A conversation with senior Callum Davies about his art, inspiration and future plans.


Callum Davies is a senior who had two short film submissions move on from districts in a statewide art competition. In total, 14 UAHS students moved past the Columbus district. Arlingtonian sat down with Davies to discuss his work. What follows is a transcript of that conversation, lightly edited for length and clarity.

Q: What is the Governor’s Award?
A: People who work in all different [types of] artistic media submit their work, and a panel of judges judges it by district, and a secondary judging takes place where they are judging at the state level. The top 300 works of art are selected, and from that a top 25 is determined based on experts from their respective fields.

Q: What were the videos you submitted about?
A: One of them was a period piece that I tried to stylize so that it would look very old fashioned, and the other was a stop-motion film — I really wanted to try out stop-motion as a medium that I really hadn’t explored much previously.

Q: Tell me more about the period piece.
A: I was really inspired by the analog horror genre which is that recent phenomena of taking material from the VHS era, from the back rooms and things like that. I was inspired by that stylistically. It is sort of timely in that it deals with government solutions to environmental problems in a way and mishandling of environmental issues. It follows a government PSA where they are addressing the introduction of an element into the atmosphere that’s causing all sorts of effects, and then it cuts to a more modern duo who are wandering around in this abandoned town and realizing the effects of this element.

Q: Where did you film it?
A: I filmed the scenes of the government PSA at the school in the auditorium, I built a podium to use as a prop and then I filmed the scenes in the town both in a park near my house and in my garage.

Q: What about the second video?
A: The second piece is stop-motion. It’s sort of dark fantasy and it follows a little character who is on a search for his lost rubber duck. It is sort of a simplistic plot but I feel as though I put some good visual symbolism in it.

Q: What went into making the set for the stop-motion?
A: The stop-motion set was really a process, I designed all the wallpaper and I did all the flooring. The dollhouse was the shell, it was built by my grandfather back in the ’80s, but I did all of the interiors, lighting, and a lot of the props, although some of them were reused dollhouse furniture. I made the characters and I tried to integrate a lot of little oddities and whatnot that I just had around.

Q: Do you have any upcoming films planned?
A: That is a really good question, I’m not going to start anything until quarter four. I don’t know, I might want to try sci-fi. I work a lot in horror but I feel like doing a complete 180 — doing something science fiction might be kind of cool.