Short Film Profile

Into the Woods

Walking through the woods, a British family encounter a stranger who doesn’t speak English. Whilst their son senses something is wrong, the parents fall victim to their own prejudices, misreading the stranger’s intentions, and setting upon a course of action that has far-reaching consequences for them all.

Film notes

Into The Woods is a film about the dangers of miscommunication, and how the subtle prejudices ignited in the heat of a moment can have disastrous consequences for all involved.

The spark for the story came from the notion of Bush and Blair on the road to Iraq, determined to pursue a path regardless of the warning signs that lay ahead. The idea was to dramatise this in a way which tapped into an audience on a fundamental level, making it relevant in an ordinary sense via the story’s setting and impact on its characters; an everyday family, confronted by an element of the unknown. I wasn’t out to make a political film, but one with a social conscience, and show how prejudices can stand in the way of our judgement – of a situation, and of each other.

I’ve worked with Screen Yorkshire and the UK Film Council on my previous drama short Black|Blue, and can honestly say I’ve found it a very rewarding and constructive relationship. I was delighted by their interest in Into The Woods. As a filmmaker, you want to try something different, and this opportunity provided not only the challenge of working outside at the mercy of nature, but also in building the tension throughout the entire film.

I shot everything hand-held, to enhance that immediacy of the moment and develop the tension, a style that lends itself well to the types of stories I’m interested in as a director. Neil Oseman was my only choice for Director of Photography. I wanted a seductive quality to the photography, one that really enhanced the beauty of the setting which contrasts to the ugliness of some of the characters. We’re out in the woods, relying on the weather and the elements, and may need to move quickly or improvise, so it helps having a key individual in play who you’ve worked with before, who knows how you work, and who you know can also deliver. We had a really talented and local crew, who worked brilliantly together.
language prejudice misunderstanding




Copyright © 2008 Picture Palace North / The South Yorkshire Filmmakers Network

Previous screenings

18 Nov – 23 Nov | Bristol, United Kingdom
13 Mar – 28 Mar | Bradford, United Kingdom
21 Apr – 26 Apr | Hull, United Kingdom

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 11 Jun 2009