The Making of “Steampunk Neverland: Episode 5 – “Forever.” A Film Director’s Journey (Overview)

by Peter D. Marshall

The Project: The Entertainment Business Management (EBM) program of the Vancouver Film School (VFS) is in production on their third Compendium Series called “Steampunk Neverland.” These 5 high-end special FX short films (5 – 9 minutes) are being created for distribution into an interactive digital magazine.

“Steampunk Neverland” is a version of Peter Pan’s Neverland re-imagined with Steampunk technology. I directed the last film in the series called “Forever” which depicts the final battle between Hook and Pan.

I will be using this blog as my weekly journal to demonstrate what a director goes through during the three production phases of a film. My goal with this journal is to put you in the passenger seat with me and give you an insider’s view of how this short, low budget film was made – as it happens!

To accomplish this, I will be writing about the directorial process I go though every week during the making of this film: from pre-production to production and into post-production. The series has to be completed by August, so this journal will take you through all the steps a director has to deal with for the next few months.

I am also going to do something else for you as well.

As I discuss my weekly activities, I will add various directing tips based on the subject I am talking about at that moment. I will also link to various articles and websites so you can get the most information possible on the subject. This journal will become, in effect, a “practical how-to guide” for directing a short film.

Enjoy the journey. I sure will!


The Compendium Series is a major part of the EBM program where students are divided into 5 producing groups. These students work on Compendium non-stop throughout the year and are ultimately responsible for the success of the films: from creating the concept through production and post-production and into the final launch and promotion of the series.

All five directors are VFS staff (or former VFS staff.) Three of us are directing instructors in the VFS Film Program: Roy Hayter, John Pozer and myself. Michael Chase (Head of VFS Entertainment) and Nick Humphries (former VFS staff) are the other two directors.

As directors on this series, our roles are unique in that we not only have to fulfill the normal duties and responsibilities of a director, but also teach the student producers how to be our bosses! Which means that as we work on this film with the students, we will also be responsible for “teaching moments.”

Compendium is a fabulous opportunity for VFS students to learn how a professional film is made by working side by side with industry pros. It is also a high end production that will showcase the efforts and talents of many VFS students and graduates: writers, actors, makeup artists, producers, film students, editors, digital designers etc.

Please continue to:
(2) “Steampunk Neverland – Forever” Pre-Production

STILL PHOTOGRAPHS: By permission of Chara Berk Photography, Samantha Green and Trilby Jeeves.


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