A lone LAPD policeman finds himself in the middle of a hellish nightmare. But as the story unfolds we discover there are other tormented souls nearby, battling demons of their own… in Swedish.

“A Bloody Mess” is a captivating short film that immerses viewers in a nightmarish world, both supernatural and creative. The story follows a lone LAPD policeman who stumbles into a harrowing realm, discovering fellow tormented souls battling their inner demons, all communicating in Swedish. This narrative layer adds depth to the film’s exploration of the struggles that haunt not only its characters but also the filmmaking process itself.

“A Bloody Mess” serves as a poignant love letter to the creative process, highlighting the resilience and determination required to bring artistic visions to life. This short film captures the raw, unfiltered spirit of indie filmmaking, reminding us that sometimes the most unconventional stories are the ones that resonate the most with audiences, showcasing the power of unwavering creativity in the face of chaos and self-doubt.

What inspired you to create a story that blends elements of horror and psychological torment within the context of filmmaking? How do these themes reflect on the creative process?

Hehe, by delving into psychological torment within the context of filmmaking we wanted to mirror the anxieties, doubts, and obsessions that often plague artists, or at least us, during the creative process. The horrors of the mind become externalized through the horror elements in the film but… we also just thought it was fun. We wanted to explore the horror genre, as we’re developing a horror feature script. And it’s hard. So we put our daily conversations och struggles into the film.

The film seems to draw parallels between the chaotic world of filmmaking and the characters’ struggles. Could you discuss the challenges faced during the actual production of the short film and how they relate to the narrative?

We were lucky to work with people who really went far and beyond, so the process was fairly smooth. The main challenge, as always, was the budget. For example, we couldn’t afford a costume designer so we did that ourselves. Accidentally bought a fake LAPD badge on eBay. But we couldn’t afford to replace it, so it’s worn by the officer in the film. But then the size of the badge is mentioned later on in the film. By weaving these real-world challenges into the narrative, it’s kinda a meta-commentary on the chaos and unpredictability of the creative process.

The film likely has distinct visual and aesthetic elements. Can you delve into the creative decisions behind the cinematography, set design, and other aspects that contribute to the film’s unique look?

We knew we wanted each “layer” of the film to have a different look, to convey the film’s shifting realities and meta-narrative layers. The first part is shot on 35mm, using only dolly shots. Not how we normally shoot our films, but we wanted to try that for a more distinct, and maybe more traditional, feature look. The second is on 16mm, and handheld, to differentiate the worlds, while still keeping it cinematic (as the second layer is also a part of the film within the film). The third is digital, handheld, and lots of zooming, docu vibe. Our DOP Viktor Skogqvist did a fantastic job.

As the characters confront their demons, what emotional arcs can viewers expect to see? How do these arcs intertwine to create a cohesive and impactful story?

It’s tricky to create arcs for characters within that limited time we’re with them, especially as we don’t really tell a story from the start but jump straight into the action. When we meet Jake (the first character) he’s already in the middle of a very stressful situation. Same with the others. So for us, this project was more about creating and showing a snippet of their story and reality and making that as engaging as possible.

Beyond the horror and turmoil, what messages or takeaways do you hope audiences will derive from “A Bloody Mess”? How do you envision the film resonating with viewers on a deeper level?

Maybe it lets the viewer reflect on their own creative journeys and the emotional challenges they face in pursuit of their passions. But not sure this is a film that resonates with people on a deeper level. At all. And that wasn’t really our intention. But it’s hopefully entertaining. We make films because we love the craft. If people find deeper takeaways it’s great but purely unintentional from our end.

Is there any film that directly inspired “A Bloody Mess”?

Not any particular film per se, but we do like the works of for example Charlie Kaufman and Nathan Fielder (who are both mentioned in the film).