dark comedy | experimental | 106min | 2023
Troubled writer Vincent, retreats to an isolated shack in the woods, determined to finish his first novel.
However a powerful force unexpectedly arrives, triggering an astounding and chaotic chain of events.
Director | Writer | Producer - Alan King
Producer - Angela Ling
Director of Photography | Gaffer - Michael Schoell
Assistant Camera - Samadhi Schoell
Editor | Sound & Music Design - Alan King
Sound Recordist - Jack McCulloch
Colourist - Vincent Taylor
Sound Editor - Daniel MCCulloch
Makeup Designer - Samantha McIntyre
Production Assistant - Jennifer Veal
Production Company - White Cube Picture Lab
Digital Intermediate by Harbor
Funding Assistance provided by Creative Victoria
Vincent - Alan King
Jesse - Chrstopher Kirby
Eloise - Zoe Bertram
Gunther - Bill Evans
Micky - Greg Fleet
Petra - Paree Brar
Narrator - Mercia Deane-Johns
Language - English
Running Time - 106 min
Shooting Format -HD Digital
Sound - Stereo
Aspect Ratio - Scope 2.39:1
director's statement - alan king
'Beast' is framed beyond a literal sense, many of the events and themes within the film's narrative serve as figurative representations. I have always gravitated towards the works of those filmmakers who challenge their audiences to venture away from the literal: David Lynch, Jean Luc Godard, Derek Jarman, Lars Von Trier, Chris Marker, Orsen Wells and Stanley Kubrick to name but a few.
I have also always felt a connection with cinema that aligns with the ideals of 'Deconstruction' - the form of criticism first used by French philosopher Jaques Derrida in the 1970s, which asserts that there is not one single intrinsic meaning to be found in a work, but rather many, and often these can be conflicting.
These films have great potential of resonating and creating differing thoughts, discussion and debate long after they have been screened, with the audience infusing their own individual interpretations, ideas and feelings into the work. It was my wish for 'Beast' to also be such a film. This said, I couldn't help planting a hint at the very end of the film as to what everything that came beforehand may have eluded to. A little something to kick start the theories and conversations post viewing film hopefully.
The debate with 'Beast' started early, much to my delight, when during the shoot, numerous cast and crew presented to me their theories on the narrative. Some of my favourites included, "none of these characters exist but are multiple personalities of one man", "this man is dead and is in hell" and "this is all just a dream". It is my hope that the film finds an audience and that these discussions continue.
'Beast' was my first feature film and we shot the project over seven gruelling days in regional and metropolitan Victoria. We didn't set out to break land-speed records with the shoot time but, due to a myriad of factors, that was the way it had to be.Many people told us before-hand it would be impossible and without the meticulous and dedicated hard work of our team in both pre-production and production, well they would have been right!
Our approach for much of the film, was heavily influenced by the Dogme 95 style; quick set-ups, using the natural light, hand held camera and utilising the environment we were shooting in rather than setting up specific art department for each location.
Shooting within this timeframe was a bit like flying to the moon: the sort of thing you would only do once. It did however generate a unique electricity and energy. On reflection you could perhaps call it madness.
But maybe sometimes you have to a go a little mad for your art.