Project Spotlight: 'Ghost of Late', A Film Dissecting Loneliness as a Teen

Kathryn Zix is a 16-year-old photographer, filmmaker, and designer from Southern California. She finds inspiration in music and works to tell interpretive stories through her photos and films. "Ghost of Late" works to talk about the less glamorous feelings of adolescence- loneliness and isolation. It's a mix of feelings brought together by the distinct quirkiness and comedy infused in the plot.

 

When and why did you create this film?
I created this film last summer. I created this film because I wanted to show my struggles of feeling different and alone in a comedic and abstract way.

Did you shoot this film as well? Was it difficult to shoot?
I shot this film with the help of my friend! It was a bit difficult to shoot since I had to act in the film as well as tell my friend how to position the camera and what shots to get.

How was it like directing actors? Had you done that before?
I have directed actors before, and since they were my friends it was pretty easy to tell them what to do and give suggestions.

Can you explain the writing process? 
First, I wrote down a couple key elements I wanted in the story, like the ghost and general plot. Then I made a story clock with these elements in it (a story clock is basically like a clock except it's for the duration of the film you're making) and filled in the holes from there. Once I had a rough outline, I drafted a script and got feedback from my friends!

Why did you choose the specific things you did alone in this short? How did they contrast the group activities?
I chose the specific things I did alone in this short because they are all activities that you need someone else to do with. (chess, tennis, a band, etc.) These activities are generally more enthralling than throwing a ball around, which furthers the point that the main character doesn't fit into the group scenario, as she does not enjoy this activity.

Being a teenager, it's often difficult to create honest work when peers are trying to hold facades. Was this piece difficult to make or post online? How did peers receive it?
Although I did fear criticism from my peers, I knew that my friends who helped me make it were behind me, so they made it less difficult to make and post online. Overall, my peers received it very well though, so I shouldn't have been that worried about their judgement in the first place.

What part of production did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed editing the most! Editing is so cool because it really makes everything come together and it's where you begin to visualize the final product.

How was it like to be in front of the camera?
Being in front of the camera was pretty uncomfortable because I usually do all of the behind the scenes work and I don't think I'm the best actor! Looking back, I don't think I did too bad though.

What was a typical shooting day like?
On a typical shooting day, my friends would arrive in the morning, (of course, someone was always late) and we would get all of the scenes at my house for the actors who were there. Then, other actors would arrive and we would go to another location in the afternoon to shoot another scene until we finally wrapped around 6pm.

How do you identify? How important is your identity to your work? 
I identify myself as a space-obsessed filmmaker and photographer who loves music and learning new things. In my work, I let my identity show through some of the characters and situtations, however I also try to separate the story from myself somewhat.

Can you explain the main character's eyesight issue and her connection to the ghost?
The main character has poor eyesight. After losing chess matches and overall embarrassing herself in front of her peers, she begins to think that maybe the reason they don't like her is because of her eyesight. So, she gets glasses. However, her neighbor still bullies her and begins to befriend her plush-ghost-friend Booski, which leads her to believe that she should become more like Booski. After doing some research, she learns that ghosts are blind and imeediately removes the glasses. At first, Booski is a friend to the main character, however as the main character tries harder and harder to emulate him, he becomes more of an idol.

What does the ending mean to you?
To me, the ending shows that the friend who was there for the main character all along, through all of her struggles returns, along with something she should've kept in order to stay true to herself.

What are some fears you have as an aspiring filmmaker?
Some fears I have as an aspiring filmmaker are not being able to consistently come up with ideas and worrying that I have already reached my full potential.

What are your future goals?
My future goals are to make a feature-length film and to keep improving in everything I do.

 

If you would like your short film to be featured by The Light Leaks, email us at kim@thelightleaks.com!