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A man who can't pay his debts is pushed to an act of violence.
A single shot short film by Daniel Montanarini starring Neil Maskell .
A man who can't pay his debts is pushed to an act of violence. A single shot short film by Daniel Montanarini starring Neil Maskell .
38 backers pledged £3,560 to help bring this project to life.

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£3,560

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WHAT ARE WE DOING? 

We are making a short film about a man who commits an extreme act after being trapped by debt. The Departure is influenced by a true story and explores the emotional turmoil of being in debt.

THE STORY

We see a man in extreme close-up. Eyes glazed over. He could be in the middle of a daydream. He’s somewhere else. The ring of a bell above a door brings him back into the room. His eyes flit around detecting surrounding sounds giving us a clue of where we are - muffled traffic, a news channel on a radio, the hum of a fridge, running water from a tap, the hiss of a frying pan - Kitchen or a cafe maybe? A loud buzzing. A phone. The eyes look down. Indifferent, but unmoving. The buzzing stops and the eyes look to the side for a thought. Two more short buzzes before the man decides to pick up the phone in front of him. He has six voicemail messages. The voicemail operator starts to speak and the camera slowly creeps back. The voicemails are from a woman and man. His wife and a loan shark. The messages will tell us how the man got there and the camera slowly moving back will reveal where he is and what he has done. The Departure is the story about a man who can’t pay back his debts. A man who can’t speak to his wife. A man pushed to an extreme act of violence. A man in trouble.

HOW WE WILL DO IT

The film will consist of a single backwards tracking shot (approx. 5mins) starting in extreme close-up and ending on a wide of the cafe showing the aftermath of a shooting. The story will be told simultaneously through the audio of the voicemail messages, from the main character’s wife and the loan shark, and visually as the details in the cafe are revealed through the expanding frame. Delivering detailed information at specific moments to unravel the story will be a huge technical challenge. There has to be a rhythm and the relationships need to feel honest without it feeling too constructed and keeping it emotionally engaging. The main character moves quickly through three emotional states shock, frustration and overwhelming despair all without saying a single word.

 

INSPIRATION: A SHOOTING

In 2009 South East London a man walked into a cafe, shot a customer in the back of the head, sat down and waited for the police.

The man he shot was a loan shark whom he owed around six thousand pounds. The loan shark had threatened to harm the man’s wife if he didn’t pay up. He came to the decision that the only way to protect his wife was to kill the loan shark and go to prison.

The cafe was ten minutes walk from my house. When I heard about the shooting I couldn’t get the image out of my head of him sitting there in the cafe waiting for the police to arrive. What was he thinking and how did he get there. The film's action is inspired by this event focusing on the moment immediately after the shooting while the man waited for the police.

DIRECTORS STATEMENT: EMOTIONS OF MONEY

I have always wanted to make a film about the emotional and mental strain of being in debt. There have always been friends and family who went through financial difficulties, but it wasn’t until I had my own money problems did I experience the emotional side. At the worst point I felt like I had a cold flame burning in the bottom of my stomach sending cold water running through my veins. I couldn’t sleep, I felt trapped, alone and I didn’t speak with anyone at first because I felt like a criminal. During that time I had a recurring dream I committed a crime just so I could go to prison and escape the burden of making money. It was an exaggeration of my fears and definitely influenced by the shooting in South East London. Luckily friends and family helped me out, but the experience definitely left a mark.

HENRY FONDA - THE WRONG MAN
HENRY FONDA - THE WRONG MAN

 

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THE ARRIVAL

The Departure is a counterpart to our last film The Arrival. Both are set in a cafe, consisting of a single shot and focused on a character going through an intense internal conflict. However the themes and the tones are very different. The Arrival is about birth and life. Starting in a wide shot and moving into an extreme close-up we move from a very social space to a private one. The Departure is focused on debt and death but moves in the opposite direction; starting in an intense close-up and tracking back. Beginning with a very personal perspective we later see the devastating effects it has when those personal problems explode into a public environment.

See The Arrival here: https://vimeo.com/166075559

THE CAST

Neil Maskell (Kill List, Utopia, Humans)

Neil Maskell - Humans
Neil Maskell - Humans

THE TEAM 

Writer/Director – Daniel Montanarini

Cinematographer – Alistair Little

Producer – Jacob Thomas

WHAT DO WE NEED THE MONEY FOR? 

The money will be spent on paying our incredible cast and crew, location fees, equipment rental, production design, catering, transport, insurance and post production.

 

 

Risks and challenges

Every film is a prototype so there are always risks involved in making a film however we are mitigating these risks by working with a creative team that have years of experience and we have worked with before. As a team we have worked together before on a similar project with similar challenges and individually we have all made several short films.

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Funding period

- (10 days)