The short film Carousel shows an older man doling out advice only to have it turn around on him. Director Kal Weber tells us how the film was made.
Thinking back on it now, Weber says that the initial idea for the short feels like “a faint, fractured grasp” of what the film eventually became. “It was only after we cast that I realised what I was trying to say about my own relationship with my father, as much as I loved him.”
That fact was heightened further when Ewen Bremner, who was producing the short as well as acting one of the two main parts, suggested casting his daughter Harmony to play opposite him. “The part was originally written for a fifteen year old boy, but he felt that Harmony had what it took to do it. When she showed up on the day, so professional, knowing her lines, and having such instinctive grace and stoic power, I was gobsmacked. I was so glad to have blindly trusted him. Without changing a word of dialogue, Ewen was the one who managed to articulate precisely what my instinct was trying to say, even when I didn’t know it myself at the time.”
The film was shot in a little over a day. “The first day would have been fine, but we crossed the line, haha. We had booked two days just in case, thankfully, as Ewen made some discoveries of his own, and wanted to re-shoot.”
That was more to do with the way he played it than the words themselves, Weber says. “The final film is exactly the length of the original script, tight as it was. We never dropped a word, which I know is highly unusual, but that’s how we treated it. No-one was precious about it, least of all me; we just came to the material on the day, and in the edit, like a piece of theatre I suppose, a ‘happening’ with its own life. So in many ways it isn’t part of me anymore, that’s for sure. It became its own being, and it’s out there now, which is a very satisfying feeling.”