Sunday Shorts: All Through the Night

Written and Directed by Russell Wyatt Roberts
Starring Stewart Mulligan and Paul Davey

Article written by Russell Wyatt Roberts

Long before the film’s festival success, the humble beginnings of All Through The Night began as a passion project of mine, with a desire to create a character piece, set entirely inside a car and attempt to employ the ‘breaking the fourth wall’ technique in a new, unique way. Much of the film’s writing came from personal anxieties I was dealing with which  made me feel a low I hadn’t felt before. 

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Fueled by this, I was determined to make this film a reality, no matter what. I managed to cultivate a small crew in the beginning; most of which would leave the project after the first couple of setbacks. Shortly after, I cast the film’s lead Stewart Mulligan; who would later win Best Actor for his mesmerising performance but, before this, had only a year’s worth of acting experience. His résumé mostly consisted of theatre work and a small student film where his main line was, “Think Positive.”

The film wasn’t supported by any funding bodies and was entirely self-financed. I even bought the car used in the film on Gumtree for a couple hundred bucks. I shot entirely on a shoe-string budget and mostly inside my Mum’s shed with the crew-members from uni pushing the car and waving lights to create the illusion of movement.

The film’s score was composed by long-time friend and producer Connor Armenti. It’s easy to say that without Connor’s haunting score, the films impact wouldn’t be the same and I am forever indebted for his contribution – a collaboration, I’m glad to say, we continue via a web-series I’ve co-created, written and directed called Made In AmeriKa!. To much of some people’s surprise, the film was actually shot in 4K. The idea for me to transfer the entire film on VHS was a desire I had right from the get-go. I felt the film had to have a gritty aesthetic. I would be lying if I said the decision wasn’t also motivated in part by childhood nostalgia.

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The film has since gone on to be selected for many film festivals around the world, including Colossal Con 2018, Perth Revelation Film Festival 2018, the 2018 Los Angeles Film Awards and the 2017 Calcutta International Cult Film Festival – which, as mentioned, awarded lead actor Stewart Mulligan ‘Best Actor’. 

I’m eternally grateful to those who supported the film during its most dire moments, including Tania Visosevic, Connor Armenti, my mother Sally Roberts and farther Russell Walter Roberts, who has since past away.

Filmmakers have described the process of making a movie as an excruciating one – some going as far as comparing it to childbirth. I wouldn’t be that pompous or clichéd to say that myself, however, the making of my short film All Through The Night really did test me. Shattering my naive, romanticised preconceptions of the filmmaking process faster than you can say the word ‘action!’. Despite the hardships, near fist-brawls and panic attacks All Through the Night was an incredibly awarding, filmmaking experience, one in which I wouldn’t trade with any other.

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