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Cannes Film Festival
Short Film Corner 2021

David Bryant 
Between Worlds
United Kingdom - 13 min

A lone figure wanders the deserted Earth in search of survivors. He is about to lose all hope when he discovers he may not be alone after all. The End is here...


Hi David, thanks for talking to The New Current, how have you been keeping during these Covid times? 


As for most people, the past 18 months have been a tough, stressful time. I was made redundant to my 9-5 job, which gave me the freedom to pursue filmmaking in my own time but causes plenty of stress. 

Has this time offered you any new creative opportunities?


When first in lockdown I dived into work, rewriting my screenplays and developing new ideas but that initial burst dissipated and I found it difficult to sustain my writing. Being made redundant from my job didn’t help and found myself in a bit of a void. I was completing post production a low budget Psychological Chiller feature Splinter, which is now going out to distributors, but I needed to start something new. Luckily I knew the brilliant DOP Dirk Nel who lived locally, as did my editor on Splinter Chris Burton. We decided to shoot something during lockdown. I wrote a short with local actor Bill Fellows in mind, but we decided it was too complicated to shoot in lockdown so I wrote Between Worlds, a single character high concept sci fi drama. Dirk suggested shooting the entire film outdoors using natural light to showcase our beautiful local area on England’s south coast. So we went out and shot it…

Congratulations on having Between Worlds part of this years Short Film Corner, how does it feel to be able to present your short film at Cannes? 


It’s an honour to have the film presented at Cannes. It has been submitted to other upcoming festivals but this is the first time it will be screened publically. Cannes is such a big thing for independent UK filmmakers as we can travel there without too much expense and mix with other filmmakers of all levels. 

Will there be any nerves ahead of the festival?


There are always nerves, wondering how the film will be received- will anybody like it?! I have screened films at festivals before and really enjoy the whole experience. 

How did Between Worlds come and what inspired your screenplay? 


The screenplay was inspired by the Covid lockdown. I live in Hastings, on England’s south coast and during the first lockdown it was surreal just how quiet the world became. This gave me the thought of a “last man on Earth” story. I developed the story with locations in mind wanting the film to show off the beauty of a world devoid of human life.

You have the amazing British Actor Bill Fellows in your short, how did you go about casting him in this film?


I had worked with Bill Fellows on my feature Splinter so knew him well, plus Bill lives a short drive away so I wrote the script specifically for him. 

What was the most challenging scene for you to film?


Every scene in a film brings its own challenges. There was a scene where Bill is chasing an unseen figure through bushes. Our location was a bit of a hike so was tough for Bill to then run through bushes and it was a very hot day. Our final scene was a flashback set in a moving car with Bill and two sisters playing his grandkids. We shot the scene as written but for various reasons the scene wasn’t coming together. A moving car scene is always a nightmare unless you can use a low loader and technically tough to pull off. In the edit I decided to turn a flashback into a dream sequence, using the footage that felt off kilter to create a nightmarish feel and I think it worked out great.

"My passion for filmmaking came from my father, who has always been a huge movie buff, even though we have quite different tastes in films now..."

What was the most challenging scene for you to film?


It is never the one you expect. The most challenging scene was the one that we weren’t able to film. It involved a cat. Never write a cat into your script , as brilliant as they are, they cannot take direction, unlike dogs. 


Looking back is there anything you would do differently on this film?


I say this every time but, a few more days of pre production on the next one. 


Where did your passion for filmmaking come from and how much has your style and approach to your short films changed since your debut? 


These days I am doing less on screen, with (I hope) a higher impact. When the stakes are high enough, every breath feels important. 


My passion for filmmaking came from my father, who has always been a huge movie buff, even though we have quite different tastes in films now, I wouldn't be making films if it wasn't for his influence early on.   


Now you can be reflective what advice would you offer a fellow filmmaker?


The journey itself is the destination. 


And finally, what do you hope people will take away from your film?


Whatever they need to, at that point in their lives. 

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