Birdwatcher

A bereaved girl ventures into the English countryside on the hunt for a very specific bird. As she loses herself in the wilderness, the thing she’s truly searching for comes into view.

Director’s Vision

The story of ‘Birdwatcher’ essentially came from a conversation with (producer/lead actor) Isabella on the set of a previous film, about how we all deal with loss and grief differently and how feelings of closure – so intensely elusive – can manifest in strange ways. Isabella herself has experienced strange, almost supernatural incidents with birds related to grieving, and these stories all fed seamlessly into an idea for a film I’d been playing with for a few years. It felt like it was meant to be.

In terms of production, actually making ‘Birdwatcher’ was motivated by a desire to just get out there and film something exciting and spontaneous without overthinking or over-planning. When it came to it I was reluctant to write a script because of how we were planning to shoot the film, almost docu-style in the wilderness, so the story was simply made up of emotional beats and moments we knew we had to hit. A skeleton crew of just 6, we headed out into the remote English countryside for 4 days on a skeleton budget with a skeleton script, and we location recce’d, wrote and shot as we went along. It was a thrilling experience that I feel makes the piece feel so alive and intimate, all driven by Zoe’s (Wyldest) beautiful songs that she wrote especially for the film.

Though soundtracked by songs…. THIS IS NOT A MUSIC VIDEO! The idea stemmed from the fact I knew the film would be almost completely dialogue free, and so we could perhaps bring in music with vocals and lyrics to give some insight into what our character is feeling, as a kind of Greek Chorus. I also wanted it to have a quest/road-movie type feel and felt that would be elevated by a single artist performing conventional songs. Think Simon & Garfunkel in The Graduate.