Have you ever thought that you’re being watched late at night? Iain Bayfield’s film for AirTV’s annual awards, the ATVAs, tries to capture this feeling in his creepy one-shot film Any Body Home?
Speaking to Brig ahead of the premiere, Bayfield explained that his flat was the perfect place to stage his stress-inducing short.
“In my flat, we’ve got like the hallway, the kitchen, and then the office […] I thought that was an interesting movement that you don’t really see in a lot of films that haven’t built sets specifically for that,” Bayfield explained.
“Long takes are always very good for building up tension, because the audience doesn’t know what’s coming next, there isn’t a cut or anything like that. So, I have a lot of control over what the audience sees and what they don’t,” he continued.
“I really wanted just to make something and if it was good, it was good. If it was okay, I’d still be happy with it.”
His living space wasn’t the only source of inspiration. Bayfield explained how one experience helped him come up with the original concept before he finally decided to shoot in one take:
“I knew for this one, I didn’t really want to have a very complicated story. It’s just the one character at home alone at night, and then maybe they’re not home alone.
“I had the story in mind before I got the technical thing, but I was like, okay, but it put those two ideas together. Because I was home alone one night, and we’ve got like a glass door at the end of our hallway. I thought I saw a silhouette in it when I was walking across, and I scared the s**t out of myself,” he said.
Despite how intriguing Any Body Home? seems, the ATVA audience is lucky to even get to see it. Bayfield’s original plan was to shoot a completely different film:
“I originally had a different idea. I’d been in talks with people, some of the other guys from AirTV, and they said to me, either we can make an ATVA and it’ll be fine or we can push it back two weeks, work on the production design, the locations and make it as best as it can be.
“I had this other one on the backburner anyways. It’s my last time at AirTV so I really do want to put something towards this because it’s been such a big part of my life for the last four years. I really wanted just to make something and if it was good, it was good. If it was okay, I’d still be happy with it,” Bayfield said.
The fourth-year student has been involved with AirTV throughout his time at university. Although 2020 limited the stories that young filmmakers could tell, it also tested their skills, providing them with key lessons. Bayfield said:
“If you’ve got an idea, honestly, just go out and do it. Because you’re going to have fun, you’re going to learn and at the end of that you will have film that you’ll be proud of.”
“2020 taught me a really important lesson of having a really, really small crew, and how to communicate well with them. I feel like there is a lot to be gained from working in small crews because you get to know everybody so well.”
While tonight is exciting for Bayfield, he also spoke about how bittersweet it is for him. After all, these are his last ATVAs before he graduates, bringing his time as a student filmmaker to an end. Bayfield left Brig with some wisdom he wishes he had been told when he first joined AirTV:
“Honestly just go and make the film. It doesn’t have to be good. Because you’re going to learn something while you’re making it and then that will make your next one better.
“I think that’s something I maybe regret a bit; I didn’t make more of my own things […] if you’ve got an idea, honestly, just go out and do it. Because you’re going to have fun, you’re going to learn and at the end of that you will have film that you’ll be proud of.”
The ATVAs are tonight at 7 pm at Macrobert Arts Centre. Tickets are still available to buy here.
Featured image credit: Iain Bayfield
Film and Tv Editor at Brig Newspaper. Currently studying Journalism and English at the University of Stirling
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