Award of Excellence – “Music Box” (UK)

Title: Music Box
Runtime: 27 min
Country: UK
Director: Simon Richards
Placement: Award of Excellence
Competition: March 31, 2020

Synopsis: Molly finds herself in a strange room. As she tries to understand why she’s there, nightmare and reality bleed together.

FILMMAKER Q&A – Simon Richards – Writer and Director

GS: What was the inspiration for your film?

SR: An uncomfortable chair by a wall, and an unpleasant conversation at a funeral.  

GS: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?

SR: The project took two years; the sound design was four months, with 106 tracks.

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?

SR: To condense detailed ideas into images and words strong enough that would suggest something alive beyond, both before and after, the confines of 27 minutes.

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?

SR: The budget for this film was relatively high, for a short, and we shot on location in Italy. The night before the first day of shooting, the original actress, who had arrived in Italy that afternoon from London, was forced to fly back the same day, due to family complications. We suddenly found ourselves without a lead, staring into a potentially costly, and bleak, abyss. Somehow, through teamwork and the will to keep alive a project that everyone believed in, we found a replacement actress who perfectly became the character. Everyone was stunned, and hugely relieved, and proud. The rest was simple.

GS: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?

SR: People should make the kind of films they want to see, what’s really inside them. The market is not something that can be trusted or predicted – but the internal necessity to make a film and to make it honestly should guide the filmmaker’s choices – that way, something beautiful might be born.