What would you do if constantly confronted by your own worst fear? Overcome or succumb?
In our story, we follow the life of a man whose life is forever changed due to a traumatising event, making it physically and mentally impossible for him to function in the outside world and it is beginning to endanger his life completely. Set inside the cold walls of his sanctuary, he battles external obstacles and internal illnesses until he is driven to face his fears that have stemmed from his horrific past. As we see him embark on his spiritual but dangerous journey, it emerges that his nightmares are in fact a reality.
This project is an original view on mental illness through the eyes of a younger generation where we explore the extremities of various illnesses such as PTSD, depression, anxiety and agoraphobia. The focus of the story is agoraphobia as it seems there is little awareness in our society or in the industry today. Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder in which the sufferer fears and avoids places or situations that might cause panic and it leads to the feeling of being trapped, helpless and/or embarrassed. Although the story we have told may seem extreme, this is the harsh reality for a staggering 18 million people without a history of panic disorder and that is just number of the people diagnosed.
Our team comprises of filmmakers aged 16-22 who are living in an era where mental illness is finally being recognised and being spoken about more than ever before, and in a positive way. We wanted to be a part of the people’s voice. We hope that our short will create conversation amongst people of all ages regarding the struggles of mental illness and how we can help one another with our problems. This is a story told from the heart with an array of personal experiences scattered within the script. It is a prime example of British independent film through the tone and feel of the film.
A challenge we faced for this project was whether to produce the film on a micro-budget or seek external funding. The main location needed to be completely dressed for the production to design our set. The location seen most was originally an attic gym in one of our team member’s house. We decided to produce on a budget so small to show that film can be produced on a big budget however you need determination, skill and a passion which is all we had (plus the equipment).
A problem we did encounter with a budget so small and the location we used was the heat, we shot during an incredibly hot period, which is unusual for the UK. We were coming to the twelfth hour of our third shooting day. The crew and our actor were all dripping with sweat, in addition, the room was not air conditioned due to it being rarely used. Although everything went to plan throughout the five day shoot, we had never been so happy to wrap a project! This problem could have been avoided by building a set in a studio however we accepted the challenge and completed it. For the set design, we had to borrow and call in a few favours from family and friends which we would like to give a huge thank you to those who helped!
For the future, we aim to enter the project into film festivals across the country and possibly internationally to gain more of an audience. We believe there could be potential for the script to be developed into a feature therefore we hope to catch the eye of possible investors that would be interested in new upcoming filmmakers like us.
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