Pendulum is a story about the secrets we're afraid to share. Following protagonist Cal as he fights to ward off his indescribable anxieties, Pendulum explores the everyday spirals of our inner apprehensions. Stealing away to his family’s ranch, Cal throws himself into ranching work as a means to keep his panic at bay. This temporary distraction eventually falls short, and Cal must learn to make peace with his own inner demons and find acceptance of who and where he is.
Currently working in Localization, Falardeau directs voice over artists for the English dubbing of international content on major streaming platforms. Previously, she worked with CEO and founder of the David & Goliath advertising agency as well as esteemed Hollywood casting director, Tiffany Persons, managing production of a short documentary piece which was filmed down in Sierra Leone, Africa. Her feature film Don’t Forget About Us was in final consideration for this year’s Sundance Labs and her feature script Sans Titre Paris, was selected as a Screencraft Semi Finalist in their Drama category. Falardeau enjoys visually showcasing the things that go unsaid and is thrilled to have her short film Pendulum be a part of the MIFF. Falardeau wishes to acknowledge the entire Pendulum team who made this project possible, including Edna, Bob, Lexi, Wannie, Beth, and the entire team at HHR.
What makes you fascinated with the cinematic language and what was the first film project you worked on?
What makes cinematic language so incredible is that you are telling story through images. it taps into that universal knowing, the things we don't say but all feel. It's an exploration of subtext and simultaneously a way to showcase the world from a different perspective without overwhelming viewers with exposition. You can say everything simply by where you put the camera. The first project I worked on after graduation was an indie short centered around the people who are 'coping with those who are coping.' It was brought to life with many of the same creatives from our Pendulum cast and crew including our lead actor, Daniel Novick, DP, Chase Hagen, and production sound mixer, Ernesto Ruvalcaba.
Please tell us how your film came to life and let us know about the process from pre-production to completion.
This film really started with a question. Before there was any script or even a general concept, there was talk of creating a short piece of content over the summer between myself and my DP. When discussing it with Novick, he shared interest in being a part of it. I had asked if there were any themes he found interesting to explore and he said, "I guess I'm interested in what scares you." From there everything started to gain momentum and fall into place. We were fortunate enough to film on location on a cattle ranch up in Oregon with the help of our generous friends who owned the ranch. And over the course of one weekend were able to shoot the 29 scenes that made up the short. This was a demanding shoot. Our entire filmmaking team was made up of only six people - this would have not been possible without the tremendous dedication this team gave and also without the support of our friends at the ranch. After we wrapped, Richard Breakspear came on board to bring the film to life with his score. He spent many months crafting cues, trying different things, working with a vocalist and violinist, and built such a beautiful score. Those studio sessions were some of my favorite collaborations to date. From there, we sent the final piece for mixing and mastering to Marconi de Morais who pulled everything together and wrapped up the final pieces. Hagen and I did color correcting remote as we were in different cities, which was wild, but felt seamless. I can't emphasize enough how integral and invaluable each and every member of this team was. It was a fast shoot and a challenging one with unpredictable weather, animals, many scenes, and limited time. Chase, Daniel, Meghan, Ernie, & Stefan - thank you truly for making this possible.
What was the most challenging aspect of working on this genre?
There's nowhere to hide with drama. It all has to be painfully honest, or the work falls short. Novick came fully prepared and oftentimes his first takes were what made the final cut. To be able to say everything with only 10 words and a scream is difficult to pull off. Novick’s performance was honest, specific. His role carries the film. I know there was a tremendous amount of prep on his part and also with our supporting characters played by Redding & Ruvalcaba. This film wouldn't have worked without it.
What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?
I'm currently co-writing a horror feature that I will direct sometime late next year. Horror films scare me to be honest, so it’s a nice way to challenge myself as a filmmaker and explore how to infuse what I love about the medium into a genre I would otherwise shy away from.
What is the most creative part of directing a project for you?
I find a lot of creativity in the prep stages of film. Once on set you have to lean into impulse and trust what's unfolding in the moment, but prep is when the more logical side of filmmaking takes the stage. I'm asking myself with every scene 'What is this scene really about?' 'What do I want the audience to know or feel here?' and then 'How do I show that through the visual language?' Having the time alone allows me to approach it from many angles - a luxury you aren’t afforded on the day. From there I’m able to build a roadmap that then can be riffed on once we're on set.
Does the language of cinema stand out more than other arts to you? And why?
It does. I'm such a visual person and I like digesting art through impulse. Film caters to both of these.
Why do you make films?
To say the unsaid in picture form.