Memoria Interitus is Latin for “memory decay”. This is the first short film I directed (after obtaining the knowledge I needed on how to tell a story). I have previously directed short films on smaller scales, but Memoria Interitus was shot on a bigger scale with a full crew and bigger (yet limited) budget. We were given only half day for prep at the location, and two days to shoot. This production had a limited budget of only CAD $2000. My vision for this script was high and weighing heavy on the art department as well as on the cinematography, but we managed to work smartly within the tight budget.
I wrote Memoria Interitus based on this one shot I had in my mind on how I wanted to end the story: a POV shot of the main character limping towards the camera and covers the lens, in an attempt to suffocate the other person. Then cut to credits. I knew how I wanted to end the story from the get go. I built my story around that and as the development of the script took place, I came up with a storyline. The story revolves around 3 characters: Vero, Archer, and Finn.
Vero wakes up in an unfamiliar room, not remembering anything. She tries to get out of the room, only to find that she was locked in the room. Archer comes in, surprised to see Vero awake, tries to comfort her and seeming like the good guy; only to be revealed later that he is not as good as the audience are led to believe. Archer had injected a chemical into Vero to make her forget.
When writing Memoria Interitus, I knew I wanted something different. The cinematographer side of me loves to play with colours and to tell stories through colours. There were two main locations/rooms in the script, the Dingy Room, and the Torture Room (don’t mind the names of the rooms!). The Dingy Room is where Vero is held captive whereas the Torture Room is where her brother, Finn is held captive. I chose for the Dingy Room to have a blueish-green moonlight streaming in from the window. The blueish-green lighting was to give the audience an uncomfortable, eerie feeling. The Torture Room on the other hand, was red. I wanted the red lighting to portray the anger and power struggle that was to take place in that room.
That being said, after putting my crew together, I discussed my vision with them, and they were on board and excited. As I discussed more on what I wanted the lighting and shots to look like, my DP did an excellent job with making my vision come to life.
From experience, I know that people don’t often give much thought about the art department, but I was fortunate to have an amazing production designer. Due to the limited budget, we actually had only one room to transform into two very different rooms. My production designer assured me that she could make the room seem like two completely different rooms by set-dressing it. Anyone watching the short film wouldn’t be able to tell that the scenes were actually shot in the same one room.
The cast of Memoria Interitus (picture above) and crew (picture below).
This was one of my final productions as a Film & TV Production student at Humber College. I’m grateful to have had the chance to work with talented filmmakers on this production.