November 7, 2011 – For a short film to be considered for the Oscars, it must first fulfill several requirements. Some are technical, like it must be done in a 35 mm projection format, and some are more of the critical type, like the film must be part of a qualifying film festival and it must have a theatrical release in Los Angeles.
Salt and Silicone, the short written and directed by Warren Pereira, covered all that was needed. It not only fulfilled all technical demands, but it has been showcased at several film festivals, like the 2010 International Film Festival in Ireland and the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Last April it had a limited theatrical release at Laemmle Sunset 5 in Los Angeles.
As one can figure out from its title, Salt and Silicone’s subject is breast augmentation. In just 25 minutes, Pereira (who also stars in the short) explores one man’s mixed feelings about breast implants. In three separate episodes, the film considers “three different facets of the character’s mind,” says Pereira. “Vex has three different feelings about his girlfriend getting breast implants – part of him wants to be supportive, another part is completely against it, and yet another part of him is looking forward to the surgery because of his hypersexual emotions.”
Pereira sets out to show what the character is feeling through technique by utilizing a distinct look, direction, and camera movement in each episode. Color does its part – one episode is cold, blue and steely, while another is hot in orange and yellows. The music score is likewise different for every episode. “We used, for example, a jazz bass for one of the scenes but a heavy metal bass for another,” says Pereira. The acting is unique for each of the sections as well. “The most difficult guy to act out was the one who hates breast implants,” says Pereira. “He is very stern, does not move his hands, very much unlike my nature. He also draws a real sword out in the middle of the scene, which brought along even safety issues,” he jokes.
The result is an entertaining short film that gets its point across: our culture is obsessed with breast implants, but is all the turmoil worthwhile?
Salt and Silicone is currently in the hands of the Academy’s short film committee, which just began screening 100 shorts this week and will continue to do so for about a month. Sometime in December the committee will draw a “short list” of eight films, out of which five will be officially nominated to the Oscars in January. “I honestly can’t even think of a nomination yet,” says Pereira. “All I’m really hoping for is to be in that short list.”
Meanwhile, Salt and Silicone is available to the public, along with four other Pereira short films, in “The Short Films of Warren Pereira” DVD (At Amazon.com here).
Clips of the films and more information about Pereira’s work at http://www.wfilms.biz
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