‘The Smithee’ is a degree graduate film from 2016, Directed by Will Unsworth. We caught up with Will to find out what his inspiration was:
To watch the video scroll down.
How were you inspired?
My Co-Writer Nick and I were initially inspired through throwing ideas around in a writers’ room for another project. In that meeting, I had the idea of a character who is being edited. Nick approached me afterwards and said “I love that idea”. We started bouncing ideas off one another and quickly realised that we worked well together. We were inspired off a myriad of films and other art, ranging from Michael Haneke’s ‘Funny Games’, Tom Tykwer’s ‘Run Lola Run’, Godfrey Reggio’s ‘Koyaanisqatsi’, to the video-game ‘Mirror’s Edge’ as well as the wonderful graffiti and counter-cultural aesthetic coursing through the veins of the city of Brighton.
What was the biggest challenge on this short film?
Every step of production came with its own unique challenge. With writing, it was really whittling a big idea down to the space of roughly three minutes. The script went from being a feature length to a short in the space of a month. Filming was perhaps the easiest part of production, as we put a lot of effort into a script and pre-production schedule we were confident in. However, the edit took us around a year to complete due to some technical issues we were having with sound and visual effects as well as some creative blockages. However, after a thorough plunging and some resourceful thinking, we came out with something we’re really proud of.
How did Brighton Film School prepare you for this short film?
Brighton Film School gave us the technical knowledge required in professionally assembling a film. They also allowed usage of their top-quality film equipment. I really cannot understate how vital they were in the film’s fruition.
What did you enjoy the most?
Like with most projects I work on, it was the writing I enjoyed the most, as that is when you’re really just playing with your idea. It’s also one of the few points in production when no money’s at stake, so you can stimulate yourself creatively and not flush a load of cash down the bog in the process.
What would you change?
From the very start, we designed this film to be shot on a low budget, so it turned out pretty much exactly as I expected. I would perhaps have been more ambitious with the camera angles and movements if I got a second run at it, but that’s just window-dressing to the bigger picture and I’m happy with the big picture.
What have you been up to since graduating from BFS?
Since graduating from University, I have written and directed two short films. I am currently working on a short promotional film, which we hope will turn into a web-series/feature film adaptation of a graphic novel series by the name of ‘Divided Kingdom’.
I’m also in the process of writing three feature-length film scripts, which I am planning on sending to some studios in the near future.
What is your favourite thing about this short film?
I feel the script is the film’s strong suite. Keeping it purely visual is something I’m particularly proud of. I like how vague and multi-layered it is whilst maintaining its focus. I also feel the film is unique and defies categorisation. Like with most of my projects though, I’m just proud that I’ve finished something, learned from its mistakes so I can apply those lessons to my future work.