Solar Flares. 2003. 35mm Anamorphic. 2.35:1. Dolby Digital 5.1. Colour. 6 mins. 35mm Print.

A summer picnic ends in tragedy. Based on a true story.


Inspired by a series of real life crimes in which fathers killed their children before taking their own lives, I was drawn to the question of why.

Invariably described as loving fathers and family men by those who knew them, no-one had noticed the despair and anger that lay beneath.

Solar Flares was shot in 35mm anamorphic, which enabled us to use the 2.35:1 frame to isolate the character against the bleak rural landscapes. Stylistically, the cinematography moves from a static, locked down camera to handheld over the course of the film to mirror the character’s increasingly unhinged state.

This is reinforced by a cold, spartan soundtrack built from foley recorded on location with a Nagra. In the studio the film was mixed in mono within the 5.1 matrix at a lower level than is the norm to create a sense of unease and tension. In the final moments of the film the full force of the Dolby 5.1 system comes into play in a deafening crescendo.

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