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May 13, 2011

Nokia Shorts: Finalist 1 (of 8): Splitscreen: A love story

Now we know the 8 finalists of the Nokia Shorts competition, we thought it would be rude not to get to know them a bit better. After all, we are going to be seeing them on the big stage at the Nokia Shorts Weekender in Edinburgh. Stars in the making?

We start our bio with 27 year old James Griffiths whose pitch ‘Splitscreen: A love story’ looks at the age old story of love, but through the eyes of the man and woman.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the man behind the love story:


What inspired your short-story pitch?


The idea evolved from an idea I had about a pair of eyes that have had an argument. Because they no longer like each other, they look in different directions and when we cut to their POV it creates some interesting imagery – when they look apart, its a splitscreen and when they are looking in the same direction its a whole screen The splitscreen then creates interesting juxtapositions. This then evolved into my final pitch when I started adding a story to the concept.


Why are you passionate about films?


I’ve been making films from a very young age and theres something special about showing your work to people and have it affect them in some way. I also love how films can affect me, whether it’s emotionally or on a more inspirational way.


What is your favourite short film?


I’m very interested in animation and there are so many great animated short films. Theres a film called Skhizein by Jérémy Clapin which is great and also Peter and the Wolf by Suzie Templeton is fantastic and of course all the Pixar shorts are amazing.


What is your favourite film of all time? Why did it leave such an impression on you?


The Thin Red Line by Terrence Malick. I remember watching it for the first time and really being affected by it. The fantastic imagery together with the voiceover gives the film a very poetic feel that you dont really get in many films. Malick really is a master.


What was the first film you’d ever seen?


First film I remember seeing was Predator but it was probably The Jungle Book. First film at the cinema was Honey I Shrunk the Kids


Described the best scene ever committed to film

There are so many but I’ll pick the first one that comes to mind. The baptism scene at the end of The Godfather. We see crime boss Michael Corleone becoming godfather of his nephew at a christening. This is intercut with various gangland figures carrying out murders orchestrated by Michael himself and so asserting himself as the new ‘Godfather’. The juxtaposition is amazing as Michael is asked if he renounces Satan then we see his enemies get viciously murdered. This is all topped with some imposing church organ music and the echoing words of the preist. This is simply one of the best edited scenes ever.


It’s the 100th anniversary of the first Hollywood studio, what are your thoughts on its legacy?


Hollywoods legacy will be everlasting. There are so many films that Hollywood has produced that will be enjoyed and discussed for many years. Hollywood has gone from a small studio in a tavern 100 years ago to an phenomenon that reaches almost every aspect of everyday life from politics to pop culture. Hollywood produces era and generation defining movies that connect with people in so many different ways. Long may it continue.

Thanks for your time James, we look forward to seeing the fully produced film soon. Keep your eyes open on Nseries for the next bio from one of the winning pitches of the Nokia Shorts Competition.