Following

 

Director Christopher Nolan started off his feature film-making career with a cleverly-crafted, 70-minute long independent film, Following (1999). Set in the crowded alleyways of London, the film was shot on 16mm film stock for economic reasons and tells the story of a struggling writer who is obsessed with following people around him, albeit harmlessly at first, to gain more insight about their lives as inspiration for his own work.

 

STARRING:
Jeremy Theobald
Alex Haw
Lucy Russell
John Nolan

 

DIRECTOR:
Christopher Nolan

 

DATE OF RELEASE:
2nd April, 1999

 

RUNNING TIME:
70 minutes

 

The film took a full year to complete production and was primarily shot on weekends to accommodate the work schedules of the part-time actors on the crew. Nolan also decided to limit the number of takes for each scene to two as a means to save valuable film stock. Actors rehearsed scenes and dialogues for six months leading up to production to achieve this.

 

The narrative is not linear and the story is built around multiple plots, each of which reveals more about the changing dynamics between the characters. In addition to directing the film, Nolan also wrote and edited the film before screening it at festivals, including Slamdance, where the film was positively received.

 

“You’d go out of your flat and you’d be surrounded by people. I became interested in the idea of looking at individuals and saying, ‘What’s that person’s story?’ Nolan said of his inspiration for the story-line

 

In spite of numerous issues right through the production of the ‘low-budget’ film ( the final budget was $6,000), Following comes out as a fine final product. The film was shot in and around the apartments and on roof-top terraces of crew members and filmed in black and white to make up for the lack of expensive lighting equipment.

 

Following provided a launching pad for Nolan’s next feature, the commercially successful and critically acclaimed Memento (2000).

 

 

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