Sleeping Dogs follows a former hard-as-nails crook struggling to settle into his dull domestic life. When an enemy from his past shows up, it sends him into a downward spiral of paranoia and fear, tempting him to return to his old ways. That night he’s forced to accept the way his life has changed, and abandon his dark guilt-ridden past once and for all.

“Very well done, a deep storyline while taking a different angle to the gangster genre and carried by a passionate performances.”

Director Statement

I should start by stating that I have a very short attention span. It’s often the case that if a film does not grab me by the throat in the first few minutes, I struggle to regain concentration.

Sleeping Dogs was conceived first and foremost as an entertaining short film. Yes, we were determined to tell a truthful character-driven story, but it was equally important to us that the genre elements kept it fun to watch, that the moments of humour and suspense could keep an audience engaged and on their toes.

The idea that really excited all of us was a making a short film that could satisfy on so many levels. What keeps us gripped moment-to-moment is the tension of whether or not this strange man is dangerous and whether either of them is going to make a move. But what we get at the end of it all is a story about family, letting go of the past and learning to accept growing older.

A constant pressure during writing and post-production was keeping the running time in check. For a short film, the plot is actually quite complicated and there is a large amount of back story involved. Geoff and I were always concerned about how long the film would end up and how much of this back story to convey directly and how much to imply, letting the audience eagerly fill in the blanks.

There were many naysayers. At one point it was advised that the film should be written as a feature instead. That’s certainly an argument, but ultimately, I think this is a small story with a simple poignant arc. Hopefully the film will just leave you wanting more!

It took us almost a year to complete the script, and the worries about length became an advantage. It had forced us to look at each element carefully, thinking about what information was important, what we could show visually and how quickly we could keep the story moving. There are, as always so many different ways this could have been done, but in the end I hope enjoy the creative decisions we made.

The team is currently preparing a festival run with their new short film ‘The Choke’. You can find more information below.