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13 FACTS ABOUT a Short Film from director Tom Stone Go to Next Slide to Watch the Short Film.
WHAT TEARS REMAIN is the result of a University TV Production assignment. The brief was to make a 1 minute film (+ or – 5secs) The film had to focus on one of three words: HOME, DILEMMA or CONTRAST. I chose DILEMMA.
Production of the film took 5 hours in total: 4 hours to shoot and a further hour to record Jessica’s voiceover.
Originally filmed at 25 frames per second, the frame rate was reduced to 18 FPS in post-production. This produced a more choppy motion which helped to emphasise the gritty nature of the scene.
The continuous follow shot, when Jessica walks to the post-box, was carefully choreographed to include a dip to the floor. This camera movement is not the natural way to shoot the shot, but was used to create a rotating motion on the tarmac, in an attempt to emphasise how Jessica’s world is metaphorically spinning.
In order make Harry (real name Rory) cry on set, his father would pull his dummy from his mouth. Although the collective guilt of filming a crying baby was difficult to bear, the results were wonderful and I hope Rory will understand when he’s old enough to watch the film.
It took 15 takes to get the continuous follow shot, so in order to make best use of the envelopes Jessica posted, we addressed each one to a different Bournemouth University student flat with a copy of the script and a unique code inserted inside. These letters were used as a marketing tool, with instructions on how to follow the Facebook & Twitter pages and film credits offered to those who responded with their code. The response to this was somewhat underwhelming, with a total of ZERO respondents.
In the original edit (and all through planning), the film was backed by an excerpt from a beautiful song called ‘Cold’ by Jorge Mendez. Jorge kindly provided permission for me to use his piece and although I took it out in the final edit, I would like to thank him, both for inspiration toward the mood of the film and for permission to use his work. Here is a link to the original song on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCD0pu29-N0 and on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/silhouettes/id681363075 as well as the link to the original film edit: http://youtu.be/1CEefPZKcXc
The opening and closing wide shots are intentionally off-level. The idea was that in posting the letter, Jessica has had to walk from right to left on-screen, as well as seemingly uphill. This creates both a negative movement (progressing backwards, to English-reading viewers) and an arduous movement (uphill).
The rear-view mirror shot was initially designed to have the post-box in the background, positioned between Harry and Jessica. However, in practice this was difficult to achieve within the tight shooting schedule, mainly due to the height differences of the 3 subjects.
To find a suitable location, I spent a day cycling to over 50 different post-boxes in and around my hometown of Bournemouth. The location needed to be spacious enough to park a car; quiet enough that vehicle and pedestrian traffic wouldn’t cause an issue, as well as having the right aesthetic look. Believe it or not, this was a difficult task. At one point, I considered building a prop post-box, but with minimal budget and timescale, to achieve a realistic look was unfeasible.
When Jessica pulls the letter to Carl from her pocket the address that reads on the front is that of a mental health hospital in Poole, Bournemouth’s neighbouring town. This adds further complexity to the subtext of the story: Is Carl mentally ill? Does Jessica know this? And will the letter actually reach him?
The title, ‘What Tears Remain’, was taken from the last line of the script, which reads: “As the realisation of her actions takes hold; throat dry and uncomfortable, Jessica swallows what tears remain.”
The child actor, Rory King, is the son of a good friend of mine: Tom King. The day before shooting, Tom asked me to be best man at his wedding. Tom will be marrying Roxanne later this year and I am delighted to be in charge of the stag-do!
TomRon TV @TomRonTV /TomRonTV like follow subscribe CLICK watch the film: http://youtu.be/2ro9-HVFqzI