and then moving on to pre-production. During pre-production, we focused on planning the logistics, including securing locations, casting actors, and organizing the necessary equipment. Once all the preparations were complete, we began filming, which was the production phase. We are currently in the post-production phase. The film will be premiered on the 16th of June at the CB film festival.' 

Could you provide an overview of the story? 

Tess: ‘The story revolves around two childhood friends having a conversation in a hospital's visitor room. The conversation centres around a car accident that occurred some time ago. It delves into the guilt and emotions experienced by one of the boys involved in the accident, showcasing their deep connection. The story has a plot-twist. But no spoilers...’ 

What was your role in developing this short film? 

Tess: ‘I took on the role of director. Our group consisted of six members: a producer, director of photography (DOP), art designer, sound engineer, editor, and me. Originally, I wanted to become a producer since I had previously worked as an assistant producer for a year. However, someone else expressed interest in that role, so I decided to explore directing, which seemed equally exciting, if not more.’  

‘At the beginning of the project, my role as a director was significant. I wrote the director's treatment, which included establishing the film's tone, creating a mood board, and referring to other films for inspiration. Working closely with the cameraman and art director, we determined the shots, lenses, locations, and actors. Being the only Dutch-speaking member, I took it upon myself to search and contact people, through websites and social media platforms such as Facebook groups. We managed to secure a small budget through crowdfunding.’ 

‘Finding a suitable location was a challenge, and it took a considerable amount of time. We visited community centres and meeting places, eventually settling on an old monastery in Breda. We filmed everything in one day at the same location.’ 

What are your future plans? 

Tess: ‘As a fast-track student, I am faced with an array of choices for the coming year. Among the options available, such as publishing, radio, TV and AV, I can select three areas of specialization. Personally, I am particularly drawn to AV and envision myself venturing into this field in the future.’  

‘Looking ahead to my final year (after year 2), I aspire to delve into the realm of creative producing. While I have previously explored the role of a director, I find the prospect of returning to that position quite appealing. Moreover, I am also intrigued by the intricacies of camera work and cinematography.’  


For those who would like to learn more about Tess work, you can check out her LinkedIn profile