The Director’s Commentary: Le Carte

lecartecommentary

As first semester wraps up, VACA productions is now out with their second film after last year’s Girarsi.

Challenged to create a film under two minutes, the VACA production faced some difficulty in figuring out how the events of Le Carte was going to play out. First, after the well loved Girarsi which was almost 5-minutes in length, we were challenged to tell an effective story within less than two minutes with a beginning middle and end. While some members wanted to keep the mafia essence of Girarsi, we decided to go a different route, focussing on the theme of family. Le Carte however, still retained the Italian essence that was exhibited in Girarsi.

Le Carte – a short film, only 1:30 minutes, as opposed to the 5:50 minutes Girarsi, strives to transmit a message that is relevant to today’s society. Le Carte addresses the topic of teenage choices: Friends or family? Cards or Party? Teenagers face these types choices everyday.

This year, while straying away from the church setting, VACA productions newest film Le Carte still has a hidden piece of Catholicism in it. After two Synod of Bishops on the family which resulted in a (controversial) Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), Le Carte seems to be a perfect response to the Apostolic Exhortation:

“The tensions created by an overly individualistic culture, caught up with possessions and pleasures, leads to intolerance and hostility in families.” (Amoris Laetitia, 30)

Are people today becoming more and more individualistic? Have we become too self-consumed? Thinking more about ourselves than the needs of others?

Sometimes, I ask myself the those questions. I value family time and sometimes, I fear that I become too busy with extracurricular activities or parish activities that I do not spend enough time with family either physically with mom, dad and sister and/or a Skype call or writing an e-mail to family members overseas – something I have honestly been lacking.

If you have known me for some time, just by reading this commentary so far, you know I love to add the Catholic aspect into the media pieces that I do. While Le Carte was not filmed in a Church, I recommended that since we would take shots from Anthony Bortolin’s grandfather’s home, we should at least get a shot of some popular Italian saint and in this day and age, it is St. Padre Pio of Pietrecina. Padre Pio’s face is seen in most devout Catholic Italian homes… am I wrong to say this?

Going back to the technical side of things, I honestly found it more difficult to create a film in less than two minutes than a five minute short film. You can go on, and on, and on in a five minute film but with a two minute film, you need to keep the message short and concise – something I learned I need to work on.

Looking back, this is the last film I have created for the Communications-Technology course at Chaminade College School and indeed, a journey it was. I remember struggling to understand shot composition, repeating “the full action” in order to get a proper shot for a short Halls commercial. While I still face road bumps here and there while producing films, I believe I have come a long way and one thing for sure: VACA productions is not shutting down after this year’s IGNITE showcase at Yorkdale Cinemas on Wednesday May 29, 2019. I will still be directing films and with my experiences from my co-op at Salt and Light Media (a separate post to come), I hope to continue using digital media as a form of evangelization.

Thank you Mr. Perrotta for your guidance, advice and valuable feedback! Thank you Anthony, Carlos and Domenico for your companionship and hard work in making Le Carte possible!

Official Le Carte website: https://lecartemovie.weebly.com/ .

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About Vincent Pham

Vincent is a humanities student of the University of Toronto’s Trinity College of the Faculty of Arts and Science. He hopes to pursue a double major in Ethics, Law and Society, and Philosophy.
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