a DOLL DISTORTED

Synopsis:
Jane suffers from haphephobia (the pathological fear of touch), tormented by years of loneliness and isolation she orders a synthetic love doll online to nightmarish consequences.

Short Film | 16 mins

Crew:

Writer, Director, Editor, Producer, Set Designer, Sound Designer, VFX, Music and Cinematography:
Niall Shukla

Lighting and camera assistant (and just and someone I couldn't have made the film without):
James Averiss

Cast:
Nicci Brighten, Cory Stuckey, Kyle James & Olivia Haart

Screening History:

  • WINNER - BEST SHORT FILM – NOLA – 2018

    WINNER - BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – NOLA – 2018

    WINNER - SCARIEST FILM - Spook Screen — 2018

    BEST SHORT FILM – Nomination - FilmQuest – 2018

    BEST SHORT FILM – Nomination - Hexploitation – 2018

    BEST ACTRESS – Nomination - FilmQuest – 2018

    BEST EDITING – Nomination - FilmQuest – 2018

    BEST ART DIRECTION - Nomination - FilmQuest – 2018

    BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – Nomination - NOLA – 2018

    BEST EDITING – Nomination - NOLA – 2018

    BEST DIRECTOR – Nomination - Spookscreen -2018

    Official Selection | Sitges Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Shriekfest Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Filmquest Film festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Flickers Rhode Island Film Festival - Vortex, sci-fi & horror – 2018 

    Official Selection | Aesthetica Short Film festival – 2018

    Official Selection | London Short Film Festival – 2019

    Official Selection | Court Metrange Film festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Freakshow Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Hexploitation Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Haapsalu Horror & Fantasy Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Méliès d'Argent Film Competition – 2018

    Official Selection | Snake Alley Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Post Mortem Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | NOLA Horror Film festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Grossman Fantastic Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | New Jersey Horror Con & Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Razor Reel Flanders Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Spookscreen Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Northern Frights Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Norwich Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Horror Haus Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Horror Quest Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Halloween Horror Picture Show – 2018 

    Official Selection | Kinofilm, Manchester International Short Film Festival – 2018

    Official Selection | Blood Pool film festival - 2018

    Official Selection | IFI Horrorthon - 2018

    Official Selection | Phenomena Film Festival - 2018

    Official Selection | Frostbiter Film Festival - 2018

A Doll DISTORTED - On Instagram

Hi it's me the Doll. This is where I take selfies of my self in dark suits looking awesome, chilling in rocking chairs, hiding in dark shadows and freakishly staring at people...and I also do frequent updates on the film.

A Doll DISTORTED - On Twitter :

Hi it's me the Doll. This is where I write about my life, inner dark thoughts and update you on news about the film.

Behind The Scenes:

The short film A Doll Distorted was made in very difficult and challenging conditions. It was self-financed from my savings and was made in a demolition site. I did not have any money to afford extra crew, so I covered the majority of the key roles by myself – it would have almost been made entirely as a one-man crew if it wasn’t for the great help I received from my colleague and now best friend James Averiss.

The film was designed to be filmed in my parents’ home. I was fortunate enough to be able to use a downstairs room as “Jane’s” bedroom while my family had planned to do their first ever renovation project to the rest of the house. Unfortunately, issues occurred with the building work. We had originally planned to stay in the house while small changes (like certain walls being knocked down) occurred. However, as work began, the builders told us that we had to evacuate our home entirely after a certain date as it became “structurally unsafe”. I was devastated. I had designed, storyboarded and already set designed this short film all for this particular house. I had only a month and a half to make the whole project before everything would be knocked down in one go – at this time I had no cast, crew or any knowledge of visual effects and of how I was going to get the doll to move in the film.

Long story short: I managed to meet James Averiss online, who became the key and only crew member. We would stay up into the night and make the film after work. Towards the end of the filming, there was no heating, electricity or running water in the house and the roof was torn down (see pictures on website). I stayed up two nights in a row towards the end to finish the project.

Unfortunately, we could only film certain parts in that house. It just wasn’t possible to film all of the film in time. So my family and I then moved into a rented bungalow for 6 months, whilst we had to leave our main home. And I went about redesigning the rest of the short film for this bungalow. This is why in the film you, will never see the camera move from one room into another. I always cut away, as I stitched rooms together in post from the different houses.

Overall it was a very positive experience – it taught me so much as a filmmaker and a human being. I am the better for it.