Porth Sound worked on Jonny Dry’s Third Quarter, providing sound services and joining his creative team of Falmouth University alumni. This project showcases our recording and sound design for short film skillsets.
About the film
A bewildered elderly man desperately searches the dark corners of his mind to understand the meaning behind the appearance of a mysterious envelope. Yet he has forgotten it was he who wrote it.
In a dark and echoing bookshop people and objects freely appear and disappear between the shelves. Will, a bewildered elderly man who manages the infinite rows of books, is searching for information about himself, information that he once knew but has now misplaced and forgotten. When he happens across a mysterious envelope and a young man looking for a copy of Flann O’Brien’s ‘The Third Policeman’, Will knows this is important but cannot remember why.
Yet as quickly as he appears, the young man vanishes again, leaving Will alone to make notes on their peculiar interaction.
This moment has set forth a chain reaction of events in Will’s mind that begin to unfold in front of him as fast as he is able to make sense of them. Echoing voices strike up conversations around him, mysterious photos are left lying on his desk and strange characters stalk the infinite aisles. these events, whilst bizarre, mean something to Will. But what exactly? As he begins to make more and more sense of the bizarre environment around him, he makes a discovery that answers so many of his questions yet threatens to slip from his mind as quickly as it arrives…
The looming shelves of books where the film takes place are not merely a bookshop but a dark, uncanny and potentially infinite environment. By depicting the mind’s cognitive search for meaning metaphorically through narrative and character, the experimental film uniquely illustrates to viewers how one’s mind functions, but also the inevitable tragedy that occurs with the loss of memory and identity.
About the production
Southwest based arts organisation Medium Rare present ‘Third Quarter’, a short narrative film that takes the viewer inside the mind of an individual living with dementia.
This cinematic experience interprets contemporary research into dementia and depicts a character frantically hunting through their own mind in order to discover their sense of self and identity. Drawing heavily on the immersive and evocative qualities of film, the production presents an uncanny and vivid interior mental environment that highlights the complex psychological struggle and the emotional awareness that is often retained.
Our skillsets of sound recording and sound design for short film were drawn on for this project. Jonny was open for crew to be creative and to experimental with their roles. We played around with planting microphones on the set and used the year-long post-production stage to really consider the impact of every sound to the film.
About the research
Dementia is a condition that has deep and wide reaching effects which are not simply limited to an individual’s functionality, but have a serious psychological impact as well. The scientific literature surrounding psychology and biomedical science has highlighted that the internal experience of dementia is not well enough understood (Clare, Rowlands, Bruce, Surr & Downs, 2008); there is generally a perception that those living with dementia are rendered in a largely unaware and inactive state. However, there is a body of research which accepts the decline in cognitive functioning but highlights a greater level of emotional and internal awareness and identity than has previously been thought (Clare, Rowlands, Bruce, Surr, & Downs, 2008). Whilst the individual’s inherent sense of self is affected, there is a certain level of retained ‘selfhood’ (Small, Geldart, Gutman & Scott, 1998). It is these more positive themes that we aim to communicate through the film and stimulate new ways of thinking about the social impact of dementia that’s grounded in quantitative and qualitative research.
Writer and Director: Jonny Dry
Produced by Jonny Dry and Samuel Jay Chessell | Director of Photography: Lewis Gillingham (Leyline Creative) | Production Sound Mixing: Claire Stevens and James Chatwin | Camera Assistants: Wesley Trevena and Peter Doyle-Davidson | Editor: Jonny Dry | Sound Design: Claire Stevens and James Chatwin
If you’re interested in collaborating with Porth Sound on a similar project involving recording or sound design for short film, please get in touch with us because we’d love to hear from you!