Experiencing Interruptions?

The Spirit

In dystopian Melbourne, a wandering, benevolent ghost must come to terms with her past.

  • Jacob Harris
    Three Poems
  • Jacob Harris
    Three Poems
  • Tim Dolan
  • Laura Scheirich
    Key Cast
  • Bruce Hughes
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Fantasy, Drama, Supernatural
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 28, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    6,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Jacob Harris

Jacob Harris is a filmmaker based in Melbourne, Australia.

His work ranges thematically from spiritualism to working class struggles, drawing on a childhood in the suburbs of Western Sydney and the steep, winding streets of Hobart, Tasmania. Jacob's fascination in the beauty and tragedy of existence are illustrated through the burdens borne by his onscreen characters.

As director, Jacob believes that energy on screen best materialises from intuition and encourages collaborators to explore their immediate interpretations of the narrative and characters. His films have screened at Worldfest-Houston in Texas and at ReelGood Film Festival in Australia.

A Swinburne University of Technology’s Film & Television graduate, Jacob is a working architectural videographer and runs his own colour-grading business, Colourdesk, in Clifton Hill, Victoria. He loves typography, fancy green tea and nostalgia.

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Director Statement

Inspiration for ‘The Spirit’ initially stemmed from Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s ‘Amélie’ and Mamoru Oshii’s anime ‘Ghost in the Shell’. During post-production I saw the Wim Wenders’ film ‘Wings of Desire’ which further inspired the film's tone.

I enjoyed exploring themes of self forgiveness, existentialism and death throughout the writing process. Although I wrote the character, ultimately it was the lead actress, Laura Scheirich who made the softly-spoken Spirit her own. Many late night conversations with my fiancée Agatha Partyka saw the script breathe and develop on its own long after the original screenplay was penned.

We filmed a bulk of ‘The Spirit’ during the worst weekend of Melburnian weather I’d ever experienced in July 2016. My childhood in Tasmania couldn’t prepare me for the relentless rain during the night shoot on Morell Bridge and gale-force winds we endured at Barkley Gardens. Cinematographer David McKinnar, production designer Catrin Ann Harris and makeup artist Melissa Kerlin all did a fantastic job in keeping me focused during the production. This film wouldn’t be as well made without their continued persistence, endurance and support.

Our editor left the project shortly before we began shooting, so when we wrapped I just started cutting the project myself. It would take another two years before the film was completed. Actress Laura Scheirich lent a song from her band Lizard Queen to the film, as did the group East Brunswick All Girls Choir, whose chief songwriter Marcus Hobbs also scored and sound designed the film.

From a production standpoint, this was the hardest film I’ve ever made - but it's hardly surprising. It contains a continuously translucent woman, the city of Melbourne in a complete state of disarray and many other masterful visual effects by Steven Bunyan. It was always going to be challenging, but now I'm immensely happy to have it completed. It's very exciting to finally see it all together.

I sincerely hope you enjoy our short film, ‘The Spirit’.