Private Project


Two worlds coexist within one house, each set of inhabitants only dimly aware of the other.
Cava and polite conversation contrast with looming projector spools and a mysterious game involving spoons.
The stairs, naturally, are a point of undisturbed tension, but when a film starts running, carnage ascends.

  • Mikey Bicarregui
  • Max Lindon
    Key Cast
  • Naoise Murphy
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 23, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    0 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Mikey Bicarregui

Mikey is an enthusiastic no-budget filmmaker with a particular interest in cinematography and direction, as well as academic research areas in film philosophy, phenomenology, and critical theory.

In 2018, Mikey completed a Master's degree in Film Aesthetics from Oxford University, achieving Distinction and writing a dissertation on the 'aura' of nostalgic objects and spaces in contemporary science-fiction film.

Mikey completed a BA in English Literature from Durham University (1st Class Hons), having written various essays on onscreen embodiment and the politics of film across a range of directors such as Akira Kurosawa, Olivier Assayas, Sam Mendes and Joss Whedon, and novelists from high postmodernist Thomas Pynchon to cult children’s author Lemony Snicket.

In addition to filmmaking and studying, Mikey has helped to run and organise numerous student cinema societies and events.

(Age at time of film completion: 21)

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

When I moved into my third year student house in Durham, I was struck by the somewhat unconventional position of the stairs: perpendicular to the entrance corridor, and accessible from both ends of it.

This film attempts to experiment with using a space, and explore how characters can interact with spaces in terms of embodiment and control.

While researching for my undergraduate dissertation, I got really interested in analysing the temporality and perspectives of film. The idea of making a short film based around the stairs of this house expanded to incorporate, or rather, provide a framework for, an exploration of these balances between stasis and motion, recording, perceiving, projecting and repeating.

STAIRS aims to create an original take on the age-old theme of our perception, of the self, surroundings, and other people.

I decided to shoot in black and white, partly for a certain aesthetic, for example to enhance soft focus shots, or to help blend and compare characters to their surroundings, but also because I wanted to force myself to really focus on cinematography, composition and lighting.

I have attempted to use handheld spots to make lights as mobile as camera, applying the ‘shakey cam’ mentality to the lighting of certain scenes. I wanted to use sound to establish the proximity of spaces to one another as well as their distance and differences.

This film had no budget, but generous help from enthusiastic and talented friends as actors, crew and critics. I was also very lucky to be able to borrow old film and theatre equipment, big projector spools and par cans, with which I spent a couple of days (with the kind consent of housemates) turning our house into a film-themed film set. The film was shot in one day and edited over three months.

I hope audiences will get something out of the film, be it absurdist amusement, postmodern self-referentiality, a slight spooky kick, or a response of any kind!