• Tess Brading
  • Tess Brading
  • Xanthie Marcelle
  • Abigail Rayner
    Key Cast
  • Shay-Lee Smith
    Director Of Photography
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 21 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 12, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    1,400 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Tess Brading

Tess Brading is a Brisbane based Writer/Director working in Film, Theatre, and XR. She has a BFA in Drama from Queensland University of Technology and is currently studying an MA in Screen Production at Griffith Film School. Tess has had several play scripts produced, including Prayers for Non-Believers (2016), Let it Be (2017), and the co-devised work There’s No Sex ‘til the Third Act by the Latecomers (2018). She is also branching out into XR, with several works in development. Painless is Tess’ first film and directorial debut. Interested in character driven stories and questions of memory and identity, she’s very much looking forward to more films to come.

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Director Statement

I had the idea kicking around for a long time, to make a story about chronic pain. It comes very much from my life experience. There had been many ideas over the years that didn’t see the light of day and I found myself running into the same roadblocks again and again. It’s not so hard to talk about living with pain, but it’s incredibly difficult to know what doesn’t need to be said. Everybody knows what it’s like to be in pain, but not everybody knows what it’s like for pain to touch every part of your existence in the way that chronic pain does. I found it very difficult to know the difference between what parts of my experience were universal and what weren’t.
I started writing Painless during a workshop I was doing about autobiographical storytelling. I was thinking about myself from years ago, when I’d first moved out of home, studying at university, getting out into the world and for the first time really starting to understand what my pain meant for me in a way that was quite difficult. Just how limiting it was. The idea that this was going to be a part of me forever, like, really forever, became a source of a lot of angst. The more I thought about that, the more I realised that maybe the interesting question wasn’t “Who am I because of pain?” but rather, “Who would I be without it?”
My attitude is very different now than what it used to be. Definitely healthier. Alexis is very much tied to that version of me at 18, 19, 20, who was still struggling to understand how pain fit into the narrative of her life and realising she has no idea who she might be if it went away.