Film Craft > Production

THOSE THAT FOLLOW – SHOT ON IPHONE 13 PRO

TBWA\MEDIA ARTS LAB, Singapore / APPLE / 2023

Awards:

Silver Spikes Asia
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Film
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Overview

Credits

Overview

Write a short summary of what happens in the film.

Shot on iPhone, ’Those that Follow’ is a hallucinatory tale of karmic revenge, rooted in Thailand’s belief of ‘Phi Ta Khon’ or ghosts following people.

The story follows two teens on the run after a robbery goes wrong. They attempt to lay low at the local ghost mask festival, stealing an ancient ghost mask to blend in. But the mask wields a dark, karmic power and unleashes its curse onto the two friends.

Reckless Bas becomes increasingly paranoid, while guilty Thum starts to hallucinate, torn between following his friend and his own morals.

As the hallucinations escalate and bleed into reality, things come to a head between the two friends, until finally, Bas disappears.

Feeling remorse, Thum floats the mask downriver to let go of his wrongdoings. As the mask floats down the river, a silent scream can be heard.

It’s Bas, trapped behind the mask, punished for his greed.

Cultural / Context information for the jury

The film is set in northeastern Thailand, during the town’s annual ‘Phi Ta Khon’ festival, where locals believe that once a year, spirits are free to roam amongst us. 

Festival-goers wear handmade ghost masks, believed to serve as portals for the spirits. At the end of the festival, the masks must be floated down the river to let go of evil trapped within.

The film is rich with symbols and meaning based on true local beliefs. 

The mask is a symbol of karmic punishment, playing into the original meaning of the festival name, ‘Phi Ta Khon’, which means ‘ghosts following people’.

In our story, karma follows you.

Tell the jury anything relevant about the cinematography.

The cinematic vision for ‘Those That Follow’ was to portray a haunting fantasy rooted in reality.

Most critical and challenging, was ensuring the ingredient of darkness - central to any great horror film - could be delivered using an iPhone.

With the story mainly set during the night, firelight and candles were used with larger lighting setups to replicate moonlight, but the sets remained largely dark or low-lit.

This technically challenging shoot forced the DoP and Director to quickly gain understanding of shooting on the device.

Designed for the big screen, each shot was carefully framed, the smallest details considered.

No additional lenses were used.

Additionally, they were able to experiment with iPhone’s versatility and size, placing it in unexpected places (behind masks, on drones, on bamboo sticks while riding motorbikes) and passing iPhone to Lead Actor to hold for interesting POV shots.

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