MAN'S BEST FRIEND, 7min. UK, Family/Animation
Directed by Rob Sprackling
10 year old Zach loves his football - and his football loves him back. They enjoy playing in the garden, going to the park and spending time together, just like a boy with a faithful dog. But when his ball gets lost, Zach must team up with his neglected Mum, to find his best friend. In doing so, Zach and his Mum re-find each other.
I'm an experienced comedy screenwriter and before that was a stand up comedian and TV presenter. I enjoy the spoken word and as a result most of my screenplays are relatively dialogue heavy (as were my previous two award winning shorts 'Green Monkey' and 'Rise of the Appliances'). So when writing/directing my third short, I wanted to set myself the challenge of making a film without dialogue. It seemed like an interesting discipline that would force me to tell the story in pictures, which, for me, felt refreshing and new.
The other challenge I took on was to mix live action and animation. I work a lot in both forms as a screenwriter - having written for Disney, Aardman, DreamWorks, Fox, Working Title, BBC Films and others. As I now want to shift my focus from screenwriting to writing/directing (I am currently attached to direct a live action and two animated features) I felt it would be interesting to combine those two worlds in one film.
So the challenge here was to make a simple story, without dialogue or complex plot twists, that delivered a unique tone, good visual comedy and a rewarding emotional journey. Thanks to a fantastic cast and crew, I'm hopeful that we achieved this.