The aim was to create a truly original comic-drama that would tackle a complex character and unusual situation. The idea came from observing inner city eccentrics around East London – people who are ignored and occasionally laughed at, but are very much wrapped up in their own worlds – ‘outsiders’ in Irwin Chusid’s sense of the word.
Taking influence from classic films like Hitchcock’s Rope, 4 Months 3 weeks and 2 days, I wanted to create a film that incorporated one long uncut take – regardless of the extensive planning and prep work. I knew this would give the film an instance realism and tension, necessary within the short 2 minute framework. I developed the film’s structure further by using this carefully planned and undisturbed take to start with, but then I unexpectedly flipped the idea on its head using several unusual edits and compositions to add to the offbeat nature of the climax.
Actor Joshua Campbell on set
There are many short films out there that avoid dialogue and feel more like music videos to me, thus, I wanted to do the opposite. I wasn’t even afraid of ambiguous voice-over at key moments. This is something I admire in Terence Malick’s work and films like Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, when strange, poetic voiceover would accompany the back of the protagonist’s head – a conflict of intimacy and distancing to share private difficult moments in the character’s life.
But what is the story really about? It’s a celebration of the outsider, it’s unafraid to look at the ‘weirdo’… it’s about over-coming demons, courage, revenge, guilt, the combination of tragedy and humour, Hackney, the environmental effects of chewing gum etc.
Continuing my interest in guerrilla filmmaking and experimenting with equipment, I decided to shoot the film using a DSLR with an old 1970s Sirius lens. I discovered that it performed extremely well in bright sun light/high contrast and gave the image a grain and colour that I couldn’t get with the typical prime lenses.
Read all that?? Now enjoy the film at: http://www.virginmediashorts.co.uk/film/2716/gummy-man-rage
and if you like it, please spread the love…