THE TELL-TALE HEART
Adapter/Director: Stephanie Sinclaire
Producers: Stephanie Sinclaire and Brian Freeston
Executive Producers: Cressida Reese and Joe Elias
Premiered at Art Institute of Chicago’s 7th European Union Festival March 2004
Associate Executive Producers
Rebecca and William Vlasic
Co-Producer Nigel Wooll
DP Jack Cardiff
Stephen Lord – LD50, Judge Dredd, Octane, SW9, Bullion Boys (BAFTA – Best Drama).
Oliver Bradshaw – Fat Slags, Time Gentlemen Please, The Importance of Being Earnest
Michael Roberts – A Funny Thing Happened, Only Fools and Horses, Poirot
Mark White – The Walberswick Detectives, The Master of Ballantrae, Orpheus in the Underworld.
Additional Camera Chris Pinnock
Editor Andy Jadavji
Designer Peter Murton
Costume Designer Poppy Mitchell
Sound Guy Forrester
Makeup Jan Keys
Illustrator Steve Simmons
Stills Photographer Mark Tillie
Associate Producer Phil Gates
A man finds himself horrified by the ‘vulture eye’ of his neighbour and is driven first to murder and then to madness.
Set in the late 19th Century, a slightly unhinged man begins to obsess about his neighbour’s ‘vulture eye’. He is kind to him in the day but spies on him nightly at midnight, slowly intruding into his room in the pitch black. Finally on the eighth night, a ray of light falls on the offending eye inflaming our protagonist and driving him to murder. He has so objectified his nemesis that he sees this act only as a triumph over the ‘evil eye’. When the police come to investigate, he is so confident he brings them into the murdered man’s room for the interview and seats himself directly above the floorboards beneath which the murdered man lies. All goes well until he begins to ‘hear’ a tap — is it his imagination, or is it the thud of the dead man’s heart? The thud becomes a thump and then a bold tattoo — he becomes convinced the sound is audible to the police who are toying with him.
He struggles to suppress his anxiety and paranoia until finally the sound overwhelms him and in a frenzy, he confesses all.
Drawing inspiration from proven ‘tale’ formats such as Roald Dahl’s ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ to create a moody, heightened, atmospheric, suspenseful, entertaining short film.
Using dramatic camera angles and the insertion of beautifully painted storyboards to create a comic book style that is cohesive and contemporary.
Combining direct to-the-audience monologue, voice over and dialogue to draw the audience into the fevered mind of the protagonist.
Varying the editing pace between reality and the protagonist’s frenzied POV.
Very strong light and shadow to heighten atmosphere, slightly stripped colour. Inter-cutting imagery – which relates to the protagonist’s increasingly frenzied sate of mind.
Very sophisticated sound design to delineate between reality and the heightened sounds the protagonist hears. A series of chords replace a score a la The Shining.
The staircase, stairwell, front door and inner room of a Victorian house. A prison cell.
Realistic, but with a slight twist. An homage to Hammer.
Shot at The Kings Head Theatre and Pub & The Little Angel Theatre, London
Distributors Pop Twist and Imaginites