Looking to create a short film that was “under 10 mins, kept the audience on it’s toes throughout, and didn’t take itself too seriously”, Dan Sully’s dark comedy I’m Dead thrusts its audience into a thrilling game of cat and mouse featuring death, mystery and blackmail. The story of a young man, about to embark on his stag do, Sully’s eight-minute film sees this pre-wedding ritual interrupted when loud music from next-door leads the groom-to-be to investigate the strange disturbance to his preparations.
A fun parody of both “buddy” style comedies (The Hangover) and puzzle horrors (Saw), the inspiration for Sully’s film came to the director at an unusual time. “I was doing the washing up in my kitchen and daydreamed the whole film as a series of what ifs”, he explains as we discuss the origin of his short. “What if I heard music coming from next door, and what if I went over and found my neighbour dead, and what if…. By the time I had finished the washing up I had the whole film in my head.”
Conceived in his kitchen and shot over three days in an Airbnb in the UK, though Sully admits his film was never meant to “take itself too seriously”, that doesn’t mean he got lapse with his production. Armed with an Arri Alexa camera and Cooke S4 lenses, I’m Dead is a sharp-looking film with the cosy suburban setting playing stark contrast to the dark comedy at the centre of his story.
Featuring some slick photography by Nick Morris, Sully’s short really comes together in the edit, where the film is injected with the tension and intrigue needed to make it a success. Taking on editing duties himself, Sully ensures his film never even threatens to relent on its hugely entertaining pace and he perfectly employs music throughout I’m Dead to ensure it never loses its sense of humour.
Returning to the site, seven years after we first featured him with his urban fable The Ellington Kid, I’m Dead features the same cinematic flair and passion for storytelling we applauded him for in his debut narrative short. If you’re eager to see more of Dan’s work and his impressive eye for photography, hop on over to his website (link below) for more. Fingers crossed we don’t have to wait another seven years for the next Dan Sully film, they’re too good to have to wait that long.