Festival darling, ‘Death in Bloom’, directed by Dael Oates just won ‘Best of Fest’ at the Hollywood Comedy Shorts Film Festival. The short first garnered attention from the Sydney International Film Festival, Raindance London Film Festival, and LA International Short Film Festival, among others.
Oates, an Australian filmmaker, comes from a healthy VFX background beginning his career at Animal Logic (The Matrix, Happy Feet, Lego Movie) and is exclusively represented in the US by Chromista, which was launched in 2013 by partners Darren Aronofsky, Sandy Haddad, Ted Robbins, and Scott Franklin.
Oates brings a dose of brightness to a dark comedy where a traveling salesman peddling death finds his match in the overly particular and proper Mrs. Patterson. Oates cast famous Australian stage and film actress Robyn Nevin. Nevin, (Australia’s version of Helen Mirren), is best known in the US for her role in ‘The Matrix Trilogy’. Nevin brings sophistication, an uncanny confidence and perfect timing to this role which draws the audience’s attention and leaves one yearning to see more of her twisted fate.
Ewen Leslie, also an Australian-native film and stage actor, best known for working under director Philip Seymour Hoffman in ‘Riflemind’ plays opposite Robyn. Leslie's voice and mannerisms set the tone for the unnatural relationship that transpires between the two characters. Leslie’s performance enriches the story and adds depth to the character. The character compliments Nevin’s more formal character and adds comedic relief with his and Robyn’s onscreen relationship.
The film opens on a dramatic aerial shot of Mrs. Patterson laying seemingly dead on her kitchen floor, mixing bowl splattered next to her, contents dripping from the counter. Dael, used an anamophoric lens to create the illusion of each scene looking like a still photograph throughout the entire short film. This effect adds to the artistry of telling the story and also supports the timing and tone of the film itself.