Way back in the murky mists of time, well February of 2016 to be precise, I brought you news of a crowdfunding campaign that had caught the eye here at 5D. The aim was to raise funds to go towards making an intriguing sci-fi short film full of all sorts of Soviet Union inspired dystopian themes. The tasty little synopsis of which was as follows;
“Set in a futuristic industrial dystopia with a 1950s soviet realist aesthetic, “Trauma Industries” is the story of a boy brought to celebrate his birthday at the grounds of a factory that manufactures the must-have toy of the era.
The boy has one of these toys, and is visibly attached to it. But the manager takes the toy away from him because he is now too old for such a thing.
He fights to get his beloved toy back as a crowd of workers gathers in front of a ceremonial stage. The ensuing chase through the crowd leads him onto the stage where he himself becomes part of the spectacle, subjected to a brutal initiation ceremony that will see him finally “become a man”.
Trauma Industries is the brainchild of Jethro Massey who intended the film’s script and style to be directly inspired by the powerful propaganda imagery of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. We all know the imagery that he talks about, pictures of workers staring heroically into the distance as they toil for the greater good of the motherland. Sometimes they hold a symbol of all that is good for providing for the masses – tools, equipment or fists of grain to emphasise such philosophies of working for the greater good of society etc etc etc.
The Photography of Aleksandr Rodchenko, the films of Dziga Vertov and such others were used as tools of inspiration and propaganda by the Soviet machine. While this imagery was used to forward tyrannical regimes, the images themselves are, to Jethro’s mind, amongst the most creative, striking and powerful ever made. Trauma Industries will re-appropriate the style, the camera angles, the geometry of composition, the industrial landscapes, the poses and the wardrobe of the era in a modern-futurist science- fiction that questions our voluntary slavery to the contemporary digital technocracy.
Sounds good, eh?!
Then in the summer of last year I received an update from the main man himself about where things are with the project at that point ………. & this is what he had to say.
“Thanks again for taking an interest in the project, and for writing that great article… Can’t wait to show you then end result!”
“Our nine days of principal photography at the Ancienne Hôpital Psychiatrique de la Maison Blanche were a great adventure, and a real pleasure. The buildings have since been sold and are no longer available for film shoots, so we were incredibly fortunate to shoot in this fantastic location. Over the course of the shoot over 200 people lent their time and talent to the film.
I’ll write more about the filming process on the film’s website, but I’m incredibly grateful to our fantastic technical and creative teams, to all the actors and extras, the production and catering team whose task, as you can imagine, was particularly daunting… The rushes are looking absolutely fantastic, the décor, the lighting, the performances (especially of our young star, Jolhan Martin, and our factory manager, Jacques Colin) are superb.”
“Since the principal filming, we captured a few last shots at the Manufacture des Allumettes, in Aubervilliers, beneath the old factory’s impressive, recently refurbished chimney, we have put together funding requests for the post-production of the film, and we are currently working on the edit. It’ll be a long road to finish the film, as there are a fair amount of special effects to be created, as well as sound editing and colour grading. The timing will depend a little on the results of the grant requests we’ve made, but we are currently hoping to complete the film around January/February 2017.”
“In the meantime I have started preparing the crowd-fund gifts (where possible of course, those of you awaiting tickets for the avant-première will have to wait a little!). I’ll be in touch in a separate email to each of you in the next few days to make sure I have everything I need to get you your posters, jackets, post-cards and so on!”
“You’ll find many more images on our facebook page, including some stunning portraits of our cast coming in the next week or so RIGHT HERE.
Note that you don’t need a Facebook account to view the page. ”
So putting aside the point Jethro made about me writing – and I quote, “a great article’ (Just in case you missed it earlier) I must admit to being genuinely excited about eventually seeing the finished product.
Well just this very week I received another message from Jethro and with it the chance to get a sneak preview of the film that first came to the notice of 5D a year and a half ago.The message I received was thus;
“Just a little message to say we’re on the finishing touches for Trauma Industries, and we’ve found a fantastic Industrial location in Paris for the première. We’ll be projecting the film in 35mm, along with Jonathan’s making of, followed, of course, by a few drinks and I wanted to send a little message as soon as possible, so you can keep the date free if at all possible.
The screening will be in the afternoon/evening of the 5th November.
I’ll send more details with the official invite, which I’ll send in a few week’s time. It’s a big space, so if you have friends or colleagues that would like to come, I’m sure we’ll find room for them! Please let me know if you’ll be able to make it, and if you plan to bring friends, so we can keep an eye on numbers…
See you soon!
So yesterday was spent doing two things; firstly checking my social calendar to see whether I would be free on that date – funnily enough, I am. Secondly, Jethro kindly sent me a super-secret link to see a preview of the Trauma Industries, which I greedily consumed last night. Jethro has quite rightly asked me to keep any mention of reviews or such like until nearer the premiere…….god I would love to tell you more about it!!
But that will be an article for October……..