Holler, 2009

Photo Josephine Pryde

Based on a story overheard in a suburban London pub, Holler looks at the broken down home-life of a young married couple, played by real-life husband and wife actors, Alex and Katharine Dower, in desperate straits.

Witnessed from the point of view of their young child, Albert Dower, the unhappy couple’s daily argument takes an unexpected turn and escalates into a harrowing scene of domestic violence.





Albert Dower (Albie), Alex Dower, (Alex), Katharine Dower [aka Katy Bartrop] (Katy).

Photos Josephine Pryde



A Zoom Films presentation. Produced by Cassius Matthias. Co-producers, Maverick Litchfield-Kelly, Jim Tracy.

Directed by Cassius Matthias. Screenplay, Cassius Matthias. Camera, Peter Butler; editor, Miikka Leskinen; music, Miguel Mera (harp, Lily Neill); production designer, Hauke Richter; costume designer, Eleanor Baker; hair & make-up designer, Tian Xu; sound, Gareth John; supervising sound editor, Richard Fordham; sound editor, Kevin Penney; re-recording sound mixer, Jamie Roden; visual effects supervisor, Val Wardlaw; assistant director, Ted Ladlow.







Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



About eighty-five per cent of the action takes place within the confines of a flat. The flat had to be architecturally interesting and convey the atmosphere of what was once a solid relationship that is now bruised and in decay. The problem, however, was to find a convincing alternative to a typical run down, 1960s high-rise council block. In the spring of 2009, after many months of scouting, the perfect converted Victorian terrace house was found, thanks to Salt Location Management.

Photos Josephine Pryde

The recce photos, below, show views from the landing where the character of Katy, played by Katharine Dower, is introduced. Cinematographer Peter Butler created a continuous shot, partially photographed in a mirror, where we see Katy kiss her baby in his cot, climb the stairs to the attic, change from her work uniform into a sexy party dress and proceed down the stairs. Contrary to the many comparisons, this shot was never intended to be a cinematic interpretation of Marcel Duchamp’s 1912 painting, Nude Descending A Staircase, No. 2.

Photos Cassius Matthias

Above left and centre, a wall is decorated by artist filmmaker Derek Jarman’s ‘body paintings’ that were made in 1991 with the flat’s former tenant, artist and choreographer Rene Eyre, and used as part of a limited edition book published to raise funds for the 1993 film Blue.



The interior decor of the location had been painted in a divers range of colours of the optical spectrum. Matthias knew that this colour scheme would translate naturally into a distinctive monochromatic picture of light, dark and all the shades of gray in between.

The production budget made extra lighting rigs prohibitive. Therefore, with a combination of art direction and cinematography, the interior shots were composed and lit to maximize the dramatic chiaroscuro effect of the available sources of natural light. Richard Van Den Bergh, special effects supervisor at Evolution VFX, also added his little bit of magic into the mix. Van Den Bergh has said, “During the production of ‘Holler’ the director Cassius Matthias was looking for a very specific quality for his film. The use of the new Crystal Hazer gave us that ‘silky’ look to the film. In this digital age it is hard to recreate the depth of analogue film easily. The Hazer creates exceptional definition, depth of field and atmosphere without smudging the image, it’s amazing!” In post-production, each shot was then carefully graded from colour to black-and-white and finessed by colourist John Claude.



Filmed on 28 June 2009
Camera, Sony HDW-750P
Running time, 11 min
Edited on Final Cut Pro
Format, HDCAM-SR
Dolby 5.1
Aspect Ratio, 2.35:1
Shot on location in and around Herne Hill, Lambeth
Made in London



Poster design Dan Mitchell