SODO EXPRESS, 24mins, 2021.

SODO EXPRESS

Studio Rarekind is proud to present the debut fictional short from British-Asiandirector, Suridh Hassan.

Sodo Express sees Suridh step away from the realm of documentary filmmaking that hehas inhabited for the majority of his career, and embrace the creative explorationthat comes with the territory of fictional narratives.

The film was birthed from an idea that first entered Suridh’s mind while watching anews report which featured virtual reality pioneer, Jaron Lanier. Lanier wassuggesting that the human race is coincidentally experiencing nuanced behaviouralchange, as a result of the rise of social media platforms and tech companies. Thishypothesis resonated strongly with Suridh and eventually gave him the first murmuringsof Sodo Express.

Set in the ever-evolving world of street art, Sodo Express touches on themes ofobsession and identity, with a particular focus on how the looming spectre of socialmedia can exacerbate an already unhealthy situation. The protagonist is Ezra, anartist who is dealing with a fear that is commonplace amongst creatives – the fearthat your time for achieving success, or at least your vision of it, is slipping away.

Ezra is drawn into a seemingly innocuous treasure hunt, by a prolific artist whoshrouds themself with the cloak of online anonymity that the internet offers. With theallure of social media engagement and clout proffered as a reward, Ezra is drawnfurther into the game, and further into his own paranoid delusions in the process.

The feeling of paranoia, along with the increasing sense of dread and menace, areenhanced by the fact that Sodo Express contains no dialogue; instead bestowing theimagery with even more potency and gravitas, while leaving the overall interpretationin the hands of the audience. In addition, the decision to work without dialogue makesthe film accessible to all; something that was an essential factor for Suridh.

The score also plays a more important role in building atmosphere, with the sound andmusic both adding a claustrophobic intensity to the visuals. The interpolation ofanimation into the footage serves to continue that intensity, as Ezra wrestles withhis demons both physically and mentally.

Of course, none of these attributes would have been possible without the fantastic

crew we had working on the project. Ezra Dickinson assumes the lead role, with hisreal-life involvement across the creative spectrum, from painting and choreography toactivism and animation, providing much-needed inspiration and input for the film’soverall aesthetic. The compelling street art that captures Ezra’s attention was thework of renowned artist, Zach Rockstad, while the illustration and animationtechniques were implemented by Ingmar Järve AKA GUTFACE.

The aforementioned music and sound contributions come from a trio of talented souls -IXA, Gold Panda and Academy Award nominated filmmaker, James Longley, whose passionfor making amazing abstract audio soundscapes was put to good use. The editing washandled by Tim Grabham AKA iloobia, whose wealth of experience was immeasurablyvaluable.

Filming was completed before Covid restrictions came into force, while the remainderof the work was carried out remotely and proved a truly international effort, thanksto collaborative efforts across the U.K., Belgium, Estonia, U.S.A. and theNetherlands.

For all enquiries, please contact - studio@thesrk.com 

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