2 girls go fishing, one for a fish, one for 1000 friends, and their friendship is tested to breaking point.
Anna goes fishing with her friend Sarah, to try to relive a happy memory of fishing with her dad. But her friend is too busy on her phone trying to add 1000 friends to her social network, and ignores Anna’s distress. Their friendship is in danger, and only if they fight for their friendship, share just a moment together, will it survive.
YEAR OF PRODUCTION
COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION
COMEDY / DRAMA
H264 /Blu-Ray Dolby Digital 5.1 / DCP (PCM 5.1 Sound)
Hooked is one short film from a collection of 15 short films which are connected under the theme ‘Control Freaks’ which are all set at a park bench to reinforce the feeling of confinement (imprisonment) that control creates. I wrote the collection of shorts in a mad passionate rush to explore the theme ‘control’, finishing writing them within a day and a half while sitting at a table in the Fact Cinema’s Café in Liverpool.
After looking at the collection of films I decided to change the setting from being fixed at a park bench, because I didn’t want to bore the audience. Instead each short would be rewritten so there was a visual journey too, but still beginning and ending at a bench. I decided to make ‘Hooked’ first, because I grew up sea-fishing with my dad and I believe fishing to be spiritual, and an activity that builds relationships like nothing else.
I wanted to make this film because over the past 15 years of the rise of the internet, life has changed globally for human relationships, how we communicate, and think of ourselves and others. In my opinion, the internet is a powerful useful tool, but also the biggest cause of social and psychological problems today as it plays heavily on the narcissistic side of human nature, and this sometimes causes people to ignore human interaction that builds real friendships.
Social networking has become a place where some people collect ‘friends’ rather than make friends, which ignores the intimate shared experience that two people have from building the relationship and Hooked hinges on this.
Hooked looks at the addiction for popularity and its control vs real substance, through a girl who needs to share her feelings and to catch a fish with a friend, while a friend is obsessed with collecting friends.
Mairi & Shannon taking 5
My tone and style is always slightly romanticised and comical but some of my film choices revolve around a theme and this is what dominated my choices in directing Hooked.
The film stars only two actresses, Mairi-Claire Kennedy playing Anna, and Shannon Power playing Sarah. The film is a character performance piece and needs the relationship to be believable from the start where there’s coldness and separation between them to warmth and togetherness by the end. Choosing Mairi was easy due to the film being re-written for her because I’d previously used Mairi for my short film ‘3 Squid’ which was accredited into the Cannes Short Corner 2013.
Mairi has a beauty and depth which matches the character Anna and a skill-set and commitment to get deeply into the role. Finding Sarah was more difficult; I needed a performance that could show a personality in conflict, ignorant to other’s needs, yet capable of warmth and doing intermit scenes to action scenes. After some searching, Mairi suggested her cousin Shannon play the part of Sarah. Shannon was studying drama at the time, and was a beautiful, fit and intelligent young woman who immediately understood the type of person Sarah was. Putting Mairi and Shannon together with their family connection also proved a huge benefit as they worked very well together.
To create the look for Hooked I wanted to shoot wide as often as I could and grade the film in a way that brought a slight feeling of warmth, and nostalgia without being too melancholy. To do this I shot the opening of the film in dim light with rain. But for the beach scenes I wanted to shoot at high tide and at the golden hour. This was a real challenge, not just because the sound of the waves would go through the dialogue, but also because I had to time the sun to be in the right position in the sky just before sunset as the sea was at high tide and this only would happen a few times a month, and if the weather allowed it.
On one occasion, when we arrived on the beach to shoot, the whole of Liverpool seemed to turn up for a day out. The beach was crowded, despite it being winter, with people horse riding, flying kites, ramblers traipsing across the beach in droves and families with kids screaming. But after four half day shoots we wrapped with sand in our shoes, and the girls shivering soaking wet from being in the winter sea.
Writer / Director / Producer / Editor
TIM FRANCIS is a writer and director from Liverpool UK. He spent his childhood sketching and shooting photographs as well as sea-fishing and watching lots of films. His teen years were spent in the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse youth theatres performing and working in stage management. He graduated with an MA in screenwriting from Liverpool John Moores University.
He has worked in TV, theatre, film and commercials for many years, from dressing up as a 9 foot skittle, performing in commercials for ferries and holiday companies, cars and all kinds of thing, as well as shooting photography time-lapses for clients and working in studio on children’s programs as a floor assistant. He has experimented with animations, and made his first short live action film in 2012, and then his second short film in 2013, called ‘3 Squid’ which was accredited to Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner in 2013.
Hooked is Tim’s 3rd live action short film. He is currently writing a new short film titled ‘Metal Detectors’ and a feature Film titled ‘Odd Job Men’ while seeking new directing engagements in Film TV and commercials. He loves dark chocolate and chilli but not together.
