Wimbledon International Short Film Festival
Murmur, an excellently tightly crafted short film that screened at our 2015 festival, is now available to watch online!
We chat to director Aurora Fearnley to find out more about the film…
What was your inspiration for making Murmur?
The concept was taken from a short play by Simon Cookson. I love Simon’s writing, his dialogue is ambiguous and subtle and always contains double meaning and visual fables. Having wanted to work with Simon for the past 5 years, we were both delighted to finally collaborate.
I discussed the script and characters extensively with both actors. The beauty of Simon’s script is the subtleties, layers and hidden meanings in the dialogue. Every line was a clue. It was up to us as a team to decipher and decide on a complete backstory.
Murmur was made through the Directors UK ALEXA Challenge, can you tell us a little about what the process was and what you learned from the experience?
Murmur was made through the ALEXA Challenge competition. Directors UK partnered with ARRI to offer selected members an ALEXA shooting package with Master Anamorphic lenses.
The location was the key so I spent three weekends walking the hills of Surrey looking for the right place. One day I clocked 33km trudging up and down valleys. I wanted the beautiful scenery to be in direct contrast to the chilling story unfolding, with the ability to shoot 360 degrees and not see urbanisation.
Shooting on the ALEXA XT with anamorphic primes was a heavyweight for our Steadicam operator.He was incredible as we only had seven hours of light. The initial plan to shoot entirely in one shot was pulled in the morning as the rain the night before made the ground dangerous. I had to rethink fast when we arrived to find a new route that would satisfy the story while not putting the Steadicam op in danger.
Lucy Russell, who plays Dee, was an actor I knew personally from attending acting workshops. Olivia Morgan auditioned for another project and although she wasn’t right for that ensemble, I loved her performance. She was top of my list for Murmur. Her first read with Lucy was fantastic and I could tell that both actors got a lot from each other in performance.
This short film felt like the opportunity to work with people I’d admired over years.
What’s next for you?
I’ve had this incredibly exciting project Pulsar bubbling away in post-production. It is a hugely ambitious sci-fi short film with a great cast of rising and established talent including David Gyasi (Interstellar ) and Jessie Buckley (Taboo). The film is finished and the teaser trailer drops today!
I’m in pre-production on two new short films both shooting in Spring a sci-fi short called Hope and drama I’ve written called Paparazza. Over the summer I’m developing my debut feature film Tipping Point with BFI Vision Awarded producer Jude Goldrei at Lunar Lander Films.