SCARED TO DEATH, 5min., UK, Drama
Directed by Flame Brewer
Scared To Death is set in 2020 at the start of a pandemic. The psychological thriller/horror follows John Doe, a doomsday prepper. As death rates are starting to rise, John frantically gathers his belongings to rush to his bunker. Before leaving, he returns to grab his lucky charm. On reaching the car he fumbles and drops his mobile phone down a drain. More distraught than ever he rushes to his hidden bunker to lock himself away from the world outside.
During the first couple of weeks, John loses all connection with the outside world. He battles with fear of whether not he should stay or leave. Too afraid of the outside world, he decides to stay in the bunker, locked away in safety.
As time slowly goes by, John deteriorates into insanity. Water and food is running out and he has a harsh realisation that he will die if he doesn’t leave. His only chance of surviving is to take the risk of the virus outside.
I made 'Scared To Death' as part of my A-Levels for Film Studies, which had to be a solo project. It only counted for a small percentage of the subject, but really was the only reason I took the subject, so I wanted to put my all into it. As the third pandemic had just ended, it felt like the right time to make a film set in those times.
As I had very little budget, I asked my dad to act in it. Before making 'Scared To Death', my dad had grown out his hair in lockdown, which inspired me to create an animation for my Photography A-Level. Through this I learnt the method of creating something seemingly to be shot over a few months, but shot in one long day . This gave me inspiration to shoot my short film in reverse, to make it appear that his hair is growing over time. Around the same time, my dad built a shack in our garden, which became the perfect location.
As there was no dialogue I had to make the sound impactful to tell the story. I wanted the sound to be eerie, with a quiet atmosphere, making other sounds more predominant. To do this I planned to recorded all the sound in post production. Because I knew I was going to do this, I didn't record much sound while shooting. This concerned my teacher, as she didn't think my plan would work out, but she slowly became more impressed as I started to layer more and more sound onto my film. The only part of sound I didn't record was the music sound track, a family friend who happens to score movies kindly gave their permission to use some of his work.
I knew I wanted to work in the film industry before making this film but not which area. After making 'Scared To Death', I quickly realised that I want to be a director, so I can control each aspect to make sure the film is exactly how I envisioned. Through this film I have learnt how much work goes into every department and it's given me a great base knowledge for future films. This has been a great learning curve for me as a director and I'm looking forward to producing my next film soon.