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    'Perplexed Music': A new short film by Mark McGann

    Perplexed Music, a new short film by Mark McGann

    Perplexed Music by Mark McGann is an original short screenplay about the cycle of devoted love, loss and rebirth. In our interview, we speak to Mark about the film, working with his brother Paul on the project and the importance of sharing art with others. 


    Perplexed Music is inspired by a sonnet of the same name, written by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning. Her sonnet explores many of the themes that are conveyed within the film, as Mark explains:


    “It’s addressing all those irrational thoughts we have when we’re trying to reconcile unknown aspects with the reality of life itself. It’s not a million miles away from what happens when we’re grieving”.


    Though the title of the film is inspired by the sonnet, it also seems to have connotations with the themes that the film explores, something which Mark reflects upon:


    “When you’re in real grief, you seem to have a sheet of perspex between you and the world. You’re not reaching out and you’re not reaching in. It's all happening from beyond where you are. There’s something incredibly perplexing about it. There’s also something incredibly perplexing about someone who has been an ever present, not being there anymore. It unsettles you in ways that you’re not expecting”.


    Above: Mark McGann, writer of new short film Perplexed Music


     Yet Perplexed Music is not solely a film about grief, as Mark adds. It is about the life cycle and the process that follows when you lose a loved one:


    “What the film will set out to do, is to give people an understanding of that part of the process that we all go through, in order to get to the next stage. It’s very much a part of the life cycle.


    It’s a huge subject and its the universality of it that’s going to resonate I think, but it’s as much a film about what happens after we've accepted the loss. I believe that if you look at life, you find the poetry and the beauty in it, everywhere, in all its forms”.


    Love is also one of the themes right at the heart of Perplexed Music, something which Mark reflects upon as he discusses the film further:


    “Love - it’s eternal. This film, it’s central theme, is love. That is the unifying factor; love is the soup that binds everything”.


    For anyone who has watched a production written, produced or directed by Mark McGann, love is also something that is clearly evident in his work. Not just the exploration of the theme itself, but also the love for telling a story that touches you and moves you.


    From left to right: Paul McGann and Mark McGann

    In terms of a love for film, Mark explains how Perplexed Music also reflects his love for cinematography:


    "Perplexed Music is a result of all the things I love about film. I really wanted to explore something where the silence was the main narrative. The central character remains silent throughout. That doesn’t mean that there aren't other characters who talk. It’s about that juxtaposition between the outside world and his own internal state, which then for me means I can paint different pictures. I can paint pictures with music, I can paint pictures of what he’s seeing and how people see him. In the edit or with cinematography, you can create very different worlds”.


    These worlds will depict the central character’s journey, following the passing of his life companion. The central character will be played by his brother Paul [McGann], something which Mark is incredibly excited about:


    “I know him incredibly well. It has to be an advantage. There’s one thing I’ll say about him: there’s very few actors who can work a silence better than he can. It’s not just about the way he looks; it is about a certain quality of stillness, but that stillness is not something you can affect. It’s a highly skilled thing, because it gives us an opportunity as an audience to paint a certain amount of personalised interpretation on what he’s giving us, without him imposing too much on our thoughts. Yet the performance has to be strong enough that you never lose the sense that he’s in control of it. In terms of this film, I couldn’t get a better actor”.


    Above: Paul McGann, who will play the central character in Perplexed Music


    Perplexed Music will be shot entirely on location in Somerset and Cornwall during Spring 2017. You can found out more about the film in the promotional video.


    It is being entirely funded through a Crowdsourcing Campaign, with Mark expressing that he is “very touched by the amount of people who have come forward” to support the film so far. 


    As we continue to discuss the film, he expresses how sharing the project with others through the Crowdsourcing Campaign is something that is very close to his heart:


    “It gives me the opportunity to say, you can be this much of a part of it. Magic really happens when you open your heart to people and you say ‘what do you think of this?’ or ‘come and have a look’. It’s amazing because, who knows, somebody might bring their kid along and their kid might be the next great film maker or actor. Inclusivity is the way to go”.


    Listening to Mark speak about inspiring others through the process, it is evident how passionate he is not only about film making, but also about helping others. To me, Mark McGann is a creative inspiration and someone whose work is the very essence of art. Art that not only explores life, but art that continues to inspire us in our own lives.


    By Sarah O' Hara



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