In Between the Lines, a soldier trudges through trenches in a muddy battle surrounded by fog. He meets his end only to wake up as a young boy injured in a pretend battle.
Sixteen year-old Emmett Sparling says the story, told in 6.5 minutes and without words, can be interpreted a number of ways: as the kids playing and imagining a real battle; as the soldier, remembering a time when for him, war was more innocent; or as Sparling originally wrote the script, with the kids as angels taking the soldier off the battlefield.
Sparling made the film in 2012 for his Masterworks project at Island Pacific School. In November, the film screened at the 12th Annual International Student Film Festival in Hollywood.
“There were 100 films from all around the world,” says Sparling. “There was a student from Dubai, one from China, Japan, Turkey, Mexico…”
Made in four days on a property on the north end of Bowen, the film’s budget totalled $250.
“The fog machine was the biggest expense,” says Sparling. “It cost $175.”
Sparling says at the festival, his film did not win anything because it did not fit easily into a specific category. But following its screening, along side a number of other films, the audience had a slew of questions all directed at him. Sparling also says he met with someone from Chapman University Film School who encouraged him to attend a camp in New York this summer.
“Afterward I sent him all my films and photos. He wrote back and said I have the technical side of movie-making nailed and I just have to work on my story-lines,” says Sparling. “I do want to go to film school, maybe not in Vancouver, but we’ll see.”
Sparling says that he is more proud of a film he made this summer, over a five day period when his parents were in Germany.
“It’s called Somnium, and it doesn’t have much of a story line but it looks like Lord of the Rings,” says Sparling. “The budget was $50, most of which went