Official Selection 2013
A heart warming story of a lonely young man’s increasingly creative attempts to attract the attention of the girl of his dreams. A gentle film of hope and optimism.
Director: Mark Playne
Producer: Mark Playne, Olivia Chisci
Writer: Mark Playne
Key cast and other credits:
Man – Shane Zaza
Woman – Francesca Binefa
Lonliness and Love.
I was keen on a debut short to choose a script that would have the widest appeal.
Irrespective of nationalioty or culture, we’ve all be in love. We’ve all felt ignored. We’ve all wondered if we’d be more attractive if we were somehow different. We all fear loneliness.
Kids are born into the world and cry – fearing they might be alone.
Often, old people die – knowing they are alone.
I wanted the story to be light hearted, uplifting and fill people (young and old) with hope that lonliness is only a temporary state – that love and companionship might be around the next corner.
Many of my stories could just as easily be animations as live action. Much in the same way that raconteurs embellish an event, I don’t believe realism should get in the way of a good filmic story. Films, like dreams, have their own energy and ‘Love at First Sight’ found it’s being in the editing room. Having done a basic assembly edit, I realised the importance of the exterior “scene breakers” – the general shots of the streets outside, people and animals. Although they do provide the springboard for the old couple sub-plot – they don’t partake in story moving forwards but simply encompass the whole tone of the film and set the lighthearted, hyper realistic feel.
I think these exterior scenettes are the “icing on the cake” – the “frame” that holds the “picture” giving it substance and life.
I wanted the film to travel across the oceans to various Film Festivals so decided to make my debut film without dialogue. I wanted to avoid anyone anywhere feeling that it was a “foreign film.”
I didn’t want to be in a situation where we needed sub titles. I wanted to allow the film to work on a subconscious level. Without dialogue I feel we are more open and free to interpret what is happening based on our own experiences – we can then fill the story with our own subconscious dialogue and meaning.
Choice of SLYM’s cultural background
I originally had the main character as a light haired northern European lad. I soon realised this was not true to the location or the heart of the film. A truly floundering, isolated immigrant would be from India or Morocco – so I re-cast as such. I didn’t want to make any overt reference to him potentially being invisible due to his skin colour as an immigrant -as I felt it could overtake the main theme of the film – but left the possibility there clearly for anyone to notice.
Use of sound fx and music.
SLYM sees the world via images and colour.
The “Girl on Balcony” senses the world through touch and sounds.
SLYM spends his time trying to attract her visually but only succeeds in attracting her via sound.
They don’t speak words but communicate through sounds.’
Are we defined by our work – by how we earn our money, or by our passions?
I don’t know the answer, but I know how I’ve spent my time.
I’ve traded my wares in 5 continents – legally and illegally. I’ve spent my time taking photographs and writing. I’ve listened to stories, told stories and become part of stories. Standing on a market stall gives to time to think. Now I want to share these stories.
Love at First Sight is my debut film.