AJ Sykes is a Filmmaker with an extensive background in theatre. Originally training at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Stage Management and Television Production, she went on to work as an award winning actor, writer, director before retraining as a filmmaker. AJ graduating in 2017 with an MFA in Advanced Film Practice and an MA in Film Directing from Screen Academy Scotland. AJ wrote, directed and produced her graduation film, the 35-minute science fiction short ‘Perfect Worlds’ which has gone on to gain 23 nominations, 3 awards and screened at 13 International Film Festivals so far.
I came on board Regrets when Asib & Chris had most of their Head Of Department. With an all male team, they were looking for a female director and I really admire them for making that conscious choice. When Chris looked at the final make up of our team we were at an almost 50/50 female/male split.
Chris is telling a very important story in Regrets: How abuse can affect the survivor. During the rehearsal period, we had some very interesting discussions on how often we have overheard arguments with an automatic assumption on who the abuser might be, and why we have that presumption.
Regrets plays around with different time periods, and to avoid confusion they needed to have distinctive different feelings which I dealt with in the production design, colour pallet & colour grade. Also to show the passage of time I made the older memories more vibrant and, as the past takes effect, the later memories become more washed out. This theme is also reflected in the costume design.
I used POV shoots in the memories to play with whose point of view we are witnessing as they cross over from one person to the other. Which is also reflected in the close-up shots of Jim & Mary as time stands still against the background of the busy Nurse’s comings and goings.
We have packed a lot into the 8 minutes running time of Regrets and I think it packs a real emotional punch.