REELING - Lyndall Cave pictured with the posters of Exspelled? and Flowers in Her Hair

Film school graduate navigates the world of independent filmmaking

Lyndall Cave has written and directed two short films

BY RYAN WELLICOME

Lacombe Express

Local film school graduate Lyndall Cave, fuelled by her passion for storytelling, is building the skills to forge her path through the independent film industry.

Cave has written and directed two short films and, along with other film and acting students, released a web series called Camping. Cave explains she has had a love affair with stories for years but her curiosity would often take her further.

“The way movies are made has always fascinated me. I’m the kind of person who will watch behind-the-scenes features and read making-of books,” she said.

Surprisingly, Cave said she had rarely touched a video camera in her youth.

“I was too busy reading books and inventing role playing games with my sisters and friends.”

Although films seemed to be at the forefront of her mind, the idea of bringing stories to life was not where Cave saw herself.

“The thought that I could make movies never occurred to me,” she said. “I didn’t have a clue how a regular person would even go about entering the film industry. Film school seemed too expensive, especially when I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to make movies. Sure I liked them, but I was also interested in all kinds of things.”

Following high school, Cave completed the costume cutting and construction program at Olds College.

A particular class she took was focused on the arts and the entertainment industry.

Through that class, she had the opportunity to tour working film sets and cross paths with the professionals that were making it happen.

Cave also received an International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) permit card from the course.

IATSE is an international union for theatrical and filmmaking employees whose goal is to protect employees and ensure fair wages. The IATSE card would allow Cave to work in an entry level position as a costumer on a film set.

Things had changed for Cave.

“Suddenly, working in film became a real possibility,” she said.

But, Cave didn’t make her move just yet.

“I worked in the wardrobe department of the Canadian Badlands Passion Play for two years, and through that I met two separate groups of people who were making independent films,” she said. “I helped them with costumes. That was my introduction to independent filmmaking.”

Cave was astounded when she found out that the independent filmmakers were producing feature length films with only $4,000 and a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera.

“I thought you needed huge budgets and big, fancy cameras to make decent movies,” she said. “Sure, it didn’t look as good as Hollywood, but the story was solid, and it was fun to watch.”

Cave started to investigate the School of Digital Filmmaking (SDF) course in Dunham, Quebec. The SDF is an intensive three-month course offered through Youth With a Mission’s (YWAM) University of the Nations. The course’s objective is to give students a basic knowledge of film production and the industry on which they can build. She was required to complete YWAM’s Discipleship Training School in Dunham before she could attend the SDF course.

After completing the required prerequisite, she returned home. During her time at home, she had run into a psychological wall. “I avoided thinking about film school, because I was scared,” she said. “I was scared that I didn’t have what it takes to be a filmmaker. Spielbergs and Lucases made films, not Caves.”

Despite the road block, she received encouragement from people in her life; reminders to not forget her dreams.

“I had this revelation that I am not a filmmaker, I’m a person who makes films. What I do flows out of who I am; my work does not define my humanity,” she said. “My fear dissipated. If my film failed, it no longer meant that I was a failure.”

Equipped with a renewed confidence, Cave set off for Dunham to complete the SDF course. Through the course she was thrust, head first, into every role of film production. “Often we would be doing things before we learned about them.”

By the end of the program, Cave and her schoolmates had produced eight short films, two of which titled Exspelled? and Flowers in Her Hair she wrote and directed. <span cl

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