‘The Nothing’ is a film written by some creators from a local collective, Richmond City Media. Richmond City Media was co-founded by Melissa Pellicano, director of ‘The Nothing’, to better portray the forgotten borough of Staten Island, New York. After focusing on artists and giving them a platform to showcase their work, the group has moved back into narrative films. In the past they’ve contributed to short narratives like ‘Coffee & Sisters, ‘The Letter J’ and assisted other film collectives such as: Purple Cloud Entertainment with their shorts ‘Edgar’s Invention’ and ‘Major Key’. ‘The Nothing’ continues to follow RCM’s mission goal and will be shot entirely on Staten Island with a some local crew and talent.
The film essentially encompasses, a fear of the dark playing on your imagination, and mindfulness of being alone even in the safest of places- the house you grew up in. The short film is a journey of which we can learn and grow from–taking each challenge and moment to reflect on.
Our protagonist, Arthur, is in his late twenties and feels like doesn’t have his life together and expects to have it all figured out by now. He isn’t happy that he still lives at home, no apparent job or career in sight and when left alone, his fears are heightened. Being left alone with his thoughts to face his anxiety and depression.
With all the subtext in the films minimal dialogue, there is emphasis on visuals to Arthur’s anxiety and emotions. His friends, Mitchell and Sabrina are there in the beginning, but there’s an elephant in the room. Arthur’s depression is not brought up, but both characters are aware and dance around the subject as many people do. What is revealed in the end is hope for not just Arthur, but perhaps for anyone going through a similar situation.
As for stylistic approach, many worlds are brought forward with frame-within a-frame shots, utilizing door frames in Arthur’s family home and the use of silence where every sound from his creaky stairs to the everyday house expansions are emphasized. Sound design and the original score by Jane Saunders will bring the film to the level in the original vision for the film.
There has been a long silence since Melissa Pellicano and Steven Gatti’s last creative collaboration, ‘Coffee & Sisters’. The filmmakers are hoping that this film will open the door for a lot of their upcoming projects and submit to niche festivals that will welcome the suspenseful film. Perhaps there is a feature in the near future?