The Clock Keeps Ticking

Disgraced former detective, Shane Rowland, is accused of being the very serial killer he once failed to apprehend. He knows who did it, but why will nobody believe him? To further complicate things, he might be the next victim.

Originally created following the guidelines set for The Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival and QANTAS competition.

  • Trevor Vanstone
    Shane Rowland
  • Daniel Simpson
    C.J. Hunt
  • Brodie Greenhalgh
    Alex Menzies
  • Matt Gall
    Director and Production Designer
  • Stephen Denham
    Writer, First Assistant Director, Boom Operator and Songwriter
  • Corben Mitchell
    Producer, Second Assistant Director, Script Supervisor and Chief Editor
  • Alex Cossu
    Producer, Director of Photography, Camera Operator, Colourist and Sound Editor
  • Tai Ellis
    Production Sound Mixer and Props Designer
  • Caarlin Baker
    First Assistant Camera Operator and Location Manager
  • Benjamin Patterson
    Boom Operator
  • Jake Price
    Lighting Technician, Gaffer, Grip and Boom Operator
  • Kristy Hopwood
    Key Makeup Artist
  • Keith Hartley
    Music Composer
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Drama, Crime, Psychological, Science fiction
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 21 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 20, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    600 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
    Australia
  • Country of Filming:
    Australia
  • Shooting Format:
    XAVCHD
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography

Matt has been directing films since getting his hands on a video camera at age nine.

‘The Clock Keeps Ticking’ is Matt's first professional filmmaking endeavour since completing his Creative Arts degree at the University of Southern Queensland. During his study, he wrote and directed numerous, well received short films in addition to a ninety minute feature film script. He aims to make many unique, original, and memorable films for years to come.

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Director Statement

Where some might feel limited or constricted by the competition's criteria, we viewed it as a challenge of how to make a film about time that doesn't look like we made a film about time to satisfy the entry requirements of a competition. We created a fictional world where people had no concept of time and couldn't understand why people suddenly stopped living, then we put our protagonist a little too close to the truth and watched it destroy him.

Unlike traditional mystery stories, where a Holmes/Dupin-type character would thoroughly explain what had happened to his befuddled assistant in a final denouement that tied up every loose end, we resisted the urge to essentially look at the camera and spell it out. The beauty of film as a medium is the unique ability to give the viewer two images and trusting them to find the through-line that connects them. This is emphasised by never speaking directly about time or what it may be within the film’s universe. The characters make sure to offhandedly allude to what it may be, but cannot specifically name it. Even though we, as the filmmakers, had a clear understanding of the story and the truth behind the film’s ending, the answer is ultimately left to the audience’s interpretation. This makes the film more fun for an audience as they are given the freedom to label it’s conclusion their own, as opposed to having one forced upon them. In his TED Talk, writer Andrew Stanton (Toy Story) talks about giving the audience “2+2 instead of giving them 4”. We went one step further and gave them 2 + X = 4, solve for X.

I am a very visual storyteller. This was something I wanted to bring across in many ways throughout the film. Subtle actions of the characters and shots that help to correctly frame their emotions or state of mind. We made sure to utilise visual descriptions as often as the initial story would allow. Such as a stark contrast between self-medication and self-destruction through smoking for the protagonists conflicted mind and a grimy, self-constructed interrogation room for a character willing to go outside his jurisdiction for answers. As the film is a mystery, we wanted to play on the aspects that you are revealing to the audience. Through camera movement and character action we were able to bring a lot of the mystery elements to life on screen.

Ultimately however, this film is the culmination of a lot of people’s hard work and determination. We had the pleasure to work with three fantastic, talented actors and a handful of motivated, hard working crew. Filmmaking happens when passionate people get together to create a piece of entertaining art, this film is dedicated to those who helped make it a reality.