The Craftsman

Haunted by the memories of distant battlefields, The Craftsman struggles to reassemble his life. He begins by rebuilding not just his limbs, but his soul.

Grasping attention and telling a compelling story in 90 seconds can be an immense challenge. Surely, director Sina Sultani could of progressed the story into a much longer undertaking, but keep so tightly nit is what gives the film it’s unique edge. The science fiction short was produced with the intent of raising the conversation around PTSD by creating an engaging and cinematic story.

Its short length (98 seconds with credits) was a deliberate choice given that my previous project, The Imaginist, was an exhausting 19-page, 4-day shoot. Following that production, I knew that I wanted to focus on smaller projects that could be shot in 8 hours or less. For me that meant one actor, one location, and a voice over/limited on-set dialogue. Additionally, having been inspired by the location while shooting wedding photos for our lead actor, Finn Phillips, and with a keen interest in the military, PTSD and mental health awareness, the concept began to form. With all of those factors in mind, what emerged was the story of someone alone and isolated; a soldier, suffering from PTSD and forging his own path to recovery by building his missing limb and those of his fellow comrades.

The Craftsman takes us on a pensive journey while avoiding the heavy subject lines. In just 90 seconds the mild science fiction and visual effects keep us grounded while focusing on the immense human aspect of things. We are certainly left wanting more, but there’s something oddly refreshing in having a film end in 90 seconds.

The film was shot on the Sony F55, edited in Premiere Pro and Audition and colour-corrected in Davinci Resolve. Meanwhile, the animation was created in Maya and composited in Nuke. We were fortunate to have worked with Sirak Ghebremusse and Abel Vargas, two VFX professionals who have previously been credited on such films as X-Men: Days of Future Past, Elysium, The Flash and Arrow.