Toronto Film School alumnus Prasanna Paul was recently crowned one of the Social Distancing Film Festival’s Best Directors – and, fittingly enough, it was for a film not only about isolation, but that was also filmed in isolation.
Lauded by VFXDaily as “an artistic beacon in these uncertain times,” Paul said he initially thought of Madeline as just a little quarantine project to keep him busy while confined at home during the COVID-19 crisis.
But it quickly exploded to become much more than that, reaching audiences all around the globe.
“When I first put it out…I uploaded it and I went on a bike ride. When I came back and checked my phone, I’d got tons of messages from all over the world,” marvelled the Class of 2015 Film Production graduate, who both wrote and directed the two-minute short.
“People have been asking questions about things I haven’t even thought about. So that’s why I truly understand just how big it got and how many people it sort of touched in a way.”
Paul, the founder lead VFX supervisor of Paul Bros VFX, recently sat down virtually with Roxanne Resh, the coordinator Toronto Film School’s Online VFX program, to discuss the making of Madeline – including his use of a crew of artists hailing from Toronto, Canada to Karachi, Pakistan to help him shape the film into the success it’s become.
Paul said he’s in awe of how the film has brought people together, highlighting the universality of the art of filmmaking.
“I think that’s the beauty of it – that a lot of different people see a lot of different things in it,” he said of people’s reaction of Madeline.
“It’s not one message…a lot of people are connecting with it from a lot of different ways and angles, and it’s kind of fascinating to see.”