Private Project

To Love Somebody

Over the span of several weeks, two couples, who have been close friends for years, face several life-altering traumas out of their control. Mike and Meryl are recovering from their son's death and their inability to communicate. Joanna and Tim are trying to conceive their first child, after several failed attempts. In the course of the film the couples contrast one another, quickly developing an intimate study of human nature.

  • Ben Rider
  • Lee Peck
    Key Cast
  • Darren O'Connor
    Key Cast
  • Tanya Winsor
    Key Cast
  • Johanna Taylor
    Key Cast
  • Ben Rider
    Director of photography
  • Ben Rider
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Romance
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 29 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 12, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    7,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Online release
    International debut
    August 9, 2014
    International premiere
  • Montreal Cinefest 2015
    Official Selection
Director Biography - BEN RIDER

Benjamin A. Rider was born in Harare, Zimbabwe. At the age of three he moved to South Africa for a year, and then onto Israel for most of his childhood before moving to London, England. He wrote and directed his first short film at the age of 16, entitled ‘Televisionhead’, and completed an amateur feature film, which was shot in two days, a year later in 2009.

In winter 2012, whilst studying at Queen Mary University of London, he produced his first professional short film, ‘Aquarius’ Mule’ (2013). That summer he filmed the micro budget feature film ‘To Love Somebody‘ (2014), which was edited as Rider resumed his studies.

Since graduating with a BA Hons in Film Studies, he has completed the anthology ‘Seven Devils‘ (2015), and begun working on the features ‘Forever tomorrow‘ (2016) and ‘Our Little Haven’ (2017); as well as other efforts including the sketch show ‘Closing Soon’ (2015).

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Director Statement

Getting ‘To Love Somebody’ made was what I imagined making any first feature must be like. It is a long road of unforeseen challenges and compromises. At times I have loved the project, and at other loathed it.

What I set out to make though is this film – a first feature flaws and all.

It’s simple, and much like its predecessor of the French New Wave films, features a small ensemble, a handful of locations and a simple scenario. Whilst the film might boast a big topic of what it means to love someone, it doesn’t feature it so much. There are no orchestras here, and the film only features two kisses, both of which are only shown as brief flashes on screen. Instead, it is best described as the kind of representation of love found in a chamber dramas set on one of Bergman’s deserted islands. It is also none of these things.

After all, making a film in today’s world, with the never ending expansion of digital resources and clichéd narratives, I tried to make something more than just a film. A montage of films. It is presented with slight avant-garde photography, finding more interest in the palette and out of focus hues than maintaining continuity. It features long realist takes and blurred formalist music sequences. It dips in and out of genres, from brief horror scene with a whispered voice to the crashed zoom of a docu-drama moment. At times I have wondered if ‘To Love Somebody’ is a rendering of my personal struggles to understand cinema whilst studying it, after all the film was shot between my second and final year as an undergraduate at university. Or if, perhaps, it is a film best described as all the different modes of cinema I have come to love all jammed into one drama.

This is all off topic however, as I don’t feel it is the filmmaker’s job to understand or interpret their own work, but rather the job of the audiences. Not that I am trying to sound overly academic by saying this, but every film is projected on by a viewer.

My own projection at the point of writing this statement is the never-ending story of making the film and getting it to you – the viewer. The film was shot nearly two years ago (August 2012-Sep 2012), and then edited on my personal editing suite for six months. After that the film was submitted to a few festivals, and as we planned to release it we discovered that it had been infringed by one of the film’s performers. A clip from the last act had been uploaded onto YouTube, Vimeo, IMDb and other public sites without my permission. I was devastated, and still am. We did however lawyer up and defend our case. In fact, we refused the settlement offer as it didn’t aid the film in any way, but simply would go on to hinder its worth and continue to remind the entire team – Darren O’Connor, Lee Peck, Tanya Winsor

and crew – that they did not measure up to the infringer’s so-called ‘value’; that their patience, loyalty and respect was simply expected to be disregarded for one individual’s gain.

So, now that the long road is over, as I edit my second feature and wait to see how the film fairs with its viewers, I’m torn between the memory of its creation, and what it might all mean. All I know is that I have soldiered on and surpassed the first major challenge of putting pen to paper and bringing something to screen. I can only hope that people will love and hate it as much as I do.

B.Rider, 2014