|15 Nov 2023
|Emerging Talent Award recipient
I received the news that the Emerging Talent Award was being given to our project while at my desk, working for a new Netflix gameshow entertainment format at the time. Joy, and relief, filled me as I looked up from my screen. The short film ‘Over Her Shoulder’ was going to be seen through post-production and created. Almost a year’s worth of personal work and investment, and teamwork, was going to be brought to life. I looked forward to sharing the news with the team.
The financial support enabled the film rushes, raw materials, from three shooting days to be crafted to completion by filmmakers in the edit. The post-production process involves coordinating different technical elements along with editorial input to ensure all is compatible and ready for the final exports. It follows a workflow outlined by the Editor whereby once Picture-Lock is reached, the cut film is sent to the Sound Editor and the Colour Grader who work simultaneously to deliver back to the Editor who completes the edit. The team are especially grateful to the facilities at Ravensbourne University London and Cheat Post-Production Studio. It must be said pre-production and the shoot have more light-hearted anecdotes!
During this period, Izzy Thompson (Director) and I had worked with a brilliant cast and crew of just over twenty people. ‘Over Her Shoulder’ stars LEH Alumnae Anastasia Martin and Florence Guy, Alasdair Linn, and Isabella Stavrou, and it is shot with Panavision and Panalux equipment under the direction of Jack Edwards (Director of Photography): Panalux Best Cinematographer Award Winner and 2x BSC Short Film Cinematography Award Winner.
It is about how Carrie navigates an unexpected visit from her volatile partner, troubling her housemates and challenging the extent to which she can ignore her intuition. Inspired by lived experiences, it is a story of coercion and liberation. The team channel the powers of cinema to draw attention to the nuances of emotional abuse in relationships and to the conflict between someone’s appeasing behaviour and their inner voice.
As the project’s Writer / Producer, and having made personal investment, I am deeply appreciative of the ETA. In an industry where building experience and a portfolio requires considerable financing, and opportunities for freelancers can be hard to come by, the significance of the award is not underestimated. Alongside this, and more importantly, I cannot help but appreciate how it's fitting to be telling this story, giving voice to female experiences through themes of intimate partner violence and the power of loving friendships, with a female-led team supported by the ETA.
‘Over Her Shoulder’ premiered at The Castle Cinema in May 2023, creating social, artistic, and professional exposure for the team and the audience. It was a special evening, and it was a little surreal to hear the positive audience responses; people saying how they would have loved to watch the film again or to have been able to experience more of the story. From then onwards, the film entered the film festival circuit.
So far it has received ‘Special Mention’ at the UK Seasonal Short Film Festival Autumn 2023, ‘Best Short Film’ at the IMDb Paradise Film Festival September 2023, and is in the running at the Rome Prisma Film Awards as ‘Monthly Pick’ October 2023. The team look forward to exploring further opportunities for sharing ‘Over Her Shoulder’ with audiences and filmmakers, while it continues to form their own portfolios.
The short film now also exists as proof of concept for future plans: short films demonstrate tone, themes, and the responsibility of successfully creating projects. ‘Over Her Shoulder’ shows this in an independent capacity while I work within broadcast / organisations, currently on projects at BBC Media Action, and the rest of the team continue to develop too. I look forward to future storytelling, and I wish future recipients all the best!