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My Dad is Orange



Documentary / Experimental / Student Film (UK) 2019

Director: Elle Ralph

US Premiere


SYNOPSIS: A short poetic and experimental documentary exploring synaesthesia, a neuro-cognitive phenomenon where one or more senses are blended together. ‘My Dad Is Orange’ will take you on a multi-sensory journey where you can explore a world where it is possible to smell sounds or even taste colours.


DIRECTOR BIO: London born, Elle Ralph is an enthusiastic director with a passion for documentary filmmaking. Her excitement for filmmaking began when she was 17 and worked with Chocolate Films Production Company to create a ‘1000 Londoners’ documentary. After mainly directing and producing narrative films in recent years, Elle has really enjoyed developing and shaping ‘My Dad Is Orange’ into what it is today. Now in her final year of her Film Production degree at The University of Gloucestershire, Elle is looking forward to graduating and developing her own films beyond university.

DIRECTOR STATEMENT: It is my pleasure to present to you ‘My Dad Is Orange’. This documentary was a labour of love, made with the intention of giving a voice to synaesthesia and the people that have it, accurately displaying what they are experiencing with a fresh and optimistic take on the condition.

Myself and my crew wanted to take the audience on a journey, introducing them to a fascinating condition and immersing them in the world of someone who experiences this on a daily basis. A documentary like this is important because it is a medical condition which is sparsely heard about and very rarely given a platform to be learned about. Synaesthesia is, unlike many medical conditions, seen as a gift by those who have it as it so often comes with heightened creative abilities and skills which makes it such a captivating and exciting phenomenon to explore.

Our documentary has combined several different interviews, scripted into a poetic narrative and read by one voice actress. As the voice over is read we see a combination of different visual styles, opening with hypnotic macro ink shots, which develop into manipulated medical footage and experimental shots as we learn about condition and what it entails. The visuals build into home footage, where we learn about how synaesthesia affects the home lives of those who have it. Then, we explore darker, more eerie shots as we learn about the negative side of the condition and how it can impact upon day to day life in a very difficult way. Finally, we end the documentary with a reflection, focusing on the people who have synaesthesia and how they cope with having such an exciting and challenging gift.

The sound design in our film is vital. We have used sound and visual metaphors to avoid on the nose clichés, as well as working with a composer to create a soundtrack to our film which will help the audience get lost in the world of synaesthesia. This combined with unique foley we hope has helped the audience understand how someone with synaesthesia interacts with the world around them on a daily basis.

Finally, the edit has tied together our visuals and sound into a film which we hope has left the audience feeling inspired and as though they have learnt something new. The edit has combined a heavily stylised colour grade and a ‘trippy’ soundtrack with a combination of different genres and a poetic script which has worked together to tell the story of people with synaesthesia that is beautiful and true to their experiences.

- Elle Ralph

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