Today we go through the looking glass with a creepy tale about a couple who have trouble communicating. An awkward date in a café demonstrates how their lives seem to be diverging, but mystical forces conspire to ensure they won’t be escaping each other anytime soon.
This short film came out of a competition run by Bombay Sapphire in which entrants had to bounce off words provided by screenwriter Geoffrey S. Fletcher, who won an Oscar for the 2009 film Precious. Hackney-based writer Anthony Khaseria came up with the concept for Reflections, before director Adam Randall's team decamped to Krakow to shoot it.
Khaseria told Londonist:
"In the original script it was clear that the two characters were in a situation they didn't want to be in and I thought that this physical environment could be a metaphor for a relationship. They have to face their relationship and themselves, so seeing mirror images of themselves seemed to make sense. Also, I liked the eeriness of seeing a reflection suddenly do something different and thought it'd be a good hook for the film."
Fletcher's original script, says Khaseria, contained only a few lines of dialogue spoken between two people (Character A and B) and a flashback scene which explained how they got where they were. The aim of the competition was to try and populate it with a story, anything the filmmakers wanted, but they had to include those lines. This, says Khaseria, was perhaps the trickiest part:
"However, I tried to play with the lines so that they could be read in a different way, for example, changing one so it became a question, rather than a statement, which then allowed me to play with the narrative.
"Originally I had set the film at a funfair in the countryside but they were rather hard to find in the middle of freezing January. The producer Sophie Venner had shot a previous short film (Room 8) in Poland and had contacts so knew we could get it done for the budget and on time."
Khaseria explains that though the film was shot in Krakow, the key personnel and production companies involved were all Londoners (Gravity Road and Independent), with post-production done here too (MPC).
"It was great to be on set and meet everyone that had agreed to work on it — some really talented people — and I think they all liked the ambition of the idea, but it was quite a confusing shoot, trying to figure out angles and the reflections of the actors. Adam overlaid footage into a monitor so that the actors could see themselves framed in the mirror. For me, what was nice was the first time they did it, all the crew (and I mean all) came to have a look as well — I think that was when they finally got what we were trying to do."
Thanks to our friends at the London Short Film Festival for spotting this one.
Want to be featured? If you have a London-themed short film that you’d like us to consider for this series, send an email with the subject “London Shorts” to Stu Black and Ioanna Karavela via our email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see other London Shorts click here (but please note, links may not always work if the filmmakers are showing their shorts in competition).