Private Project

Ruby Rose

A little girl takes an old man on a fantastical adventure through his own memories.

After the death of his sweetheart, Fred can’t remember how to be happy anymore. Fortuitously, he meets an exuberant princess who takes him on an adventure which he'd almost forgotten he once had.

  • Charlie McCabe
  • Charlie McCabe
  • Charlie McCabe
  • Roger Jorgensen
    Key Cast
  • Caitlin Henderson
    Key Cast
    "Ruby Rose"
  • Martin Wolfaardt
    Score Composer
  • Jody Michaels
  • Stacey Harper
    Additional Cinematography
  • Fernando Diego Badiali
    Additional Cinematography
  • Byron McCabe
    Additional Cinematography
  • Charlie McCabe
  • Charlie McCabe
  • Jamie Savoy
    Sound Recordist/Boom Operator
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Fantasy, Adventure
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 9 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 27, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    700 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Country of Filming:
    South Africa
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Charlie McCabe

Charlie McCabe’s obsession with film was evident early on, but what was more obvious from an early age was her love of writing. To put it into perspective, her dreams of becoming a novelist were shattered at the age of 12 by a teacher who told her that she couldn’t write. Even in the wake of heartbreak, she did not manage to stray very far off that path, quickly deciding she would go into comic books as a career – or costume design, she couldn’t decide. It didn’t matter – it showed an interest in visual storytelling before she was even out of primary school.

It took until the age of 15 before she realised what she actually wanted to do with her life and a little while longer to learn that the word for what she wanted to be is “auteur.” She went on to study film, although she didn’t wait until she was old enough for university to start learning purely in order to satiate a burning curiosity.

With no guidance for her personal inquisition into the possibilities of cinema, she decided to start at the beginning. This step-by-step approach worked for a time, studying cinema chronologically, like a history book… but then she fell down a rabbit hole.

It is still unclear which White Rabbit led her there – it may have been a long-standing love of modernist art which led her to Dali’s collaborations with Luis Buñuel and Dadaist works like Dreams That Money Can Buy, or it may have been an accidental discovery of Donald Cammell & Nicholas Roeg’s Performance, or even the use of Tarantino’s films as a kind of cinematic thesaurus, but whatever the source, she has yet to find her way out of Wonderland.

On her adventures, she developed a deep love for oddities – defiance of traditional narrative forms, anti-heroes, extraordinary visuals, unintelligible hilarity and beauty within the grotesque. And armed with knowledge of the arsenal of the undeniably great and unfairly unsung, her personal artistic voice was allowed to emerge (although undoubtedly inclined to change over time) as she realised where her narrative interests lay: universal humanity presented at extremes, Solipsism and Subjectivism, and the aesthetics of memories.

As an artist, however, her ambition is to create work which is bold enough to speak for itself – she doesn’t want to be Alice; but rather, a White Rabbit for anyone who happens to glance in her direction.

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Director Statement

This project is the result of an experiment. Not the kind of experiment conducted in a lab, more akin to the experiments children conduct – like leaving cookies at the fireplace on Christmas Eve or a tooth under their pillow, not fully believing anything special will happen but doing everything in their power to prove to themselves that magic does really exist.

More than anything, I wanted to direct a film. That doesn’t really seem like magic to a lot of people, but to a 20-something year old woman in South Africa, it does. The more challenges you place in front of you, the more impossible it seems… and the more exciting the prospect becomes.

So I peppered it with personal challenges: can a fantasy film be made without any resources? I believe. Can it be done only with friends? I believe. Can we use it to lovingly showcase our birth city? I believe. Can a dragon be animated on a bedroom floor using the building across the road as a key light? I believe.

I didn’t just want to make any film, I wanted to make something that proved magic exists, even in the most challenging spaces. So, I wrote a story to reflect my belief that childish exuberance is powerful, and made Ruby Rose so everyone could see it was true.