Screening at the Bristol Film Festival will be Will Terran’s original film The Twisted Death of a Lonely Madman – a compelling depiction of what happens when the lines between reality and illusion become blurred.
The story of Adam, is unusual in that he hasn’t left his flat for six months straight. Less unusually, it is based upon the idea that individual lives are becoming warped, and ever more fragmented by the internet and the isolation created from this. Writer and director Will Terran originally wrote the short story which would eventually develop into the film, taking influence from the likes of David Lynch and Darren Aronofsky.
We’re invited into Adam’s world as he embarks upon a vicarious journey, living his life through an altered, cyber reality.
It can be so tempting to slip inside another realm. A chance to retreat, to retract from the real life. A reason to ignore the life in the great beyond.
Film director Will knows only too well, the isolation and insular realities to flood upon our senses, until one day, something breaks and everything we thought we knew turned out to be a farce. There lies the core of the catalyst. A person, cut off from tangible, human contact. A life manipulated by its very being – exacerbated by the two dimensional entity of the internet.
“Taking personal experiences and applying them to a broader canvas, the film is about a guy who has been frightened by life so he lives through the internet.” Will explains.
“The whole editing is another creative part in itself. You can really pull out the different bits that you want to be important at that particular moment.”
The idea for The Twisted Death of a Lonely Madman evolved in part, through personal experience, though the materialising of an essentially internal suffering (as experienced by the main character in the film) becomes indicative of a society at large – as we feel our identities become ever more fragmented, individualised and isolated from one another.
The film was created as a development from a short story, Will wrote some years ago. It became apparent that the substance of the narrative was largely within the characterisation, and so the translation began – from story to screen. It evolved organically, in that the main character acted upon his surroundings, reacted, and so created a perfectly safe cocoon for himself.
Or so he thought.
“It started out as a short story that I wrote some time ago, and it worked out more as a character breakdown. A few years later, I was looking to do a film, and the short story gave me everything I needed. We developed the film around that, it was very much a case of looking at what we had available to us – what we could achieve and how we could make the best out of what we had.” Will explains.
“It’s a massive privilege to be a part of the first proper Bristol Film Festival.”
The more time spent absorbed in an alternative reality – living vicariously and entering worlds that really were nothing to do with him – the main character withdrew from ‘normality’ for six months, and in doing so, devised a self inflicted world of chaos. Induced by his imagination, and perpetuated by his dillusions.
“I can’t deny, I do tend to find more interest in the darker side of the human psyche. To be honest, I think most people can empathise with the whole feeling of living through the internet. Coupled with that, you’ve got anyone who has ever found themselves in the position of feeling anxiety every time the doorbell rings or something – you assume it’s going to be something bad.” Will says, of drawing on personal experiences and creating a film that will resonate with anyone who has felt that isolation and heightened sense of awareness.
The film is a powerful account of how one man created an entire world around himself – a destructive one, based on delusion and an unhealthy relationship with the internet that becomes quite insidious. The film’s effectivity is in the shooting, the editing and the montage of camera shots that really contribute to the sense of urgency, panic and confusion that the main character, Adam is facing.
“Throughout the film there are a couple of points where you really experience the lead character’s way of life. Short and sharp moments that create the fragmented experience of the internet. This is completely contradictory to what his life really is. He is still sat in front of a screen. You can very easily slip into something like that – you can see clips from anywhere in the world, and imagine you are anywhere. And that is exactly how he lives his life. He pretends.” Will says.
The Twisted Death of a Lonely Madman will be premiered in full, at this year’s Bristol Film Festival to take place in the Arnolfini on Saturday 12 March at 6.30pm.
To find out more about Will Terran and Black Barn Productions, head to: www.blackbarnproductions.co.uk