This film was born out of a few things; one, to create a murder mystery, where the primary accused person can’t speak in order to defend himself. Two, to create a black and white film noir, that although would have a surreal story, would feel very down to earth with its characters, dialogue and mood. And finally, taking several of those awful stories on the news where people have been mistreated in care homes, where the perpetrators have been caught thankfully due to secret hidden cameras by family members who suspected their loved ones were being mistreated. Putting all of that on screen would become Immental.
The initial idea seemed quite simple, and in my first set of notes it could all be done with five characters. It could be shot in one location; in fact we could add another location, a field outside where the main character keeps picturing himself. Five characters, two locations – my producer brain was thinking, “this sounds simple enough, it will be easy, lets do it!”
But as we all know, nothing is ever as straightforward as it seems, and I can’t really blame anyone other than myself. After writing the first draft, then another draft, and another, additional characters came into the story. Other locations were required to support them. My film with five characters & two locations eventually became a film with a cast of over 30 people and I’ve still not counted the amount of locations.
But what we have is a great multi layered story that isn’t as straightforward as one might expect. There are many themes in the film; love, loss, fear, regret, pain, tragedy, hope, sadness, optimism, and living with the consequences of our actions. I think the sign of a good film is one that gives you plenty to talk and think about after you’ve watched it. Good and great films generate discussion and debate. This is my hope with Immental, so if you end up talking about it for more than 30 seconds, I think we’ve succeeded.