1 August 2022

Our 2021 'Student' Short Film Competition Winner

By Laurence Roberts

When Emma Marston is recognised by a complete stranger she searches herself online and is horrified to discover a website entirely dedicated to her, containing hundreds of photos and videos of her. Emma must now face the reality that her entire life is on full display for the world to see, and that she is being viewed at every waking moment.

Idea for the film:

The film was created for a horror film assignment, but instead of making a film about the supernatural, I wanted to explore an infinitely more terrifying scenario which could take place in the real world. Drawing inspiration from the found footage genre (eg. Blair Witch Project & Marble Hornets) I came up the idea of someone filming another person whilst they have no knowledge that it is happening. That idea terrified me and as I thought about it more and more, I started to imagine how the person being filmed would react when they find out.

How long did it take to film? Was it plain sailing?

From writing the script to rendering the film cut, the film took the good part of a year to complete. The first half was undeniably the hardest as it encompassed the pre-production and production, however the second half was entirely focused on post-production which whilst challenging was far less stressful and the crew and I were able to juggle other projects and life events unlike pre-production and the shoot. The shoot took place in Nottingham over 4 days. We booked accommodation for actors/crew coming from outside Nottingham and created a fun working and social relationship on set. Possibly the most stressful part of shooting was the unpredictable British weather in April!

I had a really good experience working with my producer (Mark Campbell-Garrity), assistant director (Alex Withers) and cinematographer (Fatosh Olgacher) whilst creating the script and mood of the film. We performed many read throughs to iron out the script which really helped to develop the characters, world and pacing of the film. Fatosh helped me to visualise the film and how it should look and I’m really looking forward to working with her on my next project.

Working with Ceara Coveney and Sarah Agha was great. They brought the characters to life and I couldn’t be happier with their performances. I feel lucky to have worked with two amazing actors and their chemistry was really perfect for this film.

We were very lucky to make use of various locations in Nottingham throughout this filming. Anastasia Kozlovtseva was a massive help here. I’d also like to give a shout out to Professor Gerardo Adesso at the University of Nottingham for his performance as the Professor and for helping us to arrange filming in the lecture room.

What’s Next?

Currently I’m working full-time as an editor for a funeral company, however there are a lot of exciting projects that I’m working on in my spare time. I’m in the process of making a documentary for my youtube channel about an obscure video game console, as well as working on another short film project with the Producer and DP from the Amazing World of Emma. We’re are currently looking into online platform to release The Amazing World of Emma to a wider audience.