Killers & Thieves
Written & Directed by Nicholas Price
Produced by Adam Marsden
Director Of Photography Judd Overton
Editor Hayley Lake
Production Designer Sam Wilde
Music John Gray
Article by Nicholas Price
Killers and Thieves is a seventeen-minute neo-noir about a Detective obsessed with catching a notorious killer but must choose between saving the life of a young thief or stopping the killer for good.
Filmed on location in the back streets of Marrickville with night shoots, blocked roads, green screens and gunshots the process was hectic and at times chaotic. We used the Black Magic Cinema Camera with thirty-year-old Nikon stills lenses, and lit everything with a strong key light to create the noir aesthetic.
The cast were fantastic, like all short films the shooting schedule was tight and we were doing night shoots in the middle of winter. John Waters came in for a day to play The Fence, a character paying homage to both The Sweeney and Heat, and spent most of the day on the floor being kicked by Sean. He was great about it too, so accommodating, all of the cast went the extra mile for us.
The goal of the film was to mix the digital process with a classic style of filmmaking. The opening shots are drawn out with minimal camera moves because the characters are in control and feel comfortable in their shadowy environment. As events start to unravel the pace of the edits speed up, building to the final scene, which is shot hand held in daylight, where the characters feel exposed and circumstances are out of their control. Production design was used to create a city of no particular time or place, populated with morally corrupted characters; the Thief representing the closest thing to innocence in this city.
We adapted the style and themes of Film Noir to a fully digital process, not to mimic the films of old but as inspiration to create something new. In a similar way to what the filmmakers of old where doing when they looked at the techniques of Chiaroscuro, mixed it with the universal themes of morally corrupted characters and used the technology of their day to create Film Noir. I don’t know if Killers and Thieves has managed to create something new, but at the very least we know what a 2k Neo-Noir short film looks like.