Dave and Tim breathe out of oxygen tanks while boarding up their house, convinced at any minute the world will come to an end. Their friend Max comes over and is saddened to see that they’re actually lost in a world of drug addiction that is spiralling out of control. But Tim is still certain that Max is just another ‘denier’.
6 questions with Breathe director, Sam Rogers at the half-way mark.
Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
1Hi Sam! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, what was the initial seed that inspired you to make Breathe? An image came to my mind of two dudes sitting on a couch with gas masks on and a lot of light streaming through the window behind them, just sitting there doing nothing but breathing. I couldn't get the scene out of my head so that's when I knew that I had to make the film. We shot the scene but it didn't make the final cut although you can see an image of it below.
2This film takes not one, but two unexpected turns. When writing this script, did you always know it was going to twist and turn or did you discover that during the writing process? I knew one of the twists for sure, the other one was discovered. The second turn also came from the want to write more twists and turns into my films. This time I wanted to break out of what I had been doing which was mostly small moment kind of shorts.
3It's easy to see a metaphor for how dangerous sitting around and watching TV all day can be. Is the news in Australia in the business of scaring everyone to thinking the end of the world is coming? Not that it's coming to an end but there's definitely an element of fear to keep you watching. Either that or it's just total trash - a cat got caught up a tree type stuff.
4Can you share a war story from the shoot? Making self-financed, completely independent short you are always in a war just to get the film made. We were losing light on the final day of shooting and only had a very small window to get the final scene shot. We were shooting from the back of a car of the main character walking down the street and then the car would drive off. It was all very complicated and stressful, desperately trying to get these shots at the end of the day when the light was dying knowing that it would have been difficult and costly to re-shoot. We got the shots in the end but they also didn't make the final cut!
5There's something really scary about the idea of no one being able to breathe. Where did that thought come from and why did you decide to build a story around breathing instead of some other doomsday scenario? It came from the initial seed of the gas masks image I had. I was living with two stoners at the time and subconsciously I think it came from watching them smoking. It's visually interesting and intriguing to have characters, especially young and seemingly healthy, wearing these masks and trailing a gas bottle around. I was thinking about having them wear gas masks but it would have been hard to see their faces.
I'm also interested in meditation and breathing takes a big part of this. Breathing is also essential for survival. Another reason was that I wanted to make a short that basically only had one location - my house. My grad film previously had a tonne of locations and I wanted to make something that was a lot easier to shoot.
6What's next? A few months ago I completed a short called Nangs which is about two female lovers who love to party and rob people's houses. My other short which is currently getting scored and sound designed is about a young woman's desire for a man on tinder that takes a dark turn.
I'm currently based in Berlin and am writing a short about an alien that comes to Berlin. Very much inspired by the film Under The Skin!
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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