Wednesday, 25 March 2009


Emily is the latest (completed) collaboration between myself and Tim Courtney. He has detailed the lengthy production process on his blog here.

A bit of backstory - I wrote the script as part of a project designed to give myself and Tim something to direct that we didn't write i.e - I write for him, he writes for me. As it panned out there were issues with the content and ambition of Tim's script 'Register' that meant we had to shelve it for now. At which point we made the decision to take on my script for Emily as a joint directing project.

I strongly believe in the notion 'nothing in = nothing out' when it comes to creativity. By which I mean we all need fuel for the fire, inspiration. The main concern is not to imitate the inspiration but rather feed the machine a balanced diet of films, books, images, culture, etc - chew it up, digest it and then output something that is more than the sum of it's parts. Bring something different to it. At the time I was watching a lot of Korean revenge cinema and a key influence was the Vengance Trilogy by Chan-wook Park. I wanted to take this extreme example of the loss of a child and the torture and interrogation of the potential kidnapper/murderer and set it against a domestic background. I wanted these characters to be good people forced to do bad things. This is reflected in every aspect of the production design. The chair they tie the guy to is from their kitchen, he's tied with belts, he's in their garage, the knife used is seen in an earlier dinner scene. There are other references in there; the structure is influenced by Amores Perros and 21 Grams and the final shot (after/in the credits) is a visual and emotional cue to David Cronenberg's History of Violence. We lucked into some things with the location, for example there was a framed poster for the film 'Closer' in the hallway which seemed apt as we set a scene depicting emotional distance between the couple there.

It's been a long time coming but I'm glad we finally have a version to show to everyone who has waited so patiently for us to pull it together. It was a great shoot, with a close cast and crew. I would like to echo Tim's thanks to all the relevant people - this project would not have been possible without you. Thanks to Tim for encoding this version and he's also responsible for the above artwork. Any comments/feedback is welcome as always.

Emily from Tim Courtney on Vimeo.

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