Featured Short

Ius Talionis

Production /
Starring /

A nightly encounter between two lovers, turns into something unexpected…

Karma can be a tedious subject in film taking on thousands of different faces, but add a defining visual and sensual experience and you seem to forget all about it until it hits you right back in the head. The short story was first written by Robin Piree back in the summer of 2017 while doing some research on karma for another project, coming across a quote by Ghandi that set everything in motion, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. Ius Talionis – “retaliation” banks on sensuality to drive the somewhat familiar story forward – but told through a completely new perspective.

The idea was to create a commercial for a lingerie brand to boost my portfolio and try to sell it after production to recoup the costs. When I started talking to people about the idea, a peer from the industry convinced me to develop the initial concept into a short film and so I started writing my first ever screenplay.

A year later, after serious searching and pitching, I found a production company in Germany called ‘Neuland’, who believed in bringing the idea to life and with a very limited budget we took on the adventure together.

The film’s rhythm comes from its all around beauty and attention to detail, with custom designed lingerie, exotic cars and astonishing locations – not to mention the cast. The high contrast noir style enhances the sensations, and Piree and his team utilized the environment with a sensational lighting to truly get the most out of the experience.

We shot the film over the course of two nights at an exclusive museum near Dusseldorf. The building used to be a rocket launch station used by the NAVO. Unfortunately, for copyright reasons, we had to remove all the art and because we didn’t have any money for art direction we decorated the place with my own bed and furniture, forcing my girlfriend to sleep on the floor of our empty house.

Cool side note, the 5 Emmy awards in the film are real and owned by one of the biggest players in live action cameras – Grass Valley. After a few calls I got in touch with the Dutch CEO. We met at his office where I explained him my ambitious ideas for this film and eventually he liked the project so much that he drove to the set himself with 5 Emmy awards in his trunk, a true legend.

Over the past decade I was able to create many projects but the post production of all those projects combined was nothing compared to this 6,5 minute short film. It has been a one of a kind learning curve that resembles so many first times for me personally. There were so many setbacks and delays, that the final film became my personal reward for two years of perseverance.

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