Director Rebecca Daly talks about the writing process behind The Other Side Of Sleep which opens at the IFI on March 15th.
The script started with a newspaper article about a young woman’s body that was found wrapped in a duvet in Northern Ireland. This image of the duvet around a body and a visual confusion between sleep and death stuck, and this is where sleepwalking entered the story. Glenn (Montgomery, co-writer) and I were fascinated by the implications for a character and story of a person who could be active or acted upon but not conscious (throwing up complications of responsibility) and would have no memory of what happened once awake again. With the film I was interested in exploring a fear that can’t be defined or seen; that exists in spaces: like an empty factory at night or a quiet woodland and in unreliable supporting characters whose behaviour is contradictory and sometimes suspicious or strange. It’s about an unknowable potential in these spaces and people.
Glenn and I plotted the story together and then wrote a treatment. The project was selected by the Cannes Cineresidence programme in 2008 so I went to Paris for four months and got stuck into writing. We didn’t often sit down together and write; more we talked about it and then I would write a draft or he would or we might take sections and then give feedback to each other.
The script continued to evolve in small ways right up to shooting as we confirmed locations. We went through many drafts; it was a constant filtration process. We had so many ideas that we wanted to explore in the beginning that we kept having to select from or cut down and this continued to be part of the process throughout the making of the film for me.
Join us on March 15th for the gala preview screening of The Other Side Of Sleep, followed by a Q&A with Rebecca Daly and Director of the Dublin Fringe Festival, Róise Goan.
The Other Side of Sleep is showing at the IFI as part of a season devoted to Fastnet Films.
Watch the film trailer here: