Rollo Hollins directs ‘Silence 1b’.
Words from Rollo below.
I’m interested to explore the relationship the text has to the chapters.
RH: At the time I was obsessed with the idea of how we try and cope with loss, how we humans decompartmentalise it and what we need in order to create safe spaces and distance from difficult events. So that was on my mind when I was searching for SFX for another film project and I began noticing these incredibly emotive, yet emotionally distant titles that SFX use – ‘Respirator, noisy’ – and wondered if film as a medium could represent that mental ‘safe space’ and distance we need to cope with difficult events.
The inclusion of the microphone in the first shot feels different.
RH: Yeah, that’s the link to the inspiration of the film. The mic is a nod to the titles – which are (mostly) real titles of real sound effects used to underpin each scene. I wanted the audience to start with the idea that the titles are telling us what’s being recorded in each scene and then pull them to somewhere else completely as the film unfolds.
What was the process of building the film, pairing the text and images?
RH: It was all 100% scripted and planned. Every scene is related to the text of a real sound effect from a sound effects library, which I began collecting over a period of a few months. Then I built the whole film as an animatic first, based on those SFX titles and fleshed it out from there.
I got obsessed with the idea of coping with losing something we haven’t known long enough to really feel any ownership over.
What were the key themes and ideas that you wanted to thread throughout the film?
RH: Compartmentalising and dealing with loss was the start, but I suppose more specifically, I got obsessed with the idea of coping with losing something we haven’t known long enough to really feel any ownership over. A very early-stage relationship embodied that well, something that can feel incredibly important personally but if no one knew about it, if you hadn’t even had a chance to even put a name to it and it ended abruptly, how would you cope with it emotionally?
I love storytelling / visual cliches and utilising them as shorthand to place an audience in an expected familiar place very quickly to then take them somewhere (hopefully) unexpected and new.
Did you set any rules or guides to help you achieve this?
RH: The film is about disconnecting from the reality of a tough situation. I wanted to hide reality as much as possible through the medium itself so it was always envisioned to be shot on film and really to use all the expected, now cliché language of film, to help accent the feeling of disconnection from reality.
I LOVE storytelling / visual cliches and utilising them as shorthand to place an audience in an expected familiar place very quickly to then take them somewhere (hopefully) unexpected and new, so I wanted this to feel like an expected, clichéd kind of fashion film that quickly escalates to somewhere unexpected.
What are you reading at the moment?
RH: Lots! All kind of at the same time, mostly via audiobook admittedly; ‘A Swim in a Pond in the Rain’ (amazing book for storytellers, but requires homework),’ Project Hail Mary’ (FUN), ‘Klara and the Sun’ (BEAUTIFUL), ‘Pale Fire’ (hard work, but nothing like it) and my fave; No One Is Talking About This’ (legitimately mind-blowing, HIGHLY recommended).
- Matt Hichens
- Executive Producer
- Ray Okudzeto
- Creative Producer
- Sofia Sallon
- Director of Photography
- Tors Beedles
- Production Design
- Alicia Ellis
- Bethany Bullard
- People File
- James Demetriou
- Tom Keats, Munzie Thind
- Sound Design & Mix
- Adem Ilhan
- Production Company