Written by Rachael Howard, produced by Intercept Studios
Silence was a real team effort. Intercept came onboard very early as I had been working with Andrew Oakes and John Ninnis on different projects. Within a short space of time we had a small crew enlisted to ensure that we could contain the film and its themes. The visual side was very important as Vivian Thomas was keen to simplify the shoot so as not to put pressure on our child actress whom had little experience in the world of performance. It was our wish to capture the emotions between mother and daughter organically, without trying to push or shape for a response to story, that of impending death.
We all had input, but it was the casting of Sarah, the little girl with an autistic condition that was the most vital component. We agreed that it would be important to have actors with experience of autism, so it was with great luck that both of our cast members had vast experience with the themes surrounding the script. Both Louise and Riann gave us great insight into how people with Sarah’s condition see the world. The character of Sarah was written as a non-vocal part, so we decided to experiment with signing, which would add a dimension of communication to the mix. Louise gave a powerful performance, again enhanced by her first-hand experience of autism through her son, whom was non-verbal for quite some time. We feel this gave a richness to the film that we may have missed if we had not had such a close relationship with the mental/neurological condition that Sarah has within the powerful script, which was based in part by Rachel Howard’s loving relationship with her own daughter.
The end result, is a very simple film with digital FX designed by Intercept and a very organic visual style which was achieved thanks to Vivian and his vast experience with hand-held camera work and lighting. We kept to the page-per-minute rule as we wanted an urgency and speed to our grim tale. We hope that people will respond well to our characters and story. It was a real challenge and we feel positive about the finished product.