Synopsis: “Wytch Craft” is a supernatural, dark comedy in the vein of “Baby Driver” meets “The Craft” via “Ingrid Goes West.”
Amanda, a fed up and angsty ‘keyboard warrior’ Millennial, resorts to witchcraft in an attempt to rid the earth of her ‘evil, annoying’ co-worker, the all too perfect Epiphany. However, Amanda’s efforts are thwarted by an act of God, allergies and sheer, plain forgetfulness.
After a final, desperate attempt to correct the last mishap to casting her spell, Amanda speeds back to her protective salt circle in the forest, racing against the rising of the sun and the possibility of missing the witching hour, only to be confronted by an army of early morning Nordic Walkers.
Hannah Levien (Epiphany)
Jocelyn Tam (Joy)
Megan Leitch (Doreen)
Paula Spurr (Bev)
“Wytch Craft” is a short film about Amanda, who’s fed up with the world and her all-too-perfect co-worker, Epiphany, and how Amanda attempts to cast a hex against her. The only thing is how does one make this happen? By going to the supermarket to buy the supplies, like candles, salt, mason jars and sage, of course! However, like the saying goes, may you get what you wish for, meaning if you put bad will out you will receive bad will back and threefold!
I wanted to create “Wytch Craft” as in my day job as a ICG669 Camera Assistant in the Vancouver film industry, I worked a day call on the revival of “The X Files” (a show that inspired me to get into film and make the move from Australia to Canada) where I was amazed that a character in this particular episode had gotten what looked like loads of salt and candles and the largest Book of Spells I had ever seen, and I wondered, “With no car in sight, how did she get all of this stuff out here in the middle of the forest, and where did she buy the items? Walmart?” So, from my somewhat Smart-Alek thoughts came the inspiration for “Wytch Craft.”
This evolved into me wanting to explore women’s frustration, rage and rivalry in relationships as I had a similar and disappointing experience in real life, and to show that, sometimes even with a load of effort, things don’t go as planned and just let myself and the viewer sit with that feeling and embrace it, as these emotions are normal and natural to our experience despite what the media and society like to show. I was wanting to see and make a film that was more than just another ‘crying woman finding redemption and happiness’ story as there’s so many films like that already and that’s not the only story and experience that women have in everyday life, obviously.
I wanted to make “Wytch Craft” into a dark comedy as it felt like the right fit for it, to keep all the pratfalls that Amanda experiences light as, similar to the adage, at the root of all comedy is tragedy. This is where the aesthetics in the films of Edgar Wright come into play. I love his use of rhythm through editing and camera work which makes his films, especially his approach to comedy, unique and exciting. I also love how music shapes his films and I was lucky to be given permission by LA-based Evil Swing band, Marquis & the Rhythm Howlers, to use a few of their songs in the score which helps to shape the tone of Amanda’s world and that of the film as well. I also wanted to inject the visual aesthetic of my beloved “The X Files,” especially the dark comedy episodes they created from time to time, and “Wytch Craft’s” opening scene is a big nod in that direction. And, funnily enough, the Nordic Walker Doreen seen at the end of the film, is played by actress Megan Leitch, who was Samantha Mulder, Special Agent Mulder’s sister, in some early episodes of “The X Files.”
During the experience of making “Wytch Craft,” I followed my gut with choosing my cast and crew and together we created a wonderful filmmaking environment that was supportive and just inspiring and rewarding. I’m hoping that all the hard work and positive vibes that we brought to the film can be felt by the viewer and that they will enjoy this quirky, unique dark comedy and feel comfortable about having all the feelings when life does through a curve ball.
Polly is an Australian/Canadian filmmaker with biracial ethnicity (Chinese and Caucasian) and has worked throughout Australia, Canada, Mexico and Hong Kong.
After receiving her BFA: Film and Television Production (High Distinction) from the Queensland University of Technology, Polly was the cinematographer on numerous narrative short films, two of which were awarded funding from Screen Australia, Screen Queensland and the Pacific Film and Television Commission. One of these films, the moody, Colonial Australia based drama, “Blood Hollow,” won the Rising Star Award and screened at the Canada International Film Festival (2011) and won the Silver Lei Award and screened at the Honolulu International Film Festival that same year.
In 2017, Polly branched out into directing, producing and editing while also being the cinematographer on a short film for the Twin Peaks Short Film Contest. Her film, “The Owls Are Not What They Seem,” was a third-place finalist and screened in front of a sold-out crowd which included Twin Peaks: The Return Executive Producer, Sabrina Sutherland, and actors Sherilynn Fenn, Kimmy Robertson and Chrysta Bell.
Polly recently wrote, produced and directed two short films, the supernatural dark comedy “Wytch Craft” and the pandemic set rom-com, “Dependable Pandemic Life Partner,” and is currently in development on a feature length documentary about the BC Crown Counsel’s poor handling of Domestic Violence cases.
In her over a decade long career in film and television, Polly has amassed over 80 professional credits as a 1st Assistant Camera and 2nd Assistant Camera working on feature films such as the French/ Australian co-production The Tree (2010) and the upcoming Netflix film Spontaneous (2018) and television series such as Bletchley Circle: San Francisco (2018), Girlfriends Guide to Divorce (2016/17), the Apple TV series Home Before Dark (2018/19) and the Steven Spielberg produced sci-fi, Terra Nova (2011) as well as countless commercials and music videos.
She is professionally affiliated with the Western Canada International Cinematographers Guild – ICG 669.