Not long after I first moved to London, I once saw a person walking a banana on a piece of string. It certainly intrigued me at the time as I wasn’t sure if it was a “London Thing” or not. Like everyone else in the vicinity, I studiously ignored the banana walker and went on about my business.
Several years later I was surprised watching a TV documentary about mental health and social anxiety issues. I was surprised to discover the “Banana walk” was an actual treatment, patents are challenged to embarrass themselves in public. I wondered how terrifying it might be for a real social anxiety sufferer person to attempt the “banana walk” and risk ridicule. It’s like climbing a personal Everest, but doing it under radar. You literally have someone doing what is to them a hugely daunting task, overcoming huge fears, while those around are making a conscious effort to ignore it. The story resonated with me, partially because I’d puzzled about it and also, I’ve had my own anxiety battles.
I always felt this would be a compelling short film, because it’s a classic hero’s journey, bravely facing and overcoming what is to the protagonist great adversary. I like that is a different form of bravery and unconventional personal heroism. The story could be as compelling and human and ultimately uplifting as any film that shows the triumph over such a difficult situation.
It’s a film I wanted to make because many people have suffered from anxiety (myself included) but it’s not talked about much. I suffered in silence unaware help was available. That’s why I felt it’s important to focus on the theory sessions to show a way in which a person can get help.
I want the film to show the world from Sophie’s (the unlikely hero) perspective and understand how the illness affects her. It’s important the audience can empathise with the situation, this can be done in a cinematic way with POV camerawork and chaotic sound design. I wanted it to be dramatic film, it starts on a mystery and then allows the Jeopardy to build. So by the end the audience is routing for Sophie to give it a try.
I'm crowd funding this film because I want to make the best possible version without compromise. Funds are needed to ensure great actors and crew are used to bring the script to life.
WRITER AND DIRECTOR - Philip Connolly
Filmmaker and Philip Connolly’s work has been screened in Festivals around the world including the New York TV festival, The Australian Film Festival, Montreaux. Short film credits include: Banana Mountain (2018), Chloe (2014), Fishing (2012) and NFTS TV Pilot “Agent X” (2010).
Philip has directed several music videos for a diverse ranges of artists including two collaborations with Beatie Wolfe for “Never Ever” and “Lied”. He was a finalist on the Channel 4 LMFAO music video competition.
Philip co-wrote (with Lance Dann) the Wellcome Trust funded radio series “Blood Culture” for Resonance FM. A 10-part dark thriller about the red markets and the way the unscrupulous profit from the bio-medicine and the way the human body can be turned into a commodity. It was nominated for a Radio Academy award (ARIA 2017), won Gold Best in the Audio Production Awards (2017) and Silver in the British Podcast Awards (2018). The best accolade was knocking the Archers off the number 1 spot in the iTunes drama chart.
TAMIRA DRAZ - Producer/Art Director
Tamira trained in multimedia at the Bournemouth Art’s University and started her career at Framestore in London. She worked her way up to a visual effects artist role in one of the best effects teams in the world. Tamira worked on high profile films including: Avatar, Where the Wild Things Are, James Bond: Quantum of Solace, she also worked on the Oscar and BAFTA winning VFX team for The Golden Compass and also produced VFX for the Oscar nominated The Dark Knight by Chris Nolan.
After completing work on James Cameron's Avatar, Tamira decided to move into production offered that change, a chance to keep developing as creative and engage with more varied aspects of filmmaking
Tamira has produced videos for clients including: Toshiba, Beggars Banquet, Cambridge University, Macquarie University, Universal, Virgin Records, Lucozade, JP Morgan and various music promos and two short films