Tom Wakeling directs ‘Pattern’.
A dreamscape achieved using a unique in-camera lighting effect. A singular beam duplicated and then stacked back in time.
Filmed on 16mm, on the Jurassic Coast, England.
Words from Tom below.
Tom, please could you explain the early development of the lighting concept?
I developed the lighting technique years ago… I had even put it into a music video… but I always thought there was a bigger film to be made of it and it had something more to say. It wasn’t until I was going through a particularly tricky mental health period did the full concept arrive.
We initially did lots of testing with different sources. We started with an old Lightsaber toy and then leveled up into a custom-made 2-meter LED tube. We did most of the testing in my back garden – my neighbors must have been worried.
We were basically trying lots of different things to make the lights feel alive, in the most real way possible.
Filming on 16mm was still difficult, mostly because I am not a disciplined filmmaker, I will shoot and shoot and shoot!
When did Nick Morris (DOP) join the project?
We got Nick onboard very early on, we had been working on commercials together. He saw our test footage and said we should shoot it on film, I laughed and said no… But we did a test at Panavision on 16mm and it was glorious! Film somehow made the technique feel more real, more bedded in, it made you question how this thing was made even more.
Filming on 16mm was still difficult, mostly because I am not a disciplined filmmaker, I will shoot and shoot and shoot! We had even made a video storyboard of the film beforehand but the location (rising tide & crumbling cliffs) knocked that out of play quite early on.
Film was still 100% worth it, Nick was totally right and he did a truly wonderful job.
Are there key artists or practices that influenced the aesthetic, who work outside of film? Theo Jansen’s wind-powered sculptures come to mind.
I’m sure Theo Jansen was an influence, his work is wonderful and definitely tickles that same bit of the brain that I was going for. That space where you’re looking at it and you’re not sure whether the thing is mechanical or actually alive.
I also made huge thefts from Antony Gormley, and his volume studies, originally the man would have ended up as a full-body eroded statue… ah well, stuff for the sequel!
What are you reading at the moment?
I am perpetually trying to finish Judith Weston’s ‘Directing Actors’… it’s a bit dense… or maybe I am.
- Director of Photography
- Devraj Joshi
- Art Director
- Jack Hallett
- Sound Designer
- Evan Gildersleeve