Adam Stevens’ short film DELORES is a documentary account of a fictitious unexpected discovery on board a New Zealand fishing trawler on a routine run in the Southern oceans. A hardy crew of seamen come face to face with a mystery of the deep that will leave its mark on their lives forever.
DIRECTOR'S NOTES - Adam Stevens
"This was a fantastic challenge as both a writer and director.
The script/documentary format demanded a massive variety of characters and locations both at sea and on the land. This put huge pressure on the production in every department. As I wrote the piece to be a real account of a fictitious event through the eyes of the crew and their immediate family members. Therefore, it was very important to cast a believable group of actors and non-actors, in particular the fishermen, who needed to be physically believable.
I used the script as a general base for performance and then embellished each character with a fuller account of what actually happened at sea. From here we were able to adlib the interview sequences. There is also a large flashback component to the film, which I married into the documentary feel. I want the audience to feel as if these moments are simply recorded events.
Shooting all of the on-board sequences first worked in our favour as I was able to let the scenes develop naturally and really build the actors sense of back story prior to the shooting of the interview scenes.
To shoot the on-board drama sequences the Cinematographer Stephen Latty devised a very efficient bungy rig to emulate the rocking motion of the boat at sea. This increased the freedom of the camera and enhanced the story and the nautical feel of the piece.
The most difficult shooting experience was shooting the boat to boat footage of the trawler actually trawling and landing a catch. We had limited resources and a very small window to shoot these shots. We only achieved these shots thanks to a fantastic fishing crew who allowed us to position their trawler and then hold it there until the ocean swell eased a little, giving us the opportunity to shoot. We could then climb aboard and film the net coming up and dropping their catch - a rare sight for a non-fisherman. In my mind these shots act as the ‘reality’ glue that cement the film together."