I wanted to make a short, short film, and I didn’t want it to take itself too seriously. I’d seen a lot of shorts that used “personal testimony” and VO to tell pretty one dimensional stories with a generalised “arty” aesthetic and zero sense of irony. Initially this film was simply of a reaction to being annoyed by films like that.
It still contains that seed at its core really. What I tried to do with Semi Skimmed is lead an audience into think they were watching a certain type of film and then mess with these expectations for comic effect.
To do this I drew on range of influences, most notably classic period noire, to create a cinematic pastiche that treads a fine line between believable hyperbole and total absurdity. The film mocks Joel’s self absorption and pokes fun at his ideas about culture and gender; but doesn’t completely throw him under the bus untill the last second.
Alex really managed to nail this balance. The character is basically a self absorbed “Emosogynist”; but with an understated and carefully pitched performance Alex managed to keep him empathetic and keep the audience on side.