Sunday, 25 July 2010

Origin Short Film Premiere

Origin is a short film written and directed by Danny Stack. It has been a year in the making and received its premiere screening on Wednesday at Working Title Films' cinema. I was one of the lucky ones who attended the memorable evening and thoroughly enjoyed it.

My first visit to Working Title was a unique one, as upon entering the modern style building, I was told to take the lift on my right, and to the basement. 'The cinema is in the basement,' was my first thought, 'how cool is that.'

Then I was greeted by Danny himself (photo is clearly at the end of the night) and felt very welcomed which calmed the nerves somewhat. This was my first meeting with Danny but it felt like we had met before as his casual and welcoming approach felt familiar and was reassuring. Then the next minute I was at the bar with a drink. I couldn't complain.

Then quite soon we were taken into the theatre to view the film. The exhibition room was impressive with four or five rows of large comfy chairs, and noticeably along the middle row next to each seat was a conference phone. I couldn't help but think that Richard Curtis must have sat in this room and watched various in progress Working Title Films' pictures and final cuts, and held debated on various changes and relevant matters. It was great.

The film began, and from the outset and woods establishing shot, it was obvious that this wasn't going to be a stable and comfortable viewing. It's atmosphere and tone was haunting and suspenseful. The performances were moving and quite unsettling at times due to the nature of the story.

The production values and special make up effects were impressive. The latter, subtly enhanced as the film progressed, never over done, which I felt was important, as theoretically there's more of this to come. So why give up all the goods early on?

There was some really nice shots and camerawork, especially within the confines of the house and hospital ward, as well as the pull focus ground close up as we enter the woods. The world and its characters felt real and believable. I was engrossed throughout. Its score was unsettling and left me on edge, and worked nicely in harmony with the visuals playing on the unknown and building suspense.

As it ended and faded out, I was left with the feeling that I wanted more, and in that respects the film was and is a complete success. I would easily pay to see the feature. I didn't want to leave the world, I wanted more. I cared about the characters, which is the most important thing. Let's hope many more people feel the same way.

Danny documented the Origin filmmaking process through a collection of short video diaries which can be found here.

A highlight of the evening was meeting Stuart Conran (far left) who did the special make up effects on this film and also worked on Shaun of the Dead, Saving Private Ryan, Doomsday, and even Hellrazor II. He was really cool.

(Photograph note: What a shame I blinked, *embarrassing* - an otherwise great photo).
The Cast & Crew:

Next, the film will do the rounds on the film festival circuit where I hope it will do well because it really deserves to. It's a great achievement and testament to everyone on worked on it.

Good luck!

Photos courtesy of Danny Stack and "Theatre" photo courtesy of @jasonarnopp

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