Sci fi thriller Gameportal by Jacob Housego brings a creeping, malign future-scape into a personal story in a rural town.
Shot entirely in the Dartmoor location of Mortonhampstead, Gameportal combines peer group alienation, mental health issues and technology for a film that skips the bounds of virtual reality.
There’s a Black Mirror-esque, technoir type feel, made all the more chilling in the car parks, bus stops and back allies of a British rural location.
“I think mental health is a very important topic for the modern filmmaker,” Jacob told D&CFilm. “I made Gameportal to explore the effect hyper-realistic violence in film or video games might have on vulnerable developing minds. It’s an issue I’m very interested in, and one I still don’t have a fixed opinion on.
“I think it’s brilliant that there has been so much awareness in film and media coverage about young people’s mental health (and mental health in general) in recent years, and I think artists should definitely keep working on projects that explore these issues.”
Now 18 with a two-year course at Plymouth College of Art under his belt Jacob is ready to start a Screenology at Bristol University in September. He has been making short films and videos with his sister, friends and cousins since he was 5.
“The Star Wars movies were probably my biggest inspiration growing up, as well as Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. I’ve always wanted to be involved in filmmaking, it’s something I can’t imagine not doing,” said Jacob.
“Having friends and family who are also very creative has helped fuel my inspiration for filmmaking – the best example is my sister, the wonderful Mae Housego. It really helps to have an aspiring actress for a sister, as it gives me directing experience and her performance experience! She was kind enough to work on the Gameportal project with me as the main character, Sam.
“I’m a big fan of Damien Chazelle’s visual style, so I’d say I draw a lot of inspiration from his films. I also love the cinematography in Woody Allen’s films, and of course Wes Anderson’s unique style.
“In terms of narrative, I took a lot of inspiration from Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror anthology series, Todd Phillips’ Joker and David Fincher’s Fight Club. I wanted Gameportal to have a similar dark feel to these films.”
When he’s not making films, Jacbo plays guitar and writes songs. He even composed the soundtrack to Gameportal.
For more films from Jacob Housego pop over to his Youtube channel