Matt West

Being Held

A young woman is being held captive in a small prison cell – she has no idea why she’s there or who is her captor. Her distress heightens when a strange voice seems to know her well.

This short film was largely an experimental piece to tell a story with one key location - utilising lighting and texture to build an atmosphere that puts a viewer into the shoes of the character. It was an exceptionally rewarding process that has led to many more films being in development and production.

I want to give an honest account of my film, not to be self deprecating, but to communicate what goes into film vs what you see on screen.

This film isnt what I had originally written. A lot went wrong during filming - some crew became unavailable last minute, power cuts, a generator ruining any sound. I had given up on this short. The things that went wrong and my own mistakes, all made it hard to watch the footage with any kind of hope.

It was originally written to be around 8 minutes long. But at the end of 2019, I was speaking with sound designer, Edwin Matthews about other projects and he pointed me toward a 60 second film competition, and said perhaps I could restructure the story - so I cut entire bits out and built a shorter story. In the end, the deadline for the competition was just too close, but it had allowed me to see the footage with fresh eyes.

And thanks to Rosie, who re-recorded some lines during lockdown (so I could get rid of the generator in the background), I have a new short film to my name.

It may not be what I intended, but I’m exceptionally proud to have completed a new film and got it out there. It doesn’t matter if your film ends up being good or bad, whether it ran smoothly or had problems, or was word for word what you wrote or not. You’re a filmmaker if you’re making films, if you have that burning feeling to want to make and tell stories - I’m proud to have finished it in the end and to have not given up.

Plenty has been learned from my mistakes and the production issues. On to the next one. I can’t wait.

Written and Directed by: Matt West

Younger: Rosie Steel

Elder: Meryl Haskins

Granddaughter: Bettey Heavey

Set Design, Build and On Set Support: Will Walsh

Director of Photography (Elder Scene): Adam Lawson

Thanks to: Jacky Davis at Kidztalk Ltd.



Behind the Scenes