I. Reality and fantasy blur in this brief chronicle of a man caught in self-imposed isolation.
BREATHE is Fly Eye’s first improvisational short film. Created, shot, edited and scored in a mere 48 hours, this award-winning piece screened at the 34th Hong Kong International Film Festival and at NAB’s Filmapalooza 2010.
II. THE CAST
Man DIEDERIK VAN GORP
Woman VANESSA SHADY
III. THE FILMMAKERS
Director ZAC MURPHY
Writers ZAC MURPHY/ANGIE CALTON
Producers ANGIE CALTON/DECEM YUEN/ LORIEN KRANEN
Production Assistant THOMAS LUI
Cinematography ZAC MURPHY
Assistant Camera LEO KO
Production Design LORIEN KRANEN
Hair and Makeup TAI
Editor ZAC MURPHY
Sound ZHANG LEI
Additional Score MICHAEL HOUGH and
Music By TRENT REZNOR
IV. SHORT SYNOPSIS
An epidemic has swept through Hong Kong, forcing its population into quarantine. A man faces his fate in solitude, longing for human contact and revisiting moments from his recent past.
V. LONG SYNOPSIS
Since the dawn of man, the human race was able to thrive by living and working in close proximity to others and to propagate itself through intimate personal bonds. With increased paranoia around disease and infection, protocol now forces us to protect ourselves from each other and live in isolation. BREATHE explores the longing that occurs when we are compelled to deny the very the thing that makes us human, connection.
Breathe begins on the empty streets of Hong Kong. The remaining population has been quarantined as a result of a recent pandemic. A survivor (DIEDERIK VAN GORP) awaits the inevitable onset of the deadly virus. He checks in the mirror to see if he is exhibiting any of the symptoms yet. He knows that he has it. Isolated and disoriented, all sense of time has been lost; he succumbs to his haunting memories. When facing death in a world devoid of human contact, the thing he most desires, before taking his last breath, is the touch of another human being.
As he pours the last drink of water from his rationed supply, he thinks back to a seemingly random detail, a moment in his past where he experienced a meaningful and intimate connection with another person. After finishing his drink, his thoughts return to the time when he contracted the virus. He relives the whole experience: He had brought a jug of water to a woman’s (VANESSA SHADY) apartment, only to find her dead and with the window open. The man knows that he has been infected.
VI. ABOUT THE FILM
BREATHE was made originally as part of the Hong Kong 48 hour film project. The filmmakers were given a genre (sci-fi), a character (a hairdresser), a prop (a lychee martini) and a line of dialogue (“So, what’s the weather going to be tomorrow?”). They had 48 hours to shape a concept and take it from script to shoot to edit and score. The film has since been re-edited and given a different look and feel. An original score by Michael Hough and sound effects by Zhang Lei have also been added.