The charm and mystery of the Cornish character coastline is at the heart of a new film which is being prepared to be shot on part of the county’s timeless beaches. We caught up with the filmmakers to find out what drew them to Cornwall
D&CFilm: Tell us about the film, what’s it about and who’s involved?
Filmmakers: The film starts with A Man burying his dog on a Cornish beach. He’s interrupted by a curious Stranger (an old man in a hooded fisherman’s mac) who mysteriously arrives by old rowing boat. He bothers The Man with questions about his dog, and himself. After brief friction (on the man’s part) the two come together over the topic of grief, loss and forgetting.
The film is a conversation between the modern perspective of death, and a mythological/otherworldly viewpoint of The Stranger. Though the film is a lot more lighthearted than the subject matter; The Stranger being quite a lovely and doddery old man. The hope is it will feel heartwarming and introspective rather than dark and gloomy.
It was created by Will Olds, a part-native of Zennor. Working on the script and production with co-writers Simon Frederick, Tom Wood and Ned Francau. Will wanted to tackle the conversation about grief but also incorporate elements of mythology, which is an interest of us all.
D&CFilm: How did the filmmaking team get together and have you made stuff together before?
Filmmakers: We all worked at the same commercials company in Soho, Ridley Scott Associates. We independently have been working on our own writing, drawing and filming projects, and decided four heads are better than one. So earlier in the year we started meeting at any point we could and discussed our ideas. This one being the first project we think is ready to film.
D&CFilm: Why did you settle on this story – where does it come from and who are the character – and are there themes or styles your looking to explore?
Filmmakers: The story was derived through a love of Cornwall as a place and the character of its people – The Stranger having many of the personality traits I (Will) grew up with. Plus, the eerie timelessness of the Cornish coastline is a sublime setting for a story that is asking questions about the human nature. The rough edges and the beautiful sand gives the same juxtaposition as the two characters and the contrast of sad and hopeful themes.
The story derives from the ocean and its unchanging nature throughout time – outlasting all of us and shall do for much longer, personifying this with the character of The Stranger.
It looks to explore our modern, nihilistic view of death and mourning (albeit for a dog) versus a spiritual view that is seen more internationally and certainly in the past.
D&CFilm: You’re looking to film in Cornwall – why is that; what do you think it will add to the story?
Filmmakers: Part of the charm of the odd and eerie Stranger is his Cornishisms along with the otherworldliness of the Cornish coast. We feel this combination cannot be achieved elsewhere. Plus, the area means a lot to Will.
D&CFilm: Do you have any ideas on location and how has the search gone?
Filmmakers: We’re hoping to recce some beaches this year but Portheras Cove Beach is the one we have our eyes on.
D&CFilm: Who are you looking for to play the parts?
Filmmakers: The Man is pretty much definitely a Londoner, but the age range is quite large. Though The Stranger has to be a Cornish native, the older the better! We want the dialogue to feel authentic but also natural.
D&CFilm: What’s your plan for the short film?
Filmmakers: We as a group hope to make multiple shorts, graphic novels and eventually features. So we plan to take this, as our first project, through to festivals. Potentially develop it further, if we feel it could grow.
D&CFilm: Thanks for your time – good luck, and looking forward to see the film!
- 6 days of film at the English Riviera Film Festival - September 22, 2021
- Iris Prize 2021 | 15 Best British shorts in competition - September 21, 2021
- Sundown | Tim Roth magnificent in Franco’s challenging film - September 14, 2021