by Matt Taylor
SEASONED Gladstone filmmaker Clifton Schulke is being recognised for his short film The Arrow as a Capricorn Film Festival finalist nominee in the Open category.
Mr Schulke said he's proud to be part of an event that showcases the region's top talent.
"Believe it or not there are a lot of filmmakers in this region,” Mr Schulke said.
"To have the film festival is a great opportunity for us to showcase to the general public.
"I'm very excited to be a part of it and to network and meet some of the other filmmakers.”
Mr Schulke studied filmmaking at TAFE after graduating high school in 2001 and has been actively working on short films and commercials around the Gladstone Region.
He said he defines his latest short film The Arrow as an immersive drama and action movie that sees two enemy archers pitted against each other in an archer-sniper fight.
Mr Schulke said there was no particular inspiration behind the film, rather a sequence of ideas that formed as one.
"Like any filmmaker you want to make the films that you like to watch, and I've certainly got a passion for this sort of film,” he said.
"Everything that comes to my mind, it comes in sequences.
"I just imagined there was this guy there, trapped behind a log with arrows getting shot at him and I asked who is this guy and what's going on?
"The idea then just starts populating from there.”
Mr Schulke praised lead actor Luke Watts as an integral part of the production.
"We worked on a lot of stuff together and I had nobody else in mind for the part when I was writing it,” he said.
"Luke took the character on and it just completely blew my mind with what he did.”
Mr Schulke said the film was shot in Kalpowar State Forest.
He said he wanted the film set in a European forest, drawing inspiration from titles such Game of Thrones and The Revenant.
"What I love about those sort of films is they're real, and there's nowhere to hide with them,” Mr Schulke said.
"It's just a man in nature and I really tried to do that with this film.
"When we were there shooting, the trees are planted in rows, so we just had to shoot off angle to those lines to make it look like natural forest.
"We had a few conversations about the best approach and best shooting style that we could go for to achieve that.
"My film is designed to be viewed on the big screen and I designed most of the shots and sequences for it.”
Irrespective of whether his short film snags a festival win, Mr Schulke said he was proud of the work and the collaboration.
Any winnings from the festival will go towards growing the film into a larger project.
"This film is part of a much larger idea, a feature film we are working on in the background at the moment,” Mr Schulke said. "I'm not there to win, I just want to be seen and appreciated but it would be a real boost in confidence to win.”
Mr Schulke is looking forward to showing his film on the big screen later this month.