Yoni Ben-Haim is a filmmaker from London who has, since 2012, created a number of short films. Suzanne & Martin is his latest – having been selected by a panel of industry professionals to create a 10 minute short, the result is a bittersweet story about a failing relationship.
Suzanne & Martin
“I didn’t want to explore the dynamics of a failing relationship, but instead the residual emotions left after a separation that can lead to far more painful places.”
In this inventive take on a collapsed relationship, Ben-Haim considers the emotional aftermath. The synopsis is simple – an ex-husband and wife meet for a game of tennis one cold morning in the winter, a friendly activity that soon plunges into a tumultuous and disruptive experience.
Alec Newman and Katie Pattinson star, whilst Stephanos Minoglou was the script writer, and, of course, we have Yoni Ben-Haim as the director.
The shoot was streamlined and professional – everything was organised, shot, and wrapped up in a mere six months. Most of this, he told us, was wrapped up two months prior to the shoot.
“This was the first time many of us on set had worked on this scale of production. I know for sure the part that worried me the most when going into the shoot itself was the amount of people I had to steer together to make a working crew. With thanks to my amazing Head of Departments, I could focus more on the actors and story and less on the logistics of running this kind of operation.”
Although not his first film, it was his first with such a large amount of workers – he described this as: “Truly an amazing feeling!” – of the production, he added:
“We were very lucky to have access to industry level lighting and camera equipment which helped the DoP [Director of Photography] and I create the look for the film that we wanted. With mostly static shots throughout the film, it makes the changes in movement in the end have that much more of an impact on the story they are supporting.”
As for the location, it was shot in Welksham, Wiltshire, at a countryside house that had a private tennis court. Ben-Haim commented on the brooding setting:
“The location plays a heavy part in setting the tone and emotional drive for the piece. Costume and props were all sourced from vintage and second-hand stores and markets. It really is the best way at this budget and level to create a convincing ‘lived in’ look for your characters.”