A woman retreats to a cabin to compose a piece of music only to be haunted by writers block.
Films are often about tempo and beat, and able to find a rhythm to carry the audience. In 4/4, Kyle Sawyer set out to create that in the most literal of ways. Set aside the big production with the twisting storylines, here is a genuine film that so many can relate to through simple systematics.
At that time I was living in the cabin seen in the film with my wife (who plays the girl in the film) and just came off making and releasing a far bigger production of a short film called Mann and resigned myself to writing my next project in the solitude of this cabin on the lake. Since I was writing I had writers block which led to procrastination and the thought occurred that the phenomenon could be caused by having to restrict yourself to these certain parameters (act structures in my case, time signatures in the film) while at the same time trying to be open to receive genuine ideas out of nowhere. And that was sort of the spark for the idea of the film. She’s in this beautiful natural setting but she locks herself inside listening to a digital metronome trying to find inspiration. Not until she opens her window and listens to nature is she released from the blockage and able to play freely.
We filmed it in two days and used my personal camera and gear which was the Sony A7sII and a single lens, the 35mm Sigma art prime, and a slider. I shot the film myself, the only lighting we used were practicals on dimmers and a mirror to bounce light into the kitchen. I also rented a haze machine, the only line item on the budget, which cost $25. After making it I had planned to make the sound mix and music myself, since it was just a passion project, but told the sound mixer and composer from my previous film what I was working on and he was like hey I’ll do it for you so I sent him the film and gave him no direction other than that it had to be in 4/4 time 100bpm and he went off and made the mix and score and that was that. It started as a fun thing to do to break up a period of writing and turned out to be one of my favourite things I’ve made to date.
The beautiful picture is created with the minimal equipment, however crafted through the simple yet incredible structured framings and movements to give it such a stunning photography. 4/4 breathes between its silence and the shimmering soundtrack, making this a real soothing experience.