Short Film Research – Spider

The short film I have chosen to research is Spider (2007), directed and co-written by Nash Edgerton. The 9 minute film follows Jack and Jill in a car journey where Jack is trying to cheer her up by apologising for something he is done that we as an audience don’t see. The very beginning of the film shows a quote “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye”, after pulling into a fuel station where Jill fills the car and Jack goes into the shop to buy her flowers, chocolates and a card with a cute puppy on to try to get her to forgive him. He also buys a fake spider where he hides on the drivers sun visor, along the journey she forgives him and then opens her visor where the spider falls onto her. Jill gets scared and loses control of the car then pulling over closely missing an accident, she gets out of the car and Jack pleads with her that it is fake and throws it at her causing her to jump out in the road which then leads to her being hit by another car. A fade indicates that time has passed and paramedics are now on scene, Jack tries to comfort Jill while she is being cared for. One paramedic is getting an injection ready for Jill when he moves her arm and there is the spider that caused the whole situation in the first place, he jolts and jumps backwards leading the needle directly into Jack’s eye.

I was shown this short film during my first year at university and has been stuck in my mind ever since. It was first released in Australia in 2007 by Blue-Tongue Films and won Best Short Film at the Sydney Film Festival, also won International Shorts Competition Grand Jury Prize at AFI Fest. In 2008 it won awards at Anchorage International Film Festival, Aspen Shortsfest, Flickerfest International Short Film Festival, Indianapolis International Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, St Kilda Short Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival. Then in 2009 the short film won Best Short Film and Best Editing award at the 24FPS International Short Film Festival. It was distributed by Apparition in the USA and by IndieFlix worldwide both in 2010.

The video above has Nash Edgerton talking about where his idea came from and how they did the stunts and some shots. The story has a linear narrative and is very simple, when Edgerton is talking in the behind the scenes video he tell us this idea came from an experience he had with his brother whereby the similar thing happened with a spider native to Australia was in his car and he lost control and went into the traffic however luckily he wasn’t hit. Edgerton acts in the film himself as Jack alongside Mirrah Foulkes who plays Jill and they portray the characters well give a natural feel to the film, as they are the main two characters this helps with the simplicity of the short film.

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