A psychiatrist has a troubling conversation with one of his patients – a brilliant mathematician who intends to prove the existence of a secret integer between three and four.
Here is a rare short film that has the look, feel and storyline to be a feature film, but works marvelously filtered into a short film. Ironically, the reason why it works is probably because it does not feel filtered. The attention to detail and certain characteristic shots usually portrayed in featured films are not forgotten here.
The story evolves around a psychiatrist, Doctor Simon Tomlin, having conversations with one of his brilliant mathematician patients in a mental hospital who intends to prove the existence of a secret integer between the numbers three and four. As the psychiatrist tries to dig deeper so does the storyline, and realizes his relationship to the patient runs further than he thinks.
The Secret Number is a film created by a team of young filmmakers from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Colin Levy, the director, had read a short story online that stuck to him right away, and contacted the author Igor Teper to see if was willing to adapt the story to a short film.
The entire process was a challenging one for Colin and his team, we can easily imagine the preparation process for such a complex storyline. Proving that films grow as productions move along, morphing ideas and plans to usually create a better product, lesson to all; don’t be afraid to make changes along the way.
The final film is ultimately quite different from the piece I initially envisioned. It’s become darker, more dramatic, more psychological. And it’s become more ambitious.
Having frequently over 30 people on set, a relatively high number for a short film, we can see where the film gets his feature length grapple and feel as so many details are covered, including well-placed fill shots to break up the scenes.
The movie showcases how each individual shot was carefully thought through from movement to lenses, to lighting and so much more. The acting from our two main protagonists played by Daniel Jones and Tom Nowicki was brilliantly played matching some of the best Hollywood psychological thrillers. The secondary acting also played a tremendous helping hand in the film, including the child.
Watch the VFX Breakdown for the short film, it’s incredible how much work has been put into this film, and the beauty of it is that all these effects are barely noticeable when your watching, which is a good thing!
You can also see clips of The Secret Number in Film Shortage’s ‘This Is Who We Are’ Trailer