Rabbit

byFaruq Oyekan

Rabbit, is an extraordinarily touching short film from writer and actor Nicholas Denton. 

Abandoned by his parents and harboring a grim family secret a damaged young teen is faced with a difficult choice when he brings his foreign girlfriend into the family home” 

This short film paints a fabulous picture of loss and the difficulty people have with getting over it. The plot of Rabbit is one that is heavily dark, but with a strong presence of a love story that is equally as romantic as it is compelling. Rabbit is a short film that does not disappoint. In its short runtime of fifteen minutes Rabbit is able to create distinct and captivating characters that lead you through a story that is heartbreaking yet sweet.

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The acting of the film’s two leads, Nicholas Denton and Emily Wheaton, is phenomenal. The performances these actors give are strong, captivating, and allow audiences to feel for the characters as the plot progresses. Throughout the film their chemistry is delightful and allow for a realistic and relatable feel. Audience will find themselves engaged in the well-being of a couple that they were only introduced to five minutes ago.

Rabbit is a film that is beautifully shot. Cinematographer Thom Neal complements the amazing story through his use of amazing framing and a wonderful use of light that accurately convey the mood of the short film. As a result the film contains a visual appeal that will have viewers astonished. Matthew Richards does a magnificent job directing, and has audiences glued to their screen as they watch the events unfold.

The writing in Rabbit showcases the power of natural and realistic dialogue. While being simple and non-complex the dialogue in Rabbit is able to easily convey messages and ideas that are deep and intriguing. For those not used to foreign features, Rabbit is still assessable and easy for people of all backgrounds to identify with.

All in all Rabbit showcases the brilliance of the Patch Adams production team and will make audiences excited for their next project. It tells a great and engaging story and features highlights in all areas of filmmaking.

While not available yet to the general public, Rabbit is one to keep on your radar. For lovers of film and for lovers of drama, Rabbit is one short film you cannot miss.

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INTERVIEW with Nicholas Denton (Writer/ Lead Actor)

First, what's your story? How did you become a filmmaker?

Since I was little I have always wanted to be involved in anything creative, be it film, theatre or art. From the age of 9 or 10 I was making WWF home movies with my brother in our back yard and then started shooting Jackass-style videos with our friends around Melbourne, (my back still hates me for that). Then a couple of years ago I started the film and theatre company Patch Adams Productions with two friends of mine, Arielle Thomas and Ryan Murphy. We did this mainly because we were out of work actors. I had written piles of scripts and stories and never knew what to do with them, I had tried getting them produced but a lot of it fell through. In the end, I thought, I'll do it myself. I think that's been a huge driving value for both the company and myself when it comes to working in this field: the idea of just doing it. Don't sit around or wait for things to happen. They won’t. You have to get up and do it. So to answer your question 'how did I become a film maker?' One day I just decided I want to make films and so started doing that.

What inspired this short? 

I guess, like most people I was just riffing off my life at the time. I mean not to say that anything in this film has directly happened to me, but I have met and known people who have had these kind of backgrounds. It seemed to me that the relationships they had with their friends or girlfriends in the context of Rabbit usually struck one of two notes, either they kept themselves shut in or were particularly desperate at times for a parental/guiding figure. I think this film touches on the second. It gives us an insight into the mind of a young man who is desperate for that figure of parental trust. He seems to find this trusting and almost maternal figure in his girlfriend, Katya (played by Emily Wheaton), however along the way he forgets that she is just a teenager like him, a teenager who can’t always find light in some of his darkest secret.

Any interesting production stories?

Um, interestingly enough this was my third attempt at trying to get this film off the ground. We would begin pre-production and a producer would fall off or we would be just about to start principle photography and people would get cold feet and pull out. Ruthless persistence is usually the key. That being said, I am incredibly glad that it was this team we got to make it with. We managed to get an incredible director, Matt Richards, to work on it, as well as a particularly talented cinematographer Thom Neal to sign on, it was just one of those films that brought together an extraordinary team of cast and crew that all saw the great potential in this film. Also, we shot in a week of constant Australian heat that kind of made our props, particularly the rabbit carcasses smell pretty awful.

What is it like film making now after having made this film? Has your approach changed?

Coming from a writer/producer stand point Rabbit was more of a learning experience for both me and the rest of the team. This was the first large scale production we had worked on together, and we did see just how intense the process is, fun but inevitably intense. I mean there is only so much your teachers and lecturers can offer you in terms of pre and post-production, principle photography, the crew, the gear, units, lenses etc... but until you actually start to stand on your own feet and put things into practice, that’s where the learning really begins. We just wrapped our second film and although we still are learning, we definitely have made progress. There is a great comfort in having a film like Rabbit, which although did have a few rough edges, be received so well by festivals and audiences, it gives you hope that you’re doing the right things and that you maybe are pretty good and what you’re doing. That gives you confidence, confidence that I hope is reflected in our latest project 

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Do you have any projects lined up for the future?

We all have our own projects on the go here or there, but as I mentioned we just finalized Air girl which is our latest film. It’s a semi-biographical period piece about the life of a famous aviatrix called Jean Batten. It’s incredibly beautiful to watch and the collaboration with our director/writer James Vinson and lead actress Arielle Thomas, is something that really brings this women's story to life.

Initially I was a bit hesitant about taking the dive into a period piece that was pretty intricate and elaborate, with planes and airfields and dozens of extras and what not, but I think that devil in my brain kept kicking me and saying 'Just do it!' 'Do it!' and I did. And well, I couldn’t be happier with that devils advice. 

Any advice to filmmakers?

Um I always find this question funny as I am so new to this myself, but I guess if I had to offer some advice to any other young film makers or anyone in this creative field, it would be to think big, think weird and think as you the individual. Today there are too many mass made films being made for 17 year old teens (bless them), but we need to start promoting and making things that think outside that box. Guns and explosions are great, in moderation, Stanley Kubrick once said "If it can be thought or written, it can be filmed", so I guess I offer you Kubrick’s advice, don't be afraid to make things that matter to you. Or something like that. 

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Faruq_Oyekan_-_Bio_Pic.jpg

Faruq Oyekan is a San Diego-based screenwriter and filmmaker. Born and raised in California, Faruq dedicates his time to producing and participating in film projects across the region. Faruq's own film work consist of short film narratives that explore realms of fantasy, sci-fi, and the bizarre. To Faruq, short films are just the right length and the prime arena to inspire others with new and innovative narratives.

Cast and Crew

Rabbit

Directed by: Matthew Richards

Written by: Nicholas Denton

Produced by: Arielle Thomas

Edited by: Patrick McCabe

Music by: George Farrar

Cinematography by: Thom Neal

Starring: Nicholas Denton & Emily Wheaton

Full Cast & Crew

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 15 minutes



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