:: T H E S T O R Y ::
A married couple is woken in the dead of night by a mysterious phone call. Unable to sleep, they are drawn into an unsettling examination of their fears and desires...
Based on a story by celebrated writer Raymond Carver, Whoever Was Using This Bed is a provocative 20 minute short film about love with a superb international cast including Jean-Marc Barr (The Big Blue, Europa), Radha Mitchell (Finding Neverland, Man on Fire) and Jane Birkin (Blow-Up, La Belle Noiseuse).
Here's what Radha Mitchell, Jean-Marc Barr and Andrew Kotatko have to say about the story:
:: D I R E C T O R ' S S T A T E M E N T ::
As a filmmaker, I've always been fascinated by stories that examine the difficulties we face pursuing intimate relationships in the modern world.
I was drawn to Raymond Carver's story Whoever Was Using This Bed because it's a compelling study of a married couple who have been together for some time and yet are still a mystery to each other.
It explores the love that exists between two people who are starting to question themselves and each other. Anyone who has been in a marriage or long-term relationship will recognise that such feelings are part and parcel with true intimacy.
I love Carver's writing - he's brave and honest in a way that few writers are. His stories are populated with complex characters full of doubt and longing. At times, Carver seems to know us better than we know ourselves.
Whoever Was Using This Bed is essentially a highly-chaged two-hander punctuated by a third character - a mysterious phone caller - who is the catalyst for the ensuing drama.
The film embraces the core of Carver's story - which is essentially a dialogue between a couple about their deepest desires and fears - and evolves it into a gripping psychological drama.
After developing the adaptation for some time in collaboration with my writing mentor Laura Jones (An Angel at My Table, The Portrait of a Lady), the film's script was nominated for an Australian Writer's Guild Award (AWGIE). From that point, incredible creative support started gathering around the project; a testimony to the deeply resonant ideas in the film.
Carver has been described as 'the American Chekov', and like that great humanist, he is not afraid to explore both the beauty and the sadness of life.
:: C A S T I N G ::
I wrote the female lead role of Iris with actress Radha Mitchell in my mind. When I saw Radha in Woody Allen's film Melinda and Melinda, I was struck by her innate ability to convey an almost childlike fragility under a veil of womanly confidence.
As an actress, Radha is both fiercely intelligent and emotionally instinctive - two qualities which have brought a tremendous immediacy and truth to her characterisation in Whoever Was Using This Bed.
When it came to casting the male lead role of Ray, I considered a variety of actors. Being the protagonist of the story, it was important to me that the man playing the role be completely simpatico.
Jean-Marc Barr has an extraordinary gravitas that shines through all his performances, from Luc Besson's The Big Blue to Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac. It was a great privilege to collaborate with him on this film.
I cast Jane Birkin in the voice role of The Caller after I heard a reading of her late nephew Anno's poem Close to the River.
Jane has a tender and ghostly quality to her voice and I knew she would be perfect as the outsider who connects so powerfully with Jean-Marc's character in the film. Here is the recording of Jane reciting Close to the River, half in English and half in French:
:: V I S U A L S T Y L E ::
Set mostly at night, the film has the visual qualities of a mystery. The essence of film noir influenced many choices I made in collaboration with my production designer and director of photography.
Visually, the film has an open, cinematic and dreamlike quality. I was inspired by filmmakers such as David Lynch and Roman Polanski, both of whom have told intimate stories in a cinematic way.
:: S H O O T I N G T H E F I L M ::
After several days of rehearsal with the cast in Sydney, we shot the film in January 2015 with an extraordinarily talented and committed crew including: veteran cinematographer Geoffrey Simpson, ACS (Shine, Sleeping Beauty), production designer Alex Holmes (Wish You Were Here, The Babadook), costume designer Emily Seresin (The Hunter, Top of the Lake), sound recordist Peter Grace (Happy Feet, Knowing), Oscar® nominated make-up and hair designer Nikki Gooley (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith), and line producer Belinda Mravicic (Griff the Invisible, The Sapphires).
It was an incredibly focussed production period, with cast and crew working at the height of their abilities. Upon viewing the rushes at the end of each shooting day, there was an undeniable sense that we were creating something special.
I'm looking forward to sharing the fruits of our labour with you all.
A N D R E W K O T A T K O - Writer / Director
:: H O W Y O U C A N H E L P ::
The finance we raised for Whoever Was Using This Bed only ever extended to the shooting of the film.
Given the care we've taken to shoot the film to the highest possible standard, we knew that the post-production finance would have to be found from another source.
That's why your generous support is vital to the success of this beautiful film!
No matter how small your contribution is, you will be helping us achieve the following goals to ensure Whoever Was Using This Bed is completed and delivered without compromise.
With your kind support we will:
- Complete a 3 week picture edit with award-winning editor Roland Gallois, ASE (Samson and Delilah, Slow West).
- Complete sound and dialogue editing, foley and re-recording mixing with internationally renowned sound designers Robert Mackenzie (Drift, The Grandmaster) and Sam Petty (Animal Kingdom, The Rocket).
- Commission an original music score for the film by groundbreaking composer and recording artist Ben Frost (Sleeping Beauty).
- Complete the full picture grade with CGI effects, title design and all film deliverables at The Gingerbread Man.
- Create marketing materials for the film's national and international film festival release.
If you would like to know more information about the film, please visit our website at: www.whoeverwasusingthisbed.com
Even if you can't assist us financially, we would love it if you could help us by spreading the word about the film!
:: I M A G E S ::
The following images were taken behind-the-scenes:
:: P R E V I O U S W O R K ::
Here you can watch Andrew Kotatko's previous award-winning short film Everything Goes (2004) starring Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas), Abbie Cornish (Bright Star, Limitless) and Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom, 300: Rise of an Empire). It's based on Raymond Carver's short story Why Don't You Dance?
Thank you for reading and watching!
Risks and challenges
As with all short films, there are sometimes delays for facilities and services that have to be endured while feature films are given priority.
That said, we have incredible industry support from the following post-production houses that absolutely love our film, namely: Spectrum Films for our picture edit, The Gingerbread Man for our picture grade, title design, CGI effects and final deliverables, and StageOne Sound for our final sound mix.
We also have a strong commitment from our entire post-production crew.
In terms of my own involvement, this film is my number one priority. It is my desire to have it ready towards mid-year for an international film festival premiere.
Andrew Kotatko - Writer / DirectorLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)