Loughborough alumnus Connor Pearce’s first film is out now after three years in the works.
As its producer Sam Ramsey noted when telling us a bit about the film, nature lovers might be disappointed to hear that When All The Bees Flew Away doesn’t contain a single one of the winged creatures referenced in its title.
However, if stunning scenery is your thing, you’ll appreciate the film’s location. The vast majority of this short film takes place in idyllic woodland not too far from campus. Eagle-eyed viewers might recognise Leicester’s Bradgate Park and another scene features a serene quarry which looks just like the one near Loughborough.
‘Bees’ is set in a post-apocalyptic world which we hear about from a very human perspective rather than through snapshots of destruction. We get most of our account of events from the perspective of Colm, one of the film’s young protagonists. A discomforting off screen conversation and a short cameo appearance from a mysterious, silent figure also help to suggest the terror which fills the landscape beyond the camera’s field of view.
The film has three main characters, who are all portrayed skilfully by teenage debutants. Though the trio have found relative safely in the forest, Colm (Harrison Watson) is pre-occupied by the search for a brother who he believes is still alive and waiting to be found. Ed (Dominic Hall) is the most reserved and book-smart of the bunch, which contrasts with George (Joseph McErlean): a youngster who’s had a tough upbringing and who probably swears more than the other two put together.
Brotherhood is a key theme to the film and we learn a lot about the relationships between all three characters. We’re also treated to a dash of the dystopian future thanks to some impressive visual effects. Smart camera work helps the story to flow rather than becoming too wrapped up in the world of sci-fi: whilst jaw-dropping drone shots help the narrative to speed along where appropriate, sharp and occasionally uncomfortable closeups slow the film down cleverly to give us a flavour of what the boys’ world feels like.
The film’s director, Connor Pearce, was heavily involved in Media during his time at Loughborough. He was LSUTV’s Station Manager before graduating in 2013. It’s a testament to his work ethic that he’s brought an idea which he first had over three years ago to fruition and managed to put together such a professional-looking production. The funds behind bringing Connor’s script to life came, in part, from a Kickstarter campaign, and he’s quick to praise the endeavours of the rest of his “brave” and “remarkable” team, who gave up a plenty of their spare time to contribute to ‘Bees’.
His team was undoubtedly a talented one: I’ve already alluded to the film’s visual elements, but viewers will also find themselves immersed in the sound of Pearce’s film for its 36-minute duration thanks to some impressive sound engineering, as well as an original score composed by GHØSTWATER. Connor says he’s looking forward to seeing what opportunities will arise following the film’s release, and that he’s excited to be collaborating further with some of those who he’s “absolutely loved working with” on Bees.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Connor for inviting us along to his film’s first screening. ‘When All The Bees Flew Away’ is on tour around the national and international film circuits. You can watch the film’s trailer here and keep up with its progress via Facebook.