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The Rosary (photo: Vik Young)
The Rosary (photo: Vik Young)

The Rosary

By Phill Huxley
A short film from upcoming Worcester director Edward L. Dark, set in the stark, claustrophobic confines of a white room.

The Rosary is a short film by Worcester film maker Edward L. Dark. The film centres around the lead characters of Harry and Michael.

"What happened? Where am I? Who are you?" says a confused looking Harry at the beginning of the film. As the story unfolds we begin to piece things together using a series of flashbacks, as Michael and Harry continue their conversation in the cloying and claustrophobic surroundings of a bright white room.

Scene from The Rosary (Photo: Vik Young)
Scene from The Rosary (Photo: Vik Young)

Harry is face with a choice - but will he make the right decision?

The Rosary received it's public premiere at the Odeon in Worcester on 13th September 2005 and future screenings are planned

We caught up with director Edward L. Dark to find out a bit more about the film...

Can you tell me a bit about your background and where you learnt your craft as a film maker...

Edward L. Dark: Well, I studied Film Studies at the University of Gloucestershire. Even though we didn't make movies as part of the course I learnt valuable lessons about how to read a film and what metaphoric structure a film can have.

Michael - Jez Mort (photo: Vik Young)
Michael - Jez Mort (photo: Vik Young)

The only practical course I did was script writing with James Clarke (another local filmmaker) and this is where I first wrote The Rosary.

This essentially is the first film I’ve tried to make with any kind of production weight attached to it. All the other films more or less had a crew of about 5 people. The Rosary had about 20-30 people working on it and it was grant funded by the Community Champions - so the pressure was on to make something worthwhile at the end of this.

How long did The Rosary take to make and how much did it cost?

Well, we started pre-production in June time and the film was literally finished a day before the 13th September screening at the Odeon. I don't usually like working right up to the deadline but we did spend every working minute on the editing of the film to try and make it look lovely and clean. But, the film wouldn't have been finished if it wasn't for the editor Mark Adams; he's been an absolute star and postponed his own film work to help me with mine.

Harry - Ed Steelefox (photo: Vik Young)
Harry - Ed Steelefox (photo: Vik Young)

The film cost £2,000 to make and that money was supplied to us from Community Champions. A great grant company who have really supported us. It was still about £10,000 short, but they can only give out £2,000 cheques, so I think we did quite well.

The whole crew worked together with such a low budget to make a real friends pulling together type film. It was truly wonderful.

Would you like to at some point in the future expand the film to feature length?

This is an extremely interesting question because as I don't think it would make a great feature length... actually pretty boring...

"It helped Ed that the room we were filming in was extremely uncomfortable and he had a director telling him that his opposite actor was gonna hit him!"
Edward L. Dark

I have been thinking about a possible series of Rosary stories. Because this story concentrates on the emotions and the past of Harry (Ed Steelefox) meeting Michael (Jez Mort), but I do think there is room for more people to meet Michael within his room. If I were to do a series of it I do believe that the character of Michael is strong enough to meet more troubled, desperate, personalities within the room.

What did the two lead actors Ed and Jez bring to their respective parts?

In terms of what they each bring to their roles. I think Ed does bring a beautiful desperation to Harry. Ed seemed to really be tuned in with the role and the scared rabbit in headlights backdrop to the character. But, as the film reveals, Harry isn't that much of a scared rabbit. He has an edge to him and a secret that has destroyed people's lives.

It helped Ed that the room we were filming in was extremely uncomfortable and he had a director telling him that his opposite actor was gonna hit him at any moment. I'm not sure if I’m allowed to do that, but it definitely had him worried a couple of times and it allowed me to get a brilliant shot where Harry thinks Michael is going to punch him.

The Rosary (photo: Vik Young)
The Rosary (photo: Vik Young)

As for Jez. Well, Jez did a wonderful thing with Michael. On the page his character wasn't evil, didn't have an edge and was quite simply the person who just passed these messages onto Harry. But, what Jez did with Michael was turn him into this crazy, slightly evil, character who you're not sure whether he's there to help Harry or not.

The use of colour is striking - black, white and red - was this something you thought about a lot before shooting?

Colour is something I’m very interested in. I think the colours attached to a character or a scene can say so much to the audience. A great example of this is Scorsese's work.

As for the red of Jessica I wanted a bright red dress because we wanted her to look like she has been very dressed up and made to look like a child's doll rather than an actual child. We actually turned up the reds of her scenes in the editing room to push forward these emotions. Red is also a colour that has so many emotional elements attached to it.

About the white room specifically - why you chose that as a setting for much of the film? It's obviously conceptually and stylishly important...

The White Room, conceptually, is a metaphoric statement about how I wanted to paint the film to the audience. Basically, this is a film that can be read so many ways.

The Rosary (photo: Vik Young)
The Rosary (photo: Vik Young)

My job, as a director, was to paint a blank canvas for the audience to make up their own minds. It is my belief that whatever you read into this film represents a sub-conscious account of yourself as a person.

Tell us about the music in the film...

The music was a beautiful piece of Piano written and performed by Rich Clarke and adapted by James Perry. What James did was make that music fit the film perfectly. He also added his own elements in certain places. Little touches that make the soundtrack to the film truly beautiful.

What are your plans for the future, both with The Rosary and other projects?

Well, after working constantly on it for a while now I’m beginning to get sick of it. But, I do still believe it is a very good film. Not because of me, but because of everyone involved in the creative and productive sides of the film. Everyone who worked on this film truly did put their heart and soul into it and it does show in the final outcome.

On the set of The Rosary (photo: Vik Young)
On the film set (photo: Vik Young)

As for the future, I’m going to try and get the film onto a few film festivals and hopefully they'll like it. I would like a few reviews, but mainly the film is to act as a representation of what I can do as a director and what the crew can all do individually on a film set. I want to do this as a career and to do that you need to be paid money. Hopefully, these things can come together.

Film wise I’m going to keep going and another project will come up soon I’m sure. Maybe a short film a totally black room with two women in called Mary and Mandy, I’m not sure.

Just as long as it's not a white room I'll be ok! I need a break from that haunting white hell.

The Rosary was premiered at the Odeon in Worcester on 13th September. For details of future screenings and developments, visit the film website:

For more info on the film you can contact director Edward L. Dark or call him on 07870 347 041.

last updated: 14/09/05
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