This film is about women, mental health, and the medical framework which seems to discredit both. While the original text was written in the 1890s, the core social issues apply to contemporary audiences, including the misunderstanding of mental health disorders, relationship gaslighting or the violation of women’s bodies. Rather than adhering purely to the period drama genre, this film incorporates psychological drama, gothic and surrealist film conventions.
Though the film presents an extreme example of these in a particularly hostile environment, Eliza is likely to be a relatable character for those with experience of relationships, mental health issues and forms of repression.
Eliza’s progression shifts from dependency on others, to self-conviction and agency. After being confined to a wallpapered bedroom, Eliza recognizes her mental decline and reaches for treatment from her doctor and husband, John. Rather than find salvation, his techniques push Eliza further towards madness and away from freedom. As Eliza declines, her vision of the wallpaper shifts from a simply grotesque pattern, to an unstable and hostile depiction of jaundiced women trapped in the walls. The wallpaper and Eliza’s new-found determination push her to take drastic measures. After tearing down the paper and confronting John, she kills him in confrontation and can finally rest.
Director - Catriona Davidson
Catriona has visualised telling this story since the age of 14 and is excited to finally be able to pull this off on a grand and ambitious scale. Having previously directed multiple university productions, Catriona has really developed her craft of working with actors to effectively communicate emotion and story within the medium of short film. Having been her collaborator on all of these projects it has been truly wonderful to see her skills evolve throughout our time at Arts University Bournemouth. (Bio written by Rebekah Cubbin)
Producer - Rebekah Cubbin
Having produced several highly ambitious short films in the past few years, Rebekah brings a strong background in leadership, problem solving and production knowledge to the team. Her determination and creativity over the past two years has proven Rebekah’s ability to thrive under pressure and produce films with complexity and heart. I am thrilled to be collaborating for a fourth time with Rebekah moving into our final project and couldn’t ask for a better partner in crime/film-making. (Bio written by Catriona Davidson)
Cinematographer - Joe Kennedy
This is Joe, the Director of Photography for ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’ He was immediately intrigued with the project due to the story’s commentary on how social order imagines mental illness and how these psychological brain disorders can be hurt by treatments. Hopefully this film can continue the conversation without the stigmatisation that can worsen suffering.
Despite the events of the film taking place in 1892, Joe hopes to bring a contemporary twist when creating images that aim to feel relevant to modern day. Through looking at artists such as Frida Kahlo and George Condo, alongside his passion for analog photography, Joe will collaborate with his camera and lighting team to deliver a distinct visual language.
Production Designer - Ayla Ash
Ayla is the production designer for Yellow Wallpaper. She was drawn to this film not only because of the original short story’s rich cultural significance in 20th century literature, but because the director’s retelling of the story offers the opportunity for abstracted period design. With her key interests rooted in sculpture and model making, Ayla is excited to experiment with a large variety of materials and techniques to bring the set and its wallpaper into fruition.
Editor - Kevin Tuti
As The Yellow Wallpaper Editor, Kevin has been involved on numerous different film projects both inside and outside of Arts University Bournemouth. A passionate editor and avid certified user hoping to bring the experience and knowledge of working on other graduation films/shorts and documentary to portray what the director has envisioned for this film project. The Yellow Wallpaper, the horror of this story is that the narrator must lose herself to understand herself. She has untangled the pattern of her life, but she has torn herself apart in getting free of it. Trying to depict this is, is what has drawn Kevin to work on this amazing film project.
On set Sound - Josh Paice
Josh is our sound recordist and mixer. He has an interest in everything post-production and splits his time between sound and editing. He has worked on numerous short films throughout his time at university including dramas, comedies and even animations. He believes in capturing clean on-set sound, not only so that the dialogue is clear but so the post-production team have more options in the final mix. He has an ear for quality sound and will make sure to uphold the highest of standards on set when recording all the audio.
Ultimately, he hopes to draw on both personal and practical experience to really bring Yellow Wallpaper to life.
Costume Designer - Sunneva Thomsen Halldorsdottir
With a background in art and textile design in Iceland, Sunneva started at Arts University Bournemouth in 2017, where she studies Costume and Performance design. She is currently designing for an AUB live production, along with being a costume designer on The Yellow Wallpaper. She hopes to combine her passion for historical fashion, along with gender equality and mental health, to help shine a light on the story through costume and character.
1st AD - Matt Smith
With experience in production roles, both in and outside of his university course, Matthew Smith is excited to join the yellow wallpaper team as the first assistant director. Having worked on short films and documentaries in the past he hopes to bring the skills he posseses and the passion to learn more to this project. This particular film drew his attention due to its historical depiction of mental health and the treatment of it in the past. He is excited to be a part of the team bringing this significant 19th century short story to life!
Gaffer - Sam Hilaire
Having worked extensively in both Camera and Lighting departments within various productions, Samuel Hilaire is our Gaffer (Lighting Designer). Working closely with Joe & Ayla (Cinematographer & Production Designer), Sam aims to incorporate an array of practical and realistic lighting solutions into the film set - helping the environment become more immersive for the actors and the audience alike.
Camera Operator - Austen Lane
Austen is excited to join The Yellow Wallpaper team as the camera operator. His personal interests lying in photography along with experience in operating narrative short and feature films with a cinematic style. While successful collaborating with the cinematographer in the past, he interprets Joe’s ideas well allowing him to adapt well both creatively and technically.
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