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Office Song

Marcus Markou
United Kingdom, 2020, 14 min.

In English.
This film is family friendly.

It's another office affair -- one of thousands. But in Office Song, the inner world of ordinary office workers and their humdrum lives bursts into life with poetry and something greater than the sum of their tedious working day is revealed.

Director's Statement

I wanted to explore poetry in film. It's been notoriously difficult to get right. Often what would normally be spoken out to an audience in a theatre, becomes an internal monologue on screen. We see the character on screen and then we hear the poetry in voice over. This film was an opportunity to explore how poetry could be spoken direct to camera, which is a theatrical device, whilst at the same time making it feel cinematic. To do this we used a Cine- fade motor on the camera for the poetry sections thus blending out the background to make it feel as if the character was now in another world -- a fantasy.

We also worked on the performance style and consciously dubbed these poems in a studio to capture that intimate "radio" voice. We scored the music at these points to raise the idea of another world. When we were shooting this, we didn't really know if we could achieve this other worldly feel. There were no other films "shorts or features" that we could reference and we were genuinely making something we'd not seen before. My mantra on set and beforehand was that we would have to make this film to find out if it worked. It involved a leap of faith by all involved. The story wasn't so important but the manner in which we told it was everything. But what this did was raise the engagement of what is normally a familiar story into something en- gaging, different and fresh.

Category: Experimental, Festival Alum.
Themes: Poetry, Language, Relationships, World Cinema.

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