Two housemates start the film discussing events that took place the night before, questions thrown back and forth. A third character enters the scene as it repeats itself, over and over again.
What happened? What are they talking about? Each time the scene repeats itself, there is an addition to the dialogue, ensuring that slowly but surely, the viewer understands what is happening. The film is a study of perception, how viewers and ultimately, characters can view a conversation differently each time there is an addition of character and dialogue. It is also very much a film about how the smallest addition of characterisation and dialogue can change the entire perception of the film’s events.
Sheffield Independent Creatives [sic] are the brains behind this short masterpiece, a Sheffield based arts collective of film fanatics who met during their time at Sheffield Hallam University studying Film. What makes them so special? Well, the budget was only £50, and they went over that by £1. That’s right, one whole pound. In my entire time as a filmmaker, I’ve never seen a film go over budget by £1, so that in itself commands respect. Being a Sheffield based company also strengthens the city’s ever growing link to the film industry, and in doing so, [sic] have used Sheffield based actors, one of which I have worked with myself.
But what was the inspiration behind ‘Same River Twice’? Ryan Finnegan says: ‘The Heraclitus quote “No man ever steps in the same river twice” got me thinking about how when someone appears to be telling the truth, you can never really tell what they are thinking or how they are perceiving the same situation’. This idea is reflected in the way each scene repeats itself in the perception of each different character, seamlessly and with limited changes within each scene.
Using borrowed equipment, the cast and crew worked ten hours to complete the interior shots, and the exterior shots were completed in less time, in the same week. On top of that the cast and crew worked for free, which isn’t rare at all these days. What is rare, however, is to find a project that is worth doing for free. Same River Twice entered post production in September, after entering production in August. Finally it was completed in early 2012, all while the crew worked their day jobs and edited their lovechild in the evenings. When I asked Ryan what was next for [sic], he explained there was plenty in store for 2012: ‘I’ll be making another film called ‘When I Grew Up’ and aside from films, 2012 will see some interesting art, writing and other projects coming from us too.’
Ultimately the film achieves what it originally set out to do – to challenge viewers’ perception of the story, relying on the entrance of new characters to alter it. It also proves how something doesn’t need a million-dollar budget or a heavyweight name to be worth watching. [sic] are talented filmmakers and this talent comes from our own soil. This film is definitely one to keep an eye out for.
‘Same River Twice’ is being shown on 17th April at the Showroom Cinema as part of the Showroom Shorts evening. Go and see it there, or donate $5 or more to [sic] via indiegogo and watch the whole film online.
Words: Nicola Bierton.