Founded in 2011 by filmmaker Daniel Harding, 23½ Films is an independent UK production company striving to make unique content and original stories
After choosing to construct a meaningful connection via a newly developed S.A.M. service, Noelle may have finally found her perfect someone
S.A.M. is a short film written & directed by Daniel Harding and released online in 2019. The film stars Lucy-Jane Quinlan as Noelle and May Kelly as Sam. Fintan Shevlin and Elliot Robinson make up the rest of the small cast. It features an original score by Gus Nicholson, make-up & hair design by Marta Bagnoli, as well as cinematography by Andrew Jezard.
To read the S.A.M. shooting script, click here.
S.A.M. was one of four short films that I intended to make towards the end of 2017 (two went unmade, and the other is titled Hangry). I had this idea floating around in my daydreams for quite sometime, but I didn't know what it meant or what it could turn into, so when I had some downtime to write, I sat down to figure it out.
All I had to start with was this image of a duplicated person sitting in what was originally a gym-style changing room. I also wanted to explore the theme of love in the modern age, especially playing close attention to exploring the concept of online dating and where perhaps it may go in the future (if we're not careful!). The script took less than a day to write, and I quickly went about assembling a cast & crew.
I wanted this film to be a step up from what I had previously done. I was growing in confidence as a filmmaker, and felt I could handle a larger crew of people. I saved up a decent budget (by my standards at least) so I could afford to hire some key members. The crew was mostly made up of recommendations and people I had worked with before. I just finished on a feature as Production Manager, so I had plenty to choose from.
Lucy-Jane approached me about the role after seeing it posted on Mandy. I knew Lucy-Jane but only through a mutual friend, and I had seen some of her previous work. I thought she'd be terrific as Noelle. I offered the title role to May after she applied to the open casting and we chatted about the role over coffee - I approached both Fintan and Elliot directly as I was aware of them before. Elliot then recommended Andrew Jezard as DP, and I felt his style matched my own and the rest of the crew quickly fell into place. I edited the film myself, with a bit of help from Dave Packer on SFX, and it was released directly online without a festival run in 2018.