For Want Of A Nail Short Film – Audience Feedback from LA Female Film Festival in April 2019

FOR WANT OF A NAIL, 18min., UK, Drama/Comedy

Directed by Lucy Joan Barnes

Inspired by writer Nick’s own struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Intrusive Thoughts, but reconfigured and extrapolated to a more severe ‘worst case scenario’ “For Want of a Nail??” follows Marty, who attempts to live out a ‘perfect day’. As the story unfolds it becomes apparent that his range of intricate routines have been compounded by a succession of deaths in the family. Now, with only his twin sister left, Marty has found himself seeking to finally, once and for all, dispel the urges and paranoia that drive the compulsions which are seriously affecting his life – and, in his mind, stop his sister from dying

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Director Biography – Lucy Joan Barnes (FOR WANT OF A NAIL)

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Having received a Diploma in Art and Design from Ravensbourne College Lucy decided to follow a path towards theatre, graduating from Rose Bruford College with a degree in Theatre Stage management. This progressed into a career in theatre and drama school education spanning 12 years, teaching her how to interact with actors on and off set to build relationships and get the best performance possible.

After many years of working in this area, and having the opportunity to work with some incredible artists such as Brian Cox, Fiona Shaw, Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons, Lucy heard the siren call of film and decided to leave everything behind to study for an MA in Fiction Directing at Edinburgh University.

Graduating with a distinction, her graduate short film “Lucid” was nominated for “Best Drama” at BAFTA NEW TALENT AWARDS 2016 and has been shown at several festivals. Since then Lucy has gone on to work on a further 5 features films in a variety of roles focused on production and direction.

Taking inspiration from the likes of Park Chan-wook, Mary Harron and Jim Jarmusch her style focuses on highlighting the beauty within darker subject matter through the visual composition of the scene and sensitive directing of the actors to build an empathic link to the audience.

Director Statement

While reading the script, the first thing that struck me was ”I never knew that was part of OCD”.

I was aware not all OCD sufferer’s live in minimalist white houses they clean obsessively every day, but I wasn’t aware of the voice within their mind that never seems to turn off.

Can you imagine constantly having the voice of your nagging mother in your head, except it’s not your mother… it’s you, and when you put your headphones on… it’s still there!

The truth is unless you deal with OCD, it’s very hard to imagine what it’s like for someone else.

For Want of a Nail takes the viewer completely into the mind of Marty, what he’s going through and why he has created an almost unobtainable standard.

One could observe Marty at the beginning of the film as almost arrogant, but by the end, I want the audience to empathise and understand his actions, instead of judging them.

​One of the biggest challenges was the exposition, I’ve spent years working on “Less is more”, but the point of this film is to let the audience know exactly what is going on in his mind.

Marty still has a subtext and doesn’t share everything with us, there is a dark place inside, that he will never show to anyone..even us.

With most of the film being voice over narration, I had  to visualise how, and why Marty is moving around his house during his everyday routine. Every tiny kinetic action, from washing his body (with vo commentary) to how he types. All of Marty’s physical actions have a reason or a drive behind them.

The voice over was recorded a few days before shooting and played during filming to ensure all timings were correct and his actions, match his thoughts.

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