HOW IT GOT MADE
Kickstarted by passion
Ariella is the collective effort of some of Nottingham’s finest filmmakers, and was made after a successful Kickstarter campaign raised its entire £10,000 budget. Adapted and expanded from a short story written by co-director Jack Jobling, Ariella’s production was joined by Jack’s brother Michael, and producer Ryan Harvey, who helped make a film that was described by LeftLion magazine’s Ash Carter as a film with ‘an overall aesthetic of general unease and relentless tension...Credit must go to all involved the excellent production, especially the Jobling Brothers for their adroit, innovative direction’. The cast was also graced by actor Johann Myers, who has appeared in BBC’s Luther, Black Mirror and Idris Elba’s Yardie, giving a dedicated, memorable leading performance as Bob.
The Jobling Brothers
Feeling such a deep connection to this film, from being two brothers getting excited over a simple school assignment, to what we have today, it’s hard to imagine it being made by anyone else. Creative decisions weren’t made; they were moulded and sculpted through a long, rich development period.
With each expansion of the Ariella universe, came a better understanding of the characters and a willingness and need to delve deeper and deeper into the idiosyncrasies of their behaviour and backstories, and the relationships between the characters.
We had long in-depth discussions with lead actor Hannaj Bang Bendz about Ariella’s childhood, and we theorised the history behind each character’s costume with Head of Wardrobe Saffron Bramley-Astle. Our dark, aching score reflected the underlying, yet brimming anxiety in all of Johann Myer’s scenes as Bob, who has to conceal a dark secret, and the more delicate, complicated feelings of anger and revenge in Ariella.
We were starting to have discussions about these characters as if they were real. The film had no comments on society, no true stories, but it began to feel like a lot of people cared; just as much as we did.
This became even more evident during the successful Kickstarter campaign when we had a flooding of support and interest, and so we felt a strong need to make it, and do it right.
The non-linear plot was something that allowed us to have fun with building the tension and intrigue, withholding information from the audience, much like how the characters do with each other. We boldly cut from one scene to another, moving forward (or backwards) when we saw fit, so that you could always expect to learn something new. It gave the film more of a sweeping motion, where the camera peered in on different moments, revealing more, and allowing the audience to connect the dots.
One of our biggest lessons while making this, is that you grow with your film. Ariella was made over the course of essentially five years; from Jack’s original short story to the exported film we have today. We were young, and very inexperienced when we first started on this journey, and now our outlook, our taste and influences, our skill set, and our network has grown exponentially because of it. We’d be lying if we said this wasn’t a life changing experience.
“It was incredibly refreshing to see a short so lovingly and carefully crafted from its opening frame, with an impressive attention to detail evident in everything from the perfect casting choices to the stunning set design. Will Price’s cinematography beautifully contributed to creating an overall aesthetic of general unease and relentless tension. Credit must go to all involved the excellent production, especially the Jobling Brothers for their adroit, innovative direction.”
- Ash Carter, LeftLion Editor