• Country: United Kingdom
  • Initial release: November 7, 2021 (United Kingdom)
  • Film Director: Sam Baron
  • Running Time: 13 Minutes
  • IMDB Grade: 7.2

In the world of independent filmmaking, British director Sam Baron has made a name for himself with his sensitive and hilarious exploration of the fragility of masculinity. His latest short film, Big Ears, continues to mine that rich vein, delving into the life of a struggling actor named Kaan, brilliantly portrayed by Amit Shah. With its blend of comedy and drama, Big Ears has captivated audiences and critics alike, earning praise for its exceptional performances and heartfelt storytelling.

The Genesis of Big Ears

Baron’s collaboration with Shah on their previous project, The Orgy, proved to be a successful and rewarding experience for both director and actor. Inspired by their chemistry on and off-screen, Baron was eager to continue working with Shah and build upon the relationship they had developed. Additionally, Baron’s collaboration with fellow filmmaker Chloë Wicks on Fragile Package further reinforced his belief in the power of micro-budget short films to overcome the obstacles faced by filmmakers.

Crafting the Story

Big Ears follows the life of Kaan, a health food shop assistant and struggling actor. Baron skillfully treads the fine line between tragedy and awkward hilarity as he explores Kaan’s personal and professional struggles. The story revolves around two actors, one with terrible news and the other with great news, leading to a comedic yet poignant exploration of the male tendency to remain silent about their problems.

Assembling the Team

Despite the challenges of working with a micro-budget, Baron managed to assemble a talented team to bring his vision to life. With Alistair Little as the Director of Photography, Amy Green as an actress, and Mark Weinman as a co-star, the core team worked together to develop trust and a common language. Their shared experiences and conversations about personal struggles helped shape the authenticity and depth of the film’s characters.

Filming on a Micro-Budget

Making a short film on a micro-budget is never an easy task, but Baron and his team found creative solutions to overcome financial constraints. They borrowed an ARRI Amira camera from Little, utilized the acting skills of Green, and enlisted Weinman’s talent as an actor. The team’s resourcefulness and commitment to the project allowed them to create a compelling and visually striking film.

Balancing Comedy and Gravity

One of Baron’s strengths as a filmmaker is his ability to balance comedy and gravity within his storytelling. He believes that the line between comedy and tragedy is razor-thin and that a great film should contain elements of both. While writing the script, Baron focused on organic humor that stems from the emotional reality of the characters and the story. By keeping the performances grounded and real, the film seamlessly navigates between moments of laughter and moments of profound emotion.

The Working Relationship Between Baron and Shah

The collaboration between Baron and Shah has grown stronger with each project. From their initial work on The Orgy to their latest endeavor, Big Ears, their friendship and trust have deepened. Shah’s commitment to his roles and willingness to expose his vulnerabilities on screen have impressed Baron. Their close bond and shared experiences have allowed them to create authentic and deeply personal stories together.

The Awkward and Tense Conversations

One of the standout scenes in Big Ears is the awkward and tense conversation between Kaan and Matt, played by Mark Weinman. While the scene may feel improvised, it was meticulously scripted, demonstrating the skill and talent of the actors. Baron encouraged Shah and Weinman to listen to each other and embrace the uncertainty of the situation, creating a palpable tension that adds depth to the story.

The Editing Process

Baron took on the responsibility of editing the film himself, facing the challenge of condensing the story into a manageable runtime. Initially, the cuts were too long, but with careful consideration and input from others, a major subplot was removed, resulting in a stronger narrative. The collaboration with composer Roly Witherow and sound designer Fred Pearson further enhanced the emotional impact of the film.

The Emotional Climax

One of the highlights of the filmmaking process was capturing the emotional climax of the film. With time running out and the sun setting, Baron encouraged Shah to forget the script and share personal stories with Amy Green, who portrays Kaan’s love interest. The raw and genuine emotion that unfolded on set left the entire crew in tears, solidifying the film’s authenticity and emotional resonance.

Reception and Impact

While Baron admitted to feeling nervous about sharing Big Ears with the wider world, the film has been well-received at film festivals, connecting with audiences on a deeply personal level. The process of creating the film, delving into vulnerable and exposing themes, has been a meaningful and transformative experience for Baron and his collaborators. The success of Big Ears reaffirms the power of independent filmmaking and the importance of telling honest and relatable stories.

1 Film Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • The short film, “Big Ears” is a testament to Sam Baron’s talent as a filmmaker and his ability to explore complex themes with humor and sensitivity. The collaboration between Baron and Amit Shah has once again yielded remarkable results, showcasing their deep understanding of the human experience. With its blend of comedy, tragedy, and authenticity, Big Ears stands as a powerful and heartfelt exploration of masculinity in the face of adversity.