A news obsessive finds himself at the centre of the story.
Interview with Writer/Director/Producer Ethan Jahan
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I used to work as picture editor in BBC news. While I worked under pressure in the News Department, I have seen how much news impacts our society and how much the news would be informative/or not for the people. Also, the news that we are producing is for sure the complete or right angle of the stories? To answer this question, I put my ideas and thought in the format of a short story and developed “The call”.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
These days, people have an intense desire to follow the media from TV, iPhone, newspapers and social media Apps. I believe that by blending all different sources of the news, we have created a virtual prison for ourselves. My film represents an abstract of this prison and I like the audience to identify themselves within this virtual prison. I think that for you, as the audience, it is interesting to watch “The Call” and follow its story.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
The personal theme is inspired from my personal work experience as part of the BBC news department. However, my film also has a universal theme. Today the news is running our lives by telling us how to behave, live and feel. The more bad news we hear happening somewhere else, the safer we feel at home.
My universal theme and message from this movie is that we must not give in to terror by over-reacting. Life is currently there outside the Newsframe.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
In the beginning, I had a very simple story line: a man sitting in his flat and terrified by the news. During the development, I added the abstract element to the movie from the script to the set design, which added more to the character and to the story and moved it to a more complex dimension. For instance, the food consumed by the main character is vacuum packed which indicates his state of mind that he’s always prepared for an emergency such as war or violent incidents. Another example is the kind of domestic pet he keeps at home (a turtle) and what it represents from a psychological perspective.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
We won the Montecatini International Film Festival special jury award for visualising today’s phobia in a modern society. Also, we won the best short film in Romania Short Film Festival.
As for the audience feedback, “The Call” made the audience realise that the news we perceive is through the point of view of the camera and that there is always a frame which the camera doesn’t capture.
Other positive feedback we received in terms of filmmaking is that the film is not dialogue based, it’s more picture based, which makes it easier to convey a universal message through the picture rather than dialogue.
Another feedback was regarding the camera movement which builds up to a crescendo throughout the story.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The Call’s story is abstract and does not follow a classic way of storytelling. Some surprising feedback we received was: “I didn’t get the story, what were you trying to tell us?”
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I’m looking to make my film more visible on this website because I would like to introduce people to a different approach and understanding of new social trends which this film is highlighting.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I like to share my film with as many film experts as possible, mainly journalists, film critics and film festival directors. I would like to hear more feedback about my film.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
After watching my film, I would like people to reflect on the type of relationship they have with the daily news feeds they receive and therefore, debate whether the perception of the reality that this film visualises does in fact represent the truth of the real life.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Key Question: “As a film director and writer, what are the underlying messages that you tried to express in your film?”
Would you like to add anything else?
Life is currently there outside the Newsframe. Life is beautiful.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I have just finished making my new film “Under the Oak Tree” which will be released this June 2017. The genre is black comedy. It's about criticising extremism in today's societies, regardless of any geographical zone.
Interview: May 2017
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
A news obsessive finds himself at the centre of the story.
Director: ETHAN JAHAN
Producer: Michael Stylianou
Writer: Gavin Culler
About the writer, director and producer:
ETHAN JAHAN: Director
Ethan studied Finance in Manchester and then working for an accounting firm in London.
However Ethan's love with film from a young age: his passion was watching movies and discovering how they were made. His passion was so strong it led to Ethan ending his career in Accounting and pursuing his love of film. Following his studies he has made 2 documentaries “Revelation without Revolutionary” and “Migrate with Wind" and a short fiction film “The day Like Other Day “. Ethan's recent short fiction. "The Call" a film inspired by the media.
Michael Stylianou: Producer
London born Michael Styilanou. started making films with his Super 8 cameras. This led to a place at the London Film School. Now working on developing feature films and documentary. He produced 8 short films and one documentary.
5 years' content editorial experience across digital, print, TV and film. Agile and GDS experienced content designer. BAFTA nominated screenwriter and composer, music and movie hack, he did music composing for Under The Shadow which was nominated for Best Foreign film in the 2016 Oscars.
Key cast: Chris Leaney
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Distributors, film festival directors, journalists
Made in association with: SAM AND ARCHI
Where can I see it in the next month?
Plymouth Film Festival