what tomorrow brings
A narrative short.
I met Emma Davies on a shoot for a modelling agency in January and we got talking about how great it would be to do a film project together. I started working on a treatment almost straight away and this short narrative slowly came together over the following six months.
Partly inspired by a personal story Emma told me, and our recurring theme of life/work choices, this is a story about hopes and plans for the future. We follow a girl travelling from the dark, cramped city she inhabits, to the vast expanse of an empty beach, on an emotional journey, reflecting on who she is, the choices she could make and how these might change her life. A late-night phone conversation between herself and her best friend accompanies the images.
One of the things we wanted experiment with on this piece was the deployment of cinematic storytelling techniques. Camera movement, framing, focal length, aperture, light, locations; we used it all to help tell the story. For example, when we’re still in the girl’s house, her old life as it is, the camera is fixed, and we slowly give it more freedom in the next scenes, until, at the end of the film, it appears to be dancing with her. An example of our use of framing and aperture can be seen in the first part of the film (bedroom and cafe) when the girl is pondering her future. We filmed this as a close up, with a shallow focus, emphasizing her mental state.
The film was shot over two days, in the Swansea/Gower area and Southville, Bristol. The voice-over was recorded a few weeks later in our studio in Bristol.
Seeing as we had had no time to do a recce beforehand and only having been able to examine Google maps and pictures online, Emma’s mother Jacqueline played an integral part in finding the locations we needed in the Gower. We found Maddocks’ Tearoom online, but it had closed down by the time we arrived. Luckily for us, the owners Pat and Anthony were baking Welshcakes in the kitchen at the back and they kindly allowed us to shoot inside, whilst providing us with tea and delicious cakes. That couldn’t have gone better.
The bedroom scenes and the kitchen scene were filmed at Jo’s house. We built a set with a painted backdrop and props from Emma’s house and furniture from Remco’s house (the bed was Jo’s!).
Maybe we shouldn’t jinx it, but we always seem to get the weather we need on a shoot. And these two days were no exception. We were very lucky. Everything came together.
Written and directed by Remco Merbis.
Voice-over by Remco Merbis & Fern Scott.
Featuring Emma Davies.
Narrated by Emma Davies and Gb Graham-Williams
Cinematography, grade and edit by Remco Merbis.
Production Assistant: Joanna Howe
With thanks to Jacqueline Davies and Anthony & Pat Maddock from Maddocks’ Tea Room, Southgate, Gower, Wales. Shot on location in South Wales and Bristol.
Metabones Speedbooster Ultra
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 II USM Lens
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6l is ii usm
Tiffen Digital Diffusion Filter 1
Hoya Pro1 Digital Circular Polariser
Manfrotto 546GBK with 504HD head tripod
Datavision LED-900 LED
Various diffusers and reflectors
Shot at 25 and 50 fps at 1080p. Graded in DaVinci Resolve, using Osiris Vision Color film emulation 3D LUTs with added 35mm film grain.