Producer / Sound recordist
MAIRI-CLAIRE KENNEDY is from Liverpool. She studied at. American Academy of Dramatic Arts in LA, California. Although she loves the theatre she has always had a deep passion for cinema. Since finishing her studies she has been keen to fulfill this and as well as working on TV pilots and webisodes she has worked on several short films 3 of which are for Tim Francis.
DAN FRANCIS is a self taught composer, who has composed music for several short films. He has an MS in Chemistry from Durham University and MS in Mathematics from Open University. He spends his leisure time listening to music watching films and running.
Two naive friends, desperate to make some cash, try to buy a magical creature from a millionaire’s daughter by using just 3 squid
Two idiotic mates, Matt and Lewis, arrive in a penthouse at the new luxury Malania Hotel, to meet the owner’s beautiful spoilt American daughter, ‘Malania’. They hope to buy a magical creature and become rich. But Matt has misheard Lewis, and has arrived with 3 squid instead of three thousand quid to buy the creature. With Malania due any minute, and reluctant to miss out on a chance to make a fortune they decide to try and use the 3 squid to impress her with a fancy meal. Things don’t go as they plan but all is not as bad as it might seem.
Title .......3 Squid
Year Of Production .......2013
Duration ........12min 35sec
Country Of Production .......UK
Production Format ......H264 1920p DSLR
Screening Format ........H264 - Blu Ray HD
Robert Smith ...Lewis
Andrew Smillie ...Matt
Mairi-Claire Kennedy ...Malania
Director, Writer, etc ...Tim Francis
Music composer ...Dan Francis
Camera assistant ...Phil Macdonald
Animation ...Tim Francis
VFX ...Mike Boland
Songs composed & Performed by Riain Egan
3 squid’s theme is about ‘making something out of a bad situation'.
In choosing 3 Squid, Tim wanted to explore one of his favourite genres and character relationships ‘the buddy comedy’, inspired by the films starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Tim set out to bring two characters together that would be physically different yet complement each other, and by adding the beauty and depth brought to screen by actress, Mairi, he hopes he touches on the tone that was realised by such great comedy films as ‘Road to Bali’ starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and the funny and beautiful Dorothy La mour. There is something wonderful and warm about these films and Tim hopes he brings a little humour and warmth to your screen.
3 Squid was shot in 36 hours straight through.
In the 36 hours the team had only one break, which was half-an-hour for pizza, (and boy, did we need it!).
The film entailed shooting in a penthouse with a two man crew (the director on camera), and three cast, one with a cold, and one with 6 kids waiting for him at home. Mairi (who plays Malania) had spent 3 years previously studying drama in LA, while Robert (Lewis – the short chubby one) was a child actor in the UK soap, Brookside, and has featured in many theatre plays, and Andrew (Matt – the tall one) was a drama student Tim met on a drama course 20 years previously. He tracked him down because he wanted his look for the character in the movie.
Lighting was done using just what was available and a couple of LED lights on stands, the shoot was all indoors, but Tim the Director wanted to use the vast open scene around the room, utilising the floor to ceiling windows, which he knew would prove a nice back drop for the night scenes with city lights in the distance. But during the day, the filming would mostly take place along the border of shade and ever-changing light, due to rain clouds and long periods of blinding sun; shooting around the clock with the sun in the background then the night sky. By keeping an eye on light levels this meant Tim and the team kept the film mostly even for a reasonable edit. On top of this, Tim was having to remember he was going to add a 3D character later to the film, and lighting the character in 3D required a 360 HDR capture which he would do after the shoot.
In shooting a short that has explosions, fighting, a 3D character and dancing and time lapse in it, nothing would have been possible without a caring and passionate team of hard working actors and a wonderful camera assistant, Phil. To put it in perspective; after shooting through the night, acting with a character that wasn’t there, directed by Tim who was trying to describe something he hadn’t made or even designed yet, by the time morning came, everyone was exhausted. Tim recommended a rest, but this suggestion was refused at which point, Phil fell asleep standing up with the boom mike on his head and Robert fell asleep during a line reading. But the team got through it after a breath of fresh morning air, and the project was complete in time.
After post production finished (today), Tim looks back on the schedule and wishes there had been more breaks for the team to recover and to stay sharp. He plans to keep this in mind for future projects.
AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2013
THE CHOCOLATE THIEF
Hannah is a passionate chocoholic who lets nothing get in the way of her enjoyment of chocolate. So when a thief and an over safety conscious Park Ranger try to spoil her day out enjoying chocolate she ends up teaching them a thing or two.
SNOG FINDS LOVE?
Shown at the Fact Cinema's 'Liverpool Short Film Night' and short listed.
BOARDS TO RENDER