A TV License Inspector takes matters into her own hands when a suspicious man claims he doesn’t own a television.
“The Inspector is a Dark Comedy short film inspired by The Silence of the Lambs.”
A young TV License Inspector goes door-to-door verifying TV licenses. She first encounters Ms Murphy, a pleasant woman who co-operates easily. She then meets Mr Nolan, a reclusive man who raises her suspicions when he claims he doesn’t own a television. The Inspector proceeds to stake-out his home until nightfall. She watches Ms Murphy pay him a visit, and watches him leave. The Inspector breaks into the house and soon finds a kitchen full of human remains, sewing materials and trash. Shocked, she proceeds further into the house, finding a corpse in the bathroom. Before she can investigate further, the lights go out. Mr Nolan, with night vision goggles, hunts the Inspector in the dark. Before he can shoot her dead the Inspector kills him. She then finds Ms Murphy in the last room, trapped inside a cage pleading for help. The Inspector picks up the unlicensed television, and leaves – her job done!
Behind The Scenes
The short film draws inspiration from a portion of the Silence of the Lambs film. The tension created when Clarice Starling discovers the home of Buffalo Bill is immense. It was fun to try to replicate this tension by emulating similar shots (The Night Vision scene). Even some of the dialogue parallels the conversation Starling has with Bill at the doorway.
In the weeks leading up to the shoot days of ‘The Inspector’ several props had to be created for the indoor scenes. These props were created by myself and my family using a wide variety of materials such as coffee beans to toilet paper rolls! Before shooting, photos were taken of the props and they were put into boxes for continuity purposes. The Fridge props were one of the most fun props to make. Using Halloween decorations, food colouring, string and moss to create jars of decomposing human remains. This has been my most ambitious short to date regarding props.
The various indoor sets were each dressed the night before their shoot day. The challenge of shooting this film, in my family home, was to organise the shoot days arounds the sets for each room. In addition, the shoot needed to take place in various times of the day, so all outdoor daylight scenes were shot first, then the indoor scenes (hallway, sitting room, kitchen), and finally the outdoor night scenes. We co-ordinated the actors to only come to set when absolutely necessary, and maximised our time with each actor while they were on set.
What I Learned
This was the most enjoyable short I have written and directed to date. Shooting the whole film handheld gave us the freedom to experiment with shots and lighting easily and I am grateful to have had my fellow Kildare Young Filmmaker’s members to collaborate with. If I was to make this short film again, I would have captured more solid B footage outside and inside my home. This would have made editing a lot easier for myself, and perhaps some transitions in the final film would have benefited greatly from this extra footage.
There are more things I learnt from making this film, which I have captured in a Critical Analysis (click the link below).