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The making of Verge

“As a woman dozes she’s transported into the sinister realm of a radio play where three characters interact around a broken down car stranded in the middle of an isolated cornfield. Is the play real, or is she witnessing or maybe even remembering some traumatic event from the past?”

“Verge” is a no budget thriller that was shot on mini DV over the course of 3 days in a remote cornfield near the small village of Oxton, just north of Nottingham.

The film was shot using a rather antiquated Panasonic EZ-1, but the abundance of bright sunlight allowed the use of significant neutral density filtering such that the resulting images have minimal depth of field and thus a very pleasing “cinematic” look. Sound recording was relatively easy given the relative isolation of the location, apart from the numerous small planes that seemed to use the site as a triangulation point. Viewers with sharp ears will doubtless hear these frequent intermittent rumblings.

The car, which finally appeared in the film, was not the car with which we began. The first day of filming centred around a Citroen estate which had been specially modified for the shoot by having the windscreen removed. This model is characterized by its hydraulic suspension system – a system which failed disastrously at the start of the second day, leaving the vehicle well and truly stuck at the nearby farmhouse. The VW golf belonged to Steve Mason, our sound recordist who very kindly allowed it to be used as a last minute replacement. Unfortunately we were not able to remove the windscreen and many of the original front-on shots had to be dropped from the storyboard as a result. Also, observant viewers will notice that is in fact a petrol version and not the diesel-engined model referred to in the script.

The ending of “Verge” often proves puzzling and ambiguous, but I prefer to see it as “open to interpretation”. The radio play notion is supported by the talking magazine pictures, but the key question is: do the bones exist beyond the realm of this radio play and if so, whose are they? The rotting case clutched in the skeletal hands and the words of the newscaster would suggest that they do indeed belong to the “missing salesman”. Was he killed by the Wife, after their cat and mouse game of sexual innuendo reached a brutal physical climax? Or was he killed by the Husband, returning with fuel and interrupting the struggle? Maybe they weren’t struggling at all, but secret lovers who were forced to silence the Husband for good? Did the Wife slay her Husband in a moment of marital rage, inventing the Executive in her state of post traumatic denial? Is the Wife “the girl in the corn” from the Executive’s story and do the bones in reality belong to her?

Watch “Verge” and make up your mind!

The Wife: Kate Taylor-Maskrey
The Husband: Paul Caputa
The Executive: Colin Rote

Writer, Director, Photography: Nick Kirk
Executive Producer: Chris Roberts
Producer: Alison Dewar

First Assistant Director: Nicola Hollingworth
Location Manager: Jas Bassi
Production Assistant: Jacqueline Di Carlo
Sound Recordist: Steve Mason
Makeup: Sarah Wolfe
Original Music: Philip Guyler

- Nick Kirk    August 2004

Verge was one of the UK offical entries to UNICA 2004, Germany.
Click here to read more about UNICA 2004 and other UK entries.

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Page updated on 09 October 2011
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