Epilepsy Warning – This film does contain scenes involving strobing effects.
To begin with this film was not a University project but instead part of a great programme called the 'Open Brief' which my University ran to encourage creative experimentation. A rarity for sure. The Open Brief allowed us to write our own brief for a short film and book the department equipment for whatever project we wanted to make, so long as we produced a decent work schedule and risk assessment.
I'm not entirely sure where the idea came from to make a parody war film with teddy bears vying for best position in their owners bed. It did come about very quickly though in order to be able to film it within the short period of the open brief.
Unfortunately I think it shows that it was written in a day as none of the characters go anywhere and, short of parodying the visual style of war films, there's little but surface similarities.
It did however in a strange way inform a lot of the next year of University for me as, from modifying existing teddy bears to have moving puppet mouths and arms, it was a real prototype project for the puppet projects later on.
The truck was built out of an old sketchbook hard-cover and some left over wood from making a desk, with £2 torches for the headlights and borrowed green hammerite paint from my sisters car! The set itself is sculped from chicken wire on top of a wooden pallette with earth spread over its top. I think all included the project only cost £200 to make, and that was almost entirely spent on the bears, fabric and wire.
We filmed this over two days – one for live action one for puppetry – on a Canon 5D, lit with ARRI 300w fresnel lights. The music was from www.audionetwork.com – where I only paid £0.83 for the student license!