The People Behind The Film
Benny and Jack’s Flying Machine is the first year graduation film from Krysten Resnick as writer, director and producer. A student at the Met Film School, based in Ealing Studios, Krysten hales from Orange County, California and arrived on our less sunny shores via the sunnier Tel Aviv. She spent five years there after flying over for a two-week holiday, as you do, but it was a boy and film school that brought her here. Who says romance is dead?
I think I have like rose-tinted glasses about my entire life.
Arriving at her flat, just around the corner from The Old Vic Theatre (still there thanks to Kevin Spacey) it’s easy to be taken in by Krysten’s youth and sunny energy – California personified – to think that this is someone who hasn’t had a care in the world. This may have been the case until a year or so ago but then tragedy struck and this seems to have been informing her work ever since.
The main inspiration for this film was my father had just passed away
Krysten’s father died eight months before she wrote and filmed the story and this profoundly affected it. Krysten’s original idea was for a Romeo and Juliet type story told through dance but then her tutor just said. “You have this beautiful location. What happens there?” The film delicately and simply deals with how a lonely child deals with loss. The starting point being the location, which was where her boyfriend spent his childhood. Krysten used his memories to write Benny.
With kids it’s not about giving them motivation, it’s about giving them something real that they could relate to.
It’s an interesting fact that, despite a lack of experience or training, children, when given the appropriate direction, can produce some of the most real and nuanced performances. They can also be irritating. Krysten found Thomas Harrison, who played Benny, after a long series of casting auditions with miniature hopefuls. After meeting him and his mother and spending an hour chatting away, she decided that he was exactly who she needed. He understood character and situation and was far more mature than most boys his age. The difference is that he can’t fake his performance. He needs to be given real situations to latch on to.
They did it in 4 days time and have been my heroes ever since.
Most of the crew were from the Met Film School but the score, which really underpins this film, was outsourced to a company called BenobaidNeuman. The film industry is notorious for it’s brutal attitude to those starting out. It’s pure evolutionary survival-of-the-fittest. However, this is mostly a myth put out by the industry itself because it makes for good drama. So while there may be the occasional monomaniac out there, for the most part there are a lot of people who want to help an aspiring filmmaker. BenobaidNeuman is one example of a company prepared to offer their services as bespoke composers for free just because they liked the film.
If you are musician and you want a director… I’m your girl!
We always want to know what’s coming next and Krysten is certainly busy. First she’s going to be finishing off a coming of age feature film that she shot in the summer but had to put on hold for her graduation film. The graduation film is about a girl with larger than life feet trying to get away from her small-minded town. Then she’s writing another feature about… well I can’t really talk about that as she’s under strict orders to keep shtum. Oh, one thing she does want to get more experience of is music videos.