Pallas Paradigm No: 2 Seeing Double

(Pallas Paradigms are regular feature blogs (e.g. longer than a normal blog) on the inspiration and process behind our productions. The aim: to share our thinking with you on what is driving our current creativity.)

After the successful editing of Regret like all good British filmmakers we went to the pub and immediately started planning our next project. Initially we started planning one project, which we will shoot later in the summer, but as the pints were drunk the ideas began to pour out and so the concept for Veiled was born. Our next short was going to be a horror.

As with all our projects Veiled will provide us with opportunities to explore techniques for the first time as the Pallas collective. They include: night time shooting, external shooting, and perhaps most importantly are first camera trickery, as the premise for Veiled is built round one actor playing multiple roles against them self.

Before each Pallas short we share as a group ideas for reference and study other’s work that we feel will be relevant to the shoot. These include: classics from the genre, films we like from the genre, films that include techniques we want to use, and anything else we feel maybe relevant.

For Veiled we have been discussing the following.

It Follows, in the opinion of many in the collective, is the best horror film of the last year and certainly the best most of us had seen in ages. And from a pure film-making point of view this is the best reference for all those who are going to be involved in Veiled. Two things in particularly stand out for me in It follows the cinematography and the score.

In comparison to Regret that had almost zero score music is going to play a much larger role in Veiled. We’re pleased that both Tom Le Bon and Jim Hustwit are going to be involved in the sound and music for Veiled. Jim, in particular, is new to the collective, an award-winning songwriter, composer and music producer, he brings with him lots of experience as well as new ideas to the collective.

Kill List – Ben Wheatley’s unsettlingly brilliant film is another modern British classic. The sense of dread and menace which builds up throughout this film is intensely brilliant. What we want to know is can we create such an emotion in our viewer in just a few minutes.

Other horror references include In Fear  because of the lensing choices made flipping from quite wide angles to really tight close ups, which creates a real feel of disorientation. Seminal Japanese classic, Ringu, may have been copied by every schlock horror director in Hollywood but they have done so because it was so brilliant. The unnatural walk of the film’s lead scare was created by filming the actor walking backwards and then played forward. This is one piece of camera trickery we intend to experiment with. And of course classics like Halloween, Aliens and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre were also thrown in to the mix.

As well as studying the horror genre we have also been looking at films that use the same actor to play multiple roles and when they are included in the same shot. While there were many potentials to look at from the classics like Alec Guiness’s multiple turn in Kind Hearts and Coronets via much of the Eddie Murphy back catalogue to more recent variations on the theme like Enemy with Jake Gyllenhaal or Jesse Eisenberg in The Double. There was in truth only one to watch and that was, of course, Back to the Future II.  Director Robert Zemeckis uses a really interesting technique here. He has obviously used a motion controlled camera and its obviously 2 versions of Michael J Fox but what Zemeckis does to help suspend believe is connect the father and son version of Michael by the simple act of pouring a drink. This is another technique we want to try and achieve. The effects in BTTF may now look a little dated but later this year Legend with Tom Hardy will hit the screens providing the opportunity  to see how far the ‘double effect’ has come. If the trailer is anything to go by then Legend promises some stunning visuals.

We hope Veiled will be a fun shoot. It will have multi-locations and no doubt multiple challenges but we hope that when we do post it in the next few weeks you will see some of these references in our creation