Mark Gutteridge

INTERCOM

     

     

 


A woman and her uncommunicative neighbours closely
monitor a new tenant’s movements until they meet via their
intercom.



35mm. 10mins. Supported by the British Council and in development by NFM/UK Film Council as a feature film.
   
MAIN CAST & CREW
   
Director, Producer & Co-Writer: Mark Gutteridge Procession, Revisited
   
Co-writer: Aidan Lean Renegade Airwaves BBC
   
Director Of Photography: Dick Pope BSC Oscar nomination 2007 for “Best Cinematography” – The Illusionist, Orson Welles And Me, Happy-Go-Lucky, Angus Thongs And Perfect Snogging, Honeydripper, Vera Drake, Secrets & Lies
   
Editor Ian Seymour First Assistant Editor: The Proposition, Donnie Brasco, Secrets & Lies, Four Weddings And A Funeral & Tamsin Jeffrey First Assistant Editor: Stardust
   
Sound Jack Gillies Supervising Sound Editor – BBC’s The Last Enemy.
Mark Appleby Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, 28 Days Later, Star Wars III
   
Music Rhodri Davies arrangement on harp
   
Featuring: Jenny Agutter Bafta & Emmy award winner, The Railway Children, Walkabout, Logan’s Run, Equus, An American Werewolf in London, The Alan Clark Diaries
Marc Warren Wanted, Band Of Brothers, Hellraiser, Hustle, BBC’s Dracula
David Calder Goya’s Ghosts, James Bond 007 The World is not Enough, BBC’s Julian Fellowes Investigates






Best Screenplay Award 2009 The End Of The Pier International Film Festival, UK
Special Mention Award 2008 Northern Lights Film Festival, UK
Special Mention Award 2008 Passau International Film Festival, Germany
Honorary Mention Award 2009 Australian Film Week, Sydney, Australia
CIFF Rising Star Award 2009 Canada International Film Festival, Vancouver, Canada
Premiere 2008 Brooklyn International Film Festival, NY, USA
Broadcast Premiere 2009 Sky TV - France & UK
Opening Film at 2009 European Independent Film Festival, Paris, France
Opening Film at 2008 Woodstock Film Festival, NY, USA
Opening Film at 2008 Tirana International Film Festival, Albania
Opening Film at 2008 Salford Film Festival, Manchester, UK
Official Selection 2008 Filmstock Film Festival, UK
Official Selection 2009 Glimmer: Hull International Film Festival, UK
Official Selection 2009 Molodist International Film Festival, Ukraine

Academy award nomination eligible festivals:
Official Selection 2009 Palm Springs International Short Film Festival & Market, USA
Official Selection 2009 Short Shorts International Film Festival & Asia, Tokyo, Japan
Official Selection 2008 Foyle Film Festival – The Northern Ireland International Film Festival


PRESS

Marc Warren “Superb” in Intercom - The Paris Times / IVY Paris News
“Life, death and shared cameras are the foundations of modernity” in Intercom – The Mindanao Examiner
“Modern interpretation of the story of Adam & Eve” - Final Cut
“The best screenplay…” - Film International, Sweden
"The best short script and the only one I've ever wanted to be involved with" - Dick Pope, 2007 Oscar nominated cinematographer and regular Mike Leigh collaborator
“It was a pleasure to meet and work with Mark” - Bafta and Emmy award winning actress Jenny Agutter


See home page for news and interview with Mark on Intercom.

PRODUCTION NOTES

Cinematographer Dick Pope was on board early on and shot Intercom prior to gaining his Oscar nomination this year. Having spent his career turning down short films, he decided Intercom was an exception.

Co-writer, Producer and Director Mark Gutteridge cast the film and waited for artist availability. The planets lined up when Marc Warren suddenly had free time at short notice, which meant there was just two days to confirm crew and reconfirm locations. So Mark G ended up line producing and production managing, which was, “an experience” according to Mark. Having also co-written it meant that he was good for answering questions and making changes!

Shooting on location helped to minimise costs, as well as free camera rental from Panavision and (almost) free lighting. Thanks also to many people and companies in post-production who also gave their services.

Regarding the shoot Mark says, “The actors knew how to use the camera so we could concentrate on what was happening in the scene therefore the shoot ratio was kept down. Later that started making it economic to shoot a rehearsal, to see if the initial freshness worked best.

Jenny was wondering about different ways her character might react to what she’s seeing on the intercom in a particular scene. It was close up, a long take and her eye line was straight to camera with nothing to bounce off. I asked her to imagine her character being at the Colosseum in ancient Rome, getting a kick out of what she’s watching but then correcting herself. On the next take all she did was think it and her doing that saved time and film not taken for granted when you’ve been used to working with members of the public etc.

- Serendipity can play a useful part too though. A supporting artist took several takes trying to hang up a phone correctly. In all fairness it was the last set up of the day but the man playing her husband in the shot grabbed it from her during a take and hung it up himself. It happened to work well for the scene and get it done so that was the one we used”!



PRODUCTION STILLS


       
       


TECHNICAL NOTES

Mark had been mostly shooting on HD recently but wanting an analogue look for this story, opted for 35mm and Kodak Vision 2 for breadth of conditions. The timeline covers early morning, daytime and evening light with exteriors and interiors. Keeping post-production and grading optical without going the DI route meant that it’s not just more detailed but also a more lucid and transparent experience for a cinema audience. It also served to create the slightly older look Mark was after and at 24fps offers a pace that suited the characters.

