Textual Relationship

Digital love blossoms when Uniquetalent_33 and DarkDemon92 meet each other online. However, when the time comes to actually meet it becomes painfully clear that their physical connection doesn't quite live up to their online one...

  • Syd Heather
  • Syd Heather
  • Tom Glover
  • Syd Heather
  • Daniel Eycott
  • David Frias-Robles
    Key Cast
  • Sarah Langrish-Smith
    Key Cast
  • Daniel Salter
    Director of Photography
  • Alex Harffey
  • Paul Jones
    Production Manager
  • Charlene Hudson
    Production Design & MUA
  • Sian Buckland
    Sound Department
  • Lee Burns
    Sound Department
  • Rachael Tarr
    Sound Department
  • George Baker
    Sound Department
  • Phillip Sparkes
    Sound Department
  • Richard D. Taylor
  • Ami Ferreira
    1st Assistant Director
  • Bianca Martin
    Set Dresser
  • Matt Bailey
  • Amanda Brent
    VFX & Motion Graphics
  • Valentin Vaklinov
    VFX & Motion Graphics
  • Sungok Kim
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Romantic comedy
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 11 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 31, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Fling! Film Festival 2015
    Lain, Scotland
    October 24, 2015
  • BFI Future Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    February 21, 2016
  • Screen Social
    The Book Club, Shoreditch
    October 14, 2015
  • Stanley's Film Club | Shorts in the South
    United Kingdom
    February 3, 2016
  • Garden State Film Festival
    Atlantic City
    United States
    April 2, 2016
    American Premiere
  • Rob Knox Film Festival
    Bexleyheath, London
    United Kingdom
    April 27, 2016
    Best Actor for David Frias-Robles
  • New Filmmakers Los Angeles
    Los Angeles
    United States
    April 30, 2016
    LA Premiere
  • New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival
    Deptford, London
    United Kingdom
    April 24, 2016
  • Cambridge Strawberry Shorts Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    June 3, 2016
  • New Filmmakers Los Angeles - Best of NFMLA 2017
    Los Angeles
    United States
    May 6, 2017
  • Camelot International Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    July 21, 2016
  • LimeLight Film Awards
    United Kingdom
    October 13, 2017
    Film Of The Night & Best Comedy
  • South Shorts Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    June 9, 2016
    Best Film
Director Biography - Syd Heather

Syd Heather is an award-winning multimedia producer with experience in a variety of areas covering short films, online content and branded promotional videos. Textual Relationship is his first foray into directing for the small screen.

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Director Statement

Online dating apps such as Tinder, Grindr and Match have undoubtedly changed the way we form and maintain relationships. Whether this is for better or worse remains an ongoing debate and is certainly a ripe subject matter for comedic exploration.

TEXTUAL RELATIONSHIP is a satirical semi-rom-com that explores the world of online dating via the infamous second screen.

The film’s visual look is simple but effective in creating juxtaposition: crosscutting slick and fast paced conversations with wide shots and uninterrupted takes is an attempt to convey the stark realization that an online connection doesn’t always translate to the real world.

Unlike most films, the characters remain anonymous throughout. By only referring to the characters via their usernames, I hope to encourage empathy with the audience by saying that these characters could be any of us. It is important that these characters are relatable because at the end of the day, these socially awkward characters just want the same as everyone else – someone to come home to and snuggle up with on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

The stylistic choice of having the characters regularly break the fourth wall and interact with the audience was a key component of the original play and was something I was fully intent to keep with the film adaptation.

By having the characters break the fourth wall it allows these characters to control how we, the audience, perceive them. Human beings are fragile. They want to show us how great their relationship is. However, this façade is instantly shattered when the characters both decide to meet face-to-face and we see how wrong they are for each other.
For me, this was the perfect representation of something we are all guilty of at one point or another. Whether it is choosing the best profile picture or making sure our ‘good side’ is on display, we all want to present THE perfect representation of ourselves to the world – more so when it comes to dating. This mentality only brings disappointment when we don’t live up to those self-inflicted expectations.

Deep textual analysis aside, I love comedy and sometimes the best way to tackle delicate subject matter (especially relationships) is with tongue firmly in cheek.
Sometimes life imitates art and other times we can’t help but write about we know. Whether or not some of my own personal experiences with online dating have made it into this film is something I will just live dangling in the balance.