Malta Film Icon talks with James Moffett, director of 'Raven'.

James Moffett Raven

1) What's the message behind this short film?

I believe that the main concept behind the story is that of conquering your own fear for the sake of others. When a loved one is being threatened, an individual's main purpose is usually that of casting aside his/her personal challenges and overcoming the obstacles that are thrown at them.


2) How did you come up with this idea?

I was inspired by the opening sequence of Tarantino's 'Inglourious Basterds'. It was fascinating to see how he managed to portray two characters in a single room for 20 minutes - and still build up the required tension and climax to create a powerful scene. It is that idea that I wanted to explore and tried as much as possible to base the whole concept of the narrative in one location, where two people are basically talking to each other - inter cut with necessary flashbacks to further move the story forward.


3) What kind of lighting technique did you use and why?

James Moffett RavenAll lighting within the short film are meant to harshly outline stark contrasts - both on the environments and the characters themselves. Hard lighting was used to create a 'chiaro-scuro' effect, thus enabling me to distinctly mark the individual's good and dark side that is within us all. Apart from that, to further reinforce the atmosphere of suppression and fear, most locations were left in the dark, leaving only the characters visible - engulfed in the blackness around them.


4) What was the total time of production?

From conceiving the idea to actually having a finished script took over a year. After that, it was a matter of setting up the locations, gathering props, contacting actors, filming and editing - which took a further six months to complete.


5) Any future plans?

Always. Once you start working on a particular project, it's always interesting how other ideas pop up in you head. Similarly, with 'Raven', I've tried as much as possible to learn from its mistakes and will hopefully find myself working on another short film in the very near future.