Case Study: Evaluation Eyal Tzadik and Yotam Kislev tell about their short Evaluation.
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Case Study: Evaluation

Eyal Tzadik and Yotam Kislev tell about their short Evaluation.

Evaluation is the outcome of the joint work of Eyal Tzadik and Yotam Kislev who own the production company Zohar Pictures. The short is about Irit, a welfare officer, who visits the home of Sasha and Nitzan in order to evaluate Sasha's mental condition. He doesn't seem willing to cooperate, trying to share an important truth with her she seems to ignore.

"Our main issue with contemporary cinema is the lack of compassion in a world that pretends to accept everything and everyone."

09 augustus 2019

Pre-production

"The film Evaluation came up first as a Documentary test. We both love a certain short Polish story called Strangulation Bow by Marek Hlasko. We wanted to see if it could be adaptable as a documentary screenplay which meant that we had to search for a fictional story that can happen in real life. We wanted to cast the short story's main character - a man who is a suicide addict. During our search we wrote the script until we came across Sacha Agronov. Both Sacha and us had a strong connection right away and we decided to transform the idea into a short fiction film. We considered this film as a step for us in defining and compositing our cinematic language. We saw it as a fast and direct stage at this process. This choice dictated the entire making of this film. We wrote two drafts, shot for one day and edited the final cut in a week. Our documentary project has grand scales and it is still ongoing."

"After a short casting process, we arranged two rehearsals with our actors. We decided not to share the original story with them but due to our strict timetable we told all of them to watch John Cassavetes' Love Streams as an emotional and acting range reference. The only professional member we wanted to add to our crew was our D.O.P. Guy Sahaf in order to delegate all the technical aspect so that we could be completely focus on our actors. We trusted Guy regarding the short pre-production and on set. All other crew members were friends with no training in filmmaking. Since we also were the producers we got complete control over the film and we could make all the decisions."

Flexible production

"According to our predetermined decision to do the film fast and entirely by ourselves we didn’t look for funding and ended up making the film for less than €500. We had many responsibilities and took some risks but we also got the chance to touch every aspect of filmmaking and learned a lot from that experience."

"We planned for a very flexible production with priority on the directing of the actors, so we could still have the freedom to change things that didn’t work on set. The small and unprofessional team turned out to be a blessing because it minimized the chaos on the set."

"Similar to the production style we planned in a rhythmical dialect that is based on the struggles the main character deals with while obsessively trying to explain himself. Both characters are the equivalent of two musical instruments with different tones and rhythms. Therefore, we knew that we would not add external music to the film."

Discoveries

"The wonderful things we discovered during the making of this small budget independent film turned out be much harder and more difficult in its distribution phase. It is very expensive to apply yourself and the lack of information makes the whole process feel random and dreadful. Even though we won an important national prize after our first screening, we felt that we could not force the necessary attention. Maybe the most important tip we can give is to seriously budget the distribution phase. We hope that information about distribution and festivals will become more accessible."

"Our main issue with contemporary cinema is the lack of compassion in a world that pretends to accept everything and everyone. When you let your vocabulary be narrowed by identity politics you tend to shut down every sense of complexity in your argument and therefore you take away the infinite emotional range that can grow only in a free confrontational ground. Nowadays stories suffocate by justifications and no clear and abstract truth can appear that way. As a starting point, we chose Sacha to make that argument by being unable to justify his condition when the audience can clearly see that he needs everything he asks for. He cannot articulate his vulnerability but the audience can see his authenticity that the social services cannot."

Evaluation will compete in the Official Competition at SHIFT Film Festival 2019 for the title of Best Film and Audience Award.

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