The Odds came straight out of my first meeting with producer Dan McCulloch. We discussed various ideas in that hour, and one of them was the concept of a short film set in one room. I went away with this in mind and a week later, was lucky enough to get hold of Richard Fisher’s script. I felt a huge sense of excitement on reading it and sent it on to Dan.
Two people in one room for ten minutes is a cinematic challenge and I knew that casting would be crucial. I thought of Mark Strong the moment I read the script, and was lucky enough to have worked with him in the past. Ian McDiarmid was my second bit of dream casting. When he read the script and said yes, there was only a two week time slot in which both he and Mark were available before disappearing into long work commitments. We still had no funding, but knew we had to go for it.
When my low-budget location hunting led me to a huge white basement, I could see both the potential and the challenges.
The starkness of the space was alarming, and yet had the sense of displacement I’d been looking for.
The absence of colour beneath fluorescent lights inspired the aquamarine palate of the film, allowing the contrast of the characters’ faces to draw you in further.
While watching editor Chris Gill cutting our bold images together, I felt that the score should be distinctive. Clint Mansell was my wish-list composer – I had long admired his music for Requiem For a Dream and The Fountain. We had no direct link to him, so his agreeing to help on the basis of a rough cut was a huge vote of confidence. Clint’s bold, percussive music shrewdly captures the simplicity and strangeness of the film.
At the heart of The Odds lies a shifting power balance – each man focused on what the other is hiding. It’s how the layers of deception are revealed that makes this conversation in a room so charged with tension and a sense of the unexpected.
IAN McDIARMID, MARK STRONG
>Click to download PDF
The Sharp Project, Blue 141,
Manchester, M40 5BJ
6 Playhouse Yard,
London, EC4V 5EX
Tel: +44 (0)207 236 2740