(Philip Staal is the director of “Small Steps”, a GIFF Achievement in Acting Award Nominee for the performance of actor Bryony Afferson.) TICKET INFO
Small Steps began with its writer and producer, Emma Jackson, who was inspired by her mother’s experiences to write a story that deals with miscarriages.
Emma’s script avoided a traditional narrative in favor of a collection of small, isolated moments that encapsulates typical emotions a woman goes through after suffering a miscarriage. As a director, I was excited to get the opportunity to give voice to a cause that is common, but rarely spoken about cause.
Having the protagonist isolated in most scenes provided a unique challenge. Typically, screenwriters creates obstacles through secondary characters that the protagonist bounces off of; in Small Steps, my task was to give each scene tension or development, purely by portraying Isobel’s internal struggle. Many would argue this is best done in literature, where the author can simply describe the character´s train of thoughts, however, I think that cinema is often strongest when it’s silent, subtle, and focuses on character and mood over plot. The challenge and pleasure of making this film was to create scenes that were impactful not because of their plot development, but because of their emotional truth.