To capture micro expressions on faces Mark wanted Dick Pope. Mark says, “Dick’s lyrical use of lighting, particularly on faces, and positive use on camera of any mirrors and glass in the locations all helped build the atmosphere we were planning. His deceptively simple style meant that on the pre light day we were of like mind for classical head and shoulders framing for the intercom’s ‘POV’ shots and tracking I wanted. He also operated the camera and was of course well used to shooting in tight spaces on location. He can put a track down anywhere! That and scenes requiring the camera be suspended on its nose out of a window four floors up, led to using the relatively small ‘Moviecam Compact’”.

Set in the summer, the colour range was soft cadmium yellows and greens for day through to cool grey blue for morning exteriors and this was mostly achieved in camera. Mark set up a second unit working in tandem shooting the intercom monitor action using a ‘video look’ Sony DVcam PDP-1P to play back on the intercom monitor and film later. To get good black and white on the titles Chris Allies shot them on a 35mm rostrum camera, sadly the only working one left in the UK.

Regarding sound, Mark says, “As well as dialogue, the sound generated by the characters is part of the texture of the story. Some of the characters are beset by a need to communicate but replace it by having the TV or radio for company. As the story unfolds, the programmes they’ve chosen give us an insight into their personalities. That involved me scripting and recording with voice artists all these various background parts allowing the background stuff to play with the foreground a little, hinting at what’s happening next. I had some more fun with that.

- It was no fun getting to the recording session for the music. I was trapped in a bomb scare on the Piccadilly Line for 3/4 hour. In that time the only announcement made was that the army were on their way to look at the suspect package on our train. We were then left to think about it… This was all just one stop from the studio. When I got there it was harp to be recorded, the most soothing music in the world”!



MARK GUTTERIDGE BIOGRAPHY

Born in South Manchester, UK, Mark studied sociology and fine art before his first employment in the film industry as operations assistant at Ealing Film Studios, London, where he was later made head of marketing. From there followed film crew experience before going into production on his own.

After making two digital shorts, several promos and a commercial, Mark directed, produced and co-wrote ‘Intercom’, working with Bafta and Emmy award winning actress, Jenny Agutter, actor Marc Warren and 2007 Oscar nominated cinematographer, Dick Pope who said it was, “the best short script and the only one I’ve ever wanted to be involved with”. Supported by the British Council, the film has gone on to win Best Script at The End Of The Pier International Film Festival 2009 UK and gain four other international awards. A feature film version is in development with a treatment written by Richard T Kelly whose most recent commissioners are the UK Film Council, BBC Films and Channel 4/Ruby Films.

Procession

DOCUMENTARY. 13 Minutes. Daylight Films

Official Selection, 10th Raindance Film Festival, London UK.
Short-listed Best “British Documentary Short”.

A procession of the Italian Confraternity filmed in one 24 hr day. The Confraternity is an order of the Catholic Church whose hooded members carry burning crosses and skulls through the streets. Children take part whilst dressed in the same white pointed hoods or ‘capirotes’.

To the eyes of so-called non-Catholic countries, this perhaps looks like another very different movement. As an accepted part of the established church in different parts of Italy, Spain and France, the Confraternities (and the procession itself) contain no political meaning contextually.

Do these images still have the power to create any cultural uneasiness?

Mark says, “I wanted the viewer to feel they might be watching something they recognise and know about when really it’s something else. ‘Procession’ is intended as a docu-poem using narrative but without narration. I was inspired by some of the values of Humphrey Jennings and the docu-poetic movement of the 30s and I wanted to rekindle interest in it. Documentary that doesn’t spoon feed but leaves the audience maybe hungry to go and find out more for themselves – after all Google is accessible to almost everyone”.

Revisited

DOCU-DRAMA. 7 Minutes. Idget Films Ltd.

Official Selection, Portobello Film Festival, London UK.

Is our protagonist about to commit a terrible crime or revisiting the scene?

A scene from ‘Blow Up’ by Michelangelo Antonioni is reinterpreted and chosen because of his love of location to invoke story.

Maryon Park in Woolwich, is where the blown-up photos were shot by Thomas, the photographer played by the late David Hemmings. The location is completely enclosed by large trees to the city surrounding it, making a private and slightly claustrophobic space in a public park. The original film was produced at a time, decades before digital correction and colour grading, when the Director was having location surroundings and elements of nature painted to enhance colours prior to filming. Trees, grass, fences and paths all received this treatment using gallons of paint.

During scouting for this piece it was found that some of the paths and steps still have large areas of black paint on them from production dressing 37 years ago by the film’s designer Assheton Gorton, keeping the park a fading movie set.

The original film contains themes about reality, the photographer protagonist’s interpretation and therefore our interpretation of what is seen down a lens. Has a murder actually happened or is it just the angle of the camera?

In this re-interpretation, members of the public are employed to highlight this theme.
Is the audience to expect fiction or reality?

Mark says: “In ‘Revisited’ I just wanted to see what resulted if we stripped down a well known scene to two key elements. Firstly to play with audiences expectations as in the original scene and secondly to see what resonance a location has when re-filmed. It is drama but I also wanted to subvert traditional documentary format”.