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A Directors Commentary for the film "Touching the Void"

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Directors Commentary for Touching the Void I'm really delighted to be here with another brilliant film after the success of my last film One Day In September which I won an Oscar for best documentary which I would say was one of my most proud moments of my career. When the opportunity came up for me to direct this film, Touching the Void I grabbed it because it's a gripping true story of friendship between Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, they were trying to climb the Siula Grande in Peru. Whilst climbing a canyon Joe felt the rope tighten and his only thoughts were that Simon was dead at the bottom. Thinking that he couldn't get back by his self he cut the rope in hope of falling to his death. In reality Simon hadn't died and Joe suffered fatal wounds but touching the void shows the struggle that both men went through to get to safety. I decided to direct this because of the fact that it was based on a true story and the friendship about it. I thought this film would be good to produce because not only would it target one audience of men, for the adventure aspect of it but it would also appeal to women for the loyalty and friendship part of it. ...read more.


Another strong technique I chose to use was contrasting colours. I chose to use an underground shot that Simon fought through as a motif to consciousness the idea of the tragedy. The darkness of the lagoon represents the change from heaven to hell and how Simons faced a crawl back to civilization. I deliberately made in unclear to link in with Simon later and to with hold information from the reader and links in with the mystery and the confusion later. The music that is then used, Peruvian music, is non-diagetic. It is in minor key which makes it more negative and daunting. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Alex Heffes for the time and effort he spent with me talking through the music; I know I can be fussy. Throughout the trailer I have used a sense of time, starting with an optimistic day break through to the night, to show that as it gets darker things become harder and they begin to struggle more. Although the audience may not realise they know, but the mountains in the shots are the same mountains but create different atmosphere. ...read more.


I interspersed the sequence of actions shots with the values I wanted to bring out between the two friends. I tied in both genders by blending the harsh reality of the climb with the deep emotions involved in such a difficult environment. I then draw the viewer back to the image I set up at the beginning of the trailer, where now Simon has come to hell. I mean why does hell always have to be related with fire, can't it be icy? I deliberately then try to create that area of doom using the two images of Joe laid on the floor and the dark underground cavern shot to make the viewer ask themselves whether Joe will die or not. I then carry on with the dark and deathly environment. The next and final shot is then a plain black screen, while Joe calls out for Simon which gives the reader a huge clue that Joe isn't actually dead. I am hoping for this film to be as big of a success as my last, and would like to also thank all the actors and actresses, producers, costume design and everyone else who made this brilliant film a possibility. Thanks again for watching and I hope you enjoy the film. ...read more.

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