Dir. Marc Isaacs - 18min - 2014 - UK
In Outsiders I positioned myself inside a mobile food van located on a lay-by in rural Lincolnshire, looking out into a field of cabbages. The food van didn’t actually exist in this location but by manipulating its physical position I was able to create a meaningful aesthetic ‘stage’ on which the action could unfold.
The (mainly) British people who approach the van (and therefore the camera) enter onto this ‘stage’, their often xenophobic dialogues/actions driving the ‘narrative’ of the film. Meanwhile scenes depicting migrants silently picking vegetables in the freezing fields provide a dramatic counterpoint, whilst also serving as transitions - or ‘set changes’ - that allow for the passing of time. The film encourages a reflection on the meaning of place, placement and displacement (the ‘settled’ Brits versus the migrants) whilst also preserving a strong sense of the unity of time and space by controlling the actuality during both shooting and post-production.
The interventions I made in this short film extended beyond creating a ‘stage’. Many of the film’s protagonists were cast in the local town and brought to the location for filming. They were chosen (where possible) for their articulate patterns of speech, with a view to enhancing the ‘theatricality’ of the film. By constricting time and space, the film elongates the time we spend with people in the location, thus creating depth through economy.