Director Andy Robinson’s unique new short is selected for Plymouth Film Festical, and wins the Audience Choice Award for the weekend. Featuring a score by Momo:tempo.
When Momo was approached to score a film that follows a character whose voice we never hear and whose face we never see, he might have wondered just how its director would tell a story that anyone understands enough to care about. But given that the director was friend and former collaborator Andy Robinson, Momo had no doubts.
“As soon as Andy described the premise to me, I was hooked,” says Mr Peach. “And I just knew it would be the sort of film that he of all people could make work beautifully.”
Devon-based filmmaker Robinson is an award-winning writer/director whose previous films include Exeter’s first independently-produced feature film, The Forewarning, and the short science-fiction drama, Neil, which won Best South West Film at the Plymouth International Film Festival, as well as the widely acclaimed unofficial Doctor Who short Seasons of War – the project he and Momo:tempo had first collaborated on.
The idea for Two Feet Tall was from writer and photographer Wend Baker. “It was at a meeting of Shooting People, the Devon filmmakers network, that Wend mentioned that she’d amassed a large collection of shoes, each with its own distinct personality” says Andy, “and she wondered: What would a day-in-the-life of a pair of shoes look like?”
As a result, Two Feet Tall takes a modern fairytale back to the roots of cinema – silent movies. “Without the capability of recording sound, the silent stars were much more reliant on their body as well as face to convey emotion” says Andy. “Our lead actress, Becky, really taps into this – you can feel her character’s personality radiate from her performance. I worked with Becky previously on Seasons of War, and that was totally about face and voiceover. Here, we were at the other extreme!”
Andy also turned to Seasons’ composer, Momo:tempo, whose score reflects the film’s mixed tone of modern oddity and thoughtful romance.
“Once those rushes first came back, I knew Andy had made a very him film, which was just what I was hoping – a played-straight emotional piece with poised sincerity. Unfussily clever” says Timo. “What came to my mind musically was something that could combine the oddly modernist, with a quirky intimacy but a romantic lift. A simple pallet of sounds that wouldn’t get in the way, given the music is on screen all through the running time, but which could add an affectionate weirdness. Andy says he wasn’t expecting it, but fell for it.”
Another score brought to life by Realstrings‘ Pete Whitfield and cellist Simon Lockyer. “It’s just a two-part violin score plus cello, where the more human sound of strings features,” Timo explains, “and I knew my regular violin and cello talents would help me wonderfully with the delivery of the pieces. I love the end result.”
Of course, making a film that takes place entirely at ground-level can have an odd effect on a director’s world-view. “For the duration of filming I became a bit obsessed with looking at people’s feet when in the street” says Andy. “Then in the run up to filming the sequence that takes place around a puddle, I would find myself stopping in the middle of the street and staring at any gathering of rainwater. I and our practical effects man Tony Apps became a bit of an expert on puddle formation.”
Two Feet Tall is currently only available to watch on request privately, while it does the rounds of other film festivals. Sign up to the Momo mailing list to watch it and follow the official Twitter page for updates.