This year’s World of Women: WOW Film Festival is packed full of celebrities, parties and of course an array of contemporary short films. Amidst the madness, a little film about typography where Helvetica yearns for equality and Wendy is a freedom fighter stood out like an Algerian in an Arial world. We talk font to filmmakers Brooke Trezise and Nils Crompton.
This is a pretty cool idea for a film. When did inspiration hit? We originally made this film for the Stereotyped exhibition at Object Gallery, so font and sound design were always destined to be a dominant theme. However, the film as a whole really developed one piece, almost one segment, at a time. We certainly didn’t set out to make a film noir with characters based on fonts.
How did you cast Wendy and Helvetica? Did you always know Helvetica would be a guy? We actually developed a character with Helvetica-type (pun!) traits and motives who happened to be male, which is why we ended up naming him accordingly.
What is your favourtite font? Phenix American & Avant Guarde.
If fonts can be humanised, do you reckon humans have font characteristics? Definitely. Both people and fonts voice their “character” through cultural references. The way you stand or hold yourself, the width of your serifs, the extra curl in the tail or your ampersand, the pressed pleats in your skirt…
What fonts could these guys play: George Clooney, Robin Williams, Amy Winehouse and Renée Zellwegar? Clooney could be Arial. Clean, straight cut and perfectly commercial. Williams is definitely Comic Sans, rubbery and always playing roles he shouldn’t. Here’s a bit of an abstract one for Winehouse: Dirty and Classic by Billy Argel. Pretty self explanatory. Zellwegar is Catholic School Girls Intl BB Regular.
How does it feel to be a part of the WOW Film Festival? Fantastic! Given the experimental nature of our film, we thought it would be tough finding a festival willing to give it a go, so we’re over the moon to have it included in such a highly regarded association. We haven’t really screened to a cinema audience before, so we’re really looking forward to seeing how it’s received.
What attracted you to filmmaking? Brooke: I’ve got a fairly extensive background in sound and sound design, but I chose film as my medium of specialisation because I find it gives the greatest scope for creative designing in a controlled environment. I also love how film is a collaborative process, with each creative person bringing their own style and ideas to the table resulting in an entity that no one person could create on their own.
Nils: Film offers the opportunity to speak gently without being interrupted or cut off or talked over.
What can we expect next from you? We’re working on developing another short. Think Black Comedy meets Cabin Horror meets Emotional Drama meets Experimental Design meets Action… Ahh, we’ll get back to you on that one.
Your top five women in film? Tilda Swinton, Catherine Breillat, Astra Taylor, Amy Heckerling and Australia’s own Jane Campion.
Mar 8 – 10, Dendy Opera Quays, 9/2 Circular Quay Way, Sydney, $6-30, 9247 3800, wift.org/wow