Best Picks of The Month

Round 9. WBF super middle weight fight. Against his old stable buddy, and with his father in the other corner, the challenger Mason Mendoza is down on points. Now he’s fighting for his pride.

Director’s Vision for ‘Shadow Boxer’

This film came to be from a meeting on the set of the film The Gentlemen, which Chris Evangelou was starring in, and I was in the AD department (also a cameo role in the weed farm if you watch it again and look closely!)

Chris had wanted to make a short boxing film and had some ideas of the themes he wanted to explore. He wanted to touch on the role of a father figure and how he casts a shadow over the fighter. It resonated with me, and with some adjustments to his ideas, this became the theme of the film.

What was also intriguing was that he promised us access to a ring on a real fight night to get the wides of the audience. I however, didn’t want to do this, to do what a standard boxing film does in terms of coverage.

That left us with a logic problem, how do you shoot an entire short film in only 30 minutes? Invert your weakest point, our lack of time to become our USP. Inspired by the job I was about to start (1917), we would make the film ‘one take’ (8 shots blended in reality).

For 5 weeks we rehearsed, adding more elements until I was happy with the action in the ring. The variable on the night was still the audience. I approached this film as a piece of theatre, we’re going to do this and whatever we get, we get.

Built into the 30 minutes were 2 minute breaks between shots to add practical makeup effects, to prime the audience, and a small amount of contingency time should we have to repeat a shot.

My direction of the actors was done in rehearsal, adjustments done on the day. On the night, my job was to MC the 500 plus people that were in the audience, to get them onside and to react accordingly.

The production process was mental, I can’t remember anytime that anyone has tried to shoot something as close to ‘live’ as possible in the filmmaking world. It just doesn’t happen usually. It was such a rush and I’m so proud of the film that we created and the process we created it in.

Please watch this film on the biggest screen you can, with good speakers or headphones.