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COCA Spotlight: Tally Shorts Film Fest

By: Amanda Sieradzki | January 21, 2019

Tally Shorts Film Festival Director Carole Robards started her adventures in film as an extra set of hands. Working on set, she and her husband, Rich Robards, were part of a group of local filmmakers that included Wade Bishop, Mark Bauer, Carlos Miranda, Cole Johnson and Stephen Smith. They worked collaboratively on numerous independent film projects over the years, exposing Robards to a variety of filmmaking techniques.

Robards says the group all had a special affinity for short films in particular due to the ability to tell a story in a snapshot of time. As a founding member of the festival, she and the group established Tally Shorts — taking place Jan. 25 and 26 this year — in order to bring the film community together in the Panhandle. “The goal behind our main annual event is to be able to bring a great variety of film to the Tallahassee audience that they wouldn’t have access to,” says Robards. “We love short films in particular because you get to see a huge array of genres, styles, stories and subject matters from different countries and cultures all over the world in one weekend.” Film has always piqued Robards’ design and artistic interests. A self-professed child of the ‘80s, she grew up in a time before CGI and is still amazed by movies like “Labyrinth” that use all practical sets — just puppets, props, camera and lighting. Robards is spellbound by how the film stands test of time by crafting the finite details.

This attention to detail was part of her job as set decorator for local filmmaker Eduardo Miyar’s “Page Jumper.” Attending to the peripheral background aesthetics, she helped with prop design. Though her props were in vivid color, Robards loved seeing how the noir film transported the set to a different time.

“Since it was filmed in black and white, there was a stark difference between what I knew to be in the room and seeing what actually showed on the screen,” says Robards. “We’re in the room and it’s live, it’s color, and then when it comes onscreen it actually looks like it was made decades ago.”

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