The British Film Institute (BFI) funded a Watford man’s short film based on his experience of an assault near Watford Junction.
Matt Hass, a photographer who grew up in the city, took a very different tack when he made his first script in 2019.
Described as a 15-minute revenge drama, ‘POLE’ was filmed entirely in North Watford – mainly on Garnett Close – to tell the story of a big-city couple who start to come under attack in a small suburb.
From there, a “man with no name” rescues the two in the black-and-white film.
The BFI held a preview of POLE at the Soho Screening Rooms in central London on Wednesday (September 28) as Mr Hass sets his sights on showcasing his output at various film festivals.
Describing the inspiration behind the film, he said: “I saw an altercation at Watford Junction station in 2019 and I’m a pretty awkward guy who’s never had a fight. I felt totally powerless as a gang faced with this couple and the couple.
“I think there was another reason for the tension between the two people. I remember sitting there as an observer and when I came from Watford Junction I called my friend straight away who is a composer and I said for the first time in my life I wanted to write something because of a reaction – my artistic reaction to something.
“I want to make it a piece of art because I wasn’t able to get involved or help.”
After writing the script together in a weekend, he sent it to the BFI for script development and it was submitted for funding.
Shot in two days, the “new wave” inspired film is said to adopt a Western genre.
Hass said: “I’m a massive film geek, to say that’s an understatement. I looked very closely at genre structures and there are rules to writing narratives and you have to follow the rules. The film itself adopts a traditional Western style that is a couple outside the city, which arrives in a city just outside a city.
“One of the big inspirations is Brexit – the violence in the film is simply a tool to highlight my feelings about Brexit and how immigrants are treated in this country.”
The first-time screenwriter explained that he was honored to see the project come together as he worked with editor Simon Willcox and producer Richard Parry.
POLE has some notable names such as David Schaal, known for his roles in The Office (UK) and The Inbetweeners.
Sir. Hass is now excited to work on POLE and is already working on other film projects.
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