Experiencing Interruptions?

Do You Mind Can I Ask What Happened (To Your Legs?)

'Do you mind can I ask happened (to your legs?)' is a semi-narrative moving image work that reflects on what it’s like to experience having a progressive degenerative condition and is the late Simon Fildes' most tender and compelling work. The film is a love story with a twist, set in the beautiful landscape surrounding the Scottish highland Village of Achiltibuie. Part drama, part screendance, the film draws upon the filmmakers’ deep rooted passion for movement both physically and in-camera.

A 30 something couple ‘Cole' and ‘Annie’ on an idyllic getaway road trip. Towing a small caravan they explore the rural backroads. Unhurried and with no particular destination in mind. They have a perfect relationship. They have a dog, a designer styled vintage trailer, a comfortable car and great weather. The landscape rolls by, small towns and big skies. Stops for fuel and coffee at local shops break the journey. Music plays on the sound system, a diverse mix of folksy chill and some techno electronica. Minor disagreements about map reading, where to stop for the night and music tastes are dealt with in good humour. They swap roles driving and watching and dozing. The vibe is chill, loving and happy. We see them dance having fun enjoying life. They pull up at a remote roadside lay-by to set up for the night and cook dinner. The man gets out of the car and detaches the caravan to set it up on its stands. Slowly admiring the fading warm glow of late afternoon sun he carefully levels the wheels and winds the trailer ‘jockey wheel’ down. He gives the signal to his partner to pull the car forward. To his uncomprehending surprise the car drives off away down the road. The dog’s head looking back out of the side window ears flapping. Not knowing what to do next he sets up a seat by the caravan door, sits down and waits. No phone and in a remote spot with no traffic Cole watches the sun go down still expecting their partner to return. He fiddles with things in the caravan. Displacement actions. A car passes but he misses the chance to flag it down. Some food is prepared and eaten with little enthusiasm.
It gets dark. He looks in hatches and cupboards. Finds a pile of CD's There is an old portable CD player in the caravan. After some uncertainty about what to choose, their favourite rave trance techno track is selected. Cole starts to move and remembers past times dancing. The camera and dancer start a choreographed duet. The movement is expressive and rhythmical. Club dance meets contemporary. It’s like a party starts in the caravan and it’s filled with people having the time of their lives. The energy builds. We don’t know if the party is in the caravan or in a club but the caravan starts to rock and bounce. We see the wheels moving and the chassis bouncing. Arms waving, heads rocking. The bass is heavy. The “jockey wheel” starts to move and loosen. Still the party goes on. A truck passes by at speed and the jockey wheel comes off its wedge and the caravan tips on to the tow bar. It comes to rest leaning at a precarious angle. The music stops. For a moment there is complete silence... The sounds of a still night... We see the scene from a distance..... Then the faint build up of the sound track as it kicks back in and the party starts again. The dance silhouetted in the windows. Credits appear as the music and the party continues.

  • Simon Fildes
    The Time It Takes, Six Solos
  • Abby Warrilow
    Etch, Floor Falls
  • Lewis Gourlay
    Etch, Floor Falls
  • Simon Fildes
    The Time It Takes, Six Solos
  • Victoria Watson
  • Carys Evans
  • Tess Letham
    Key Cast
  • Calum Barbour
    Key Cast
  • Minttu Maari Mäntynen
    Director Of Photography
  • Rhona Drummond
    Executive Producer
  • Wyn Pottratz
    Associate Producer
  • Carolyn Henderson
    Associate Producer
  • Susan Christie
    Production Coordinator
  • Quee MacArthur
  • Project Type:
    Short, Other
  • Genres:
    Screen Dance, Dance Film, Short, drama
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    27,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Tokyo Film Awards
    May 3, 2022
    Japanese Premiere
    GOLDEN winner in “Best Inspirational Film” category
  • Madrid Indie Film Festival • MADRIFF
    May 22, 2022
    Spanish Premiere
    Official Selection
  • South Film and Arts Academy Festival
    May 18, 2022
    Chile Premiere
    Road Movie Short Film Award, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography Honourable Mention.
    June 1, 2022
    Indian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema
    Boulder, Colerado
    United States
    September 4, 2022
    Official Selection
  • London Director Awards
    United Kingdom
    July 29, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Oaxaca Festival
    December 15, 2022
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Simon Fildes, Abby Warrilow, Lewis Gourlay

Simon Fildes was an international award winning Scottish filmmaker, producer and curator. Sadly Simon passed away from cancer in April 2021 after having lived with MS for over 10 years. Despite the hardship of illness and disability, he was committed to his film-making practice like no other. In fact, the final email he dictated from his deathbed was about finishing this film.

Part of an incredibly accomplished production team, Abby and Lewis helped realise what we consider Simon’s most tender, compelling work.

Lewis and Abby are an international directing team who make cinematic tv commercials, edgy music videos and exclusive online content. Their combined skills merge live action, movement and motion graphics to create fresh, quirky and imaginative films.

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Director Statement

Do you mind can I ask you….(what happened to your legs) is a semi-narrative moving image work that reflects on what it’s like to experience having a progressive degenerative condition. As there tends to be a lot of work about despair in the face of challenge, this work’s attitude is quite the opposite.

In Simon’s own words:
"I walk with the aid of crutches and an occasional wheelchair user. As I travel quite a lot and meet new people around Scotland and internationally one of the first questions I’m asked is along the lines of …“ Do you mind can I ask what happened to your legs? “I tell them I have MS and their next reaction is often to apologise and look away. I often respond by saying yes it really sucks but I’m still alive and kicking and dancing inside. "