Left Behind is an experimental 10 minutes short film prepared from scratch in one week and shot in one day.
It wasn't initially meant to become an actual short film, my purpose was to create only one scene to enrich my demo-reel / showreel. That is why the story doesn't have a real plot, it's merely images, moments of this lost soldier's life. This tale is based on the historical events of Hannibal's crossing of the Alps in 218 BC, one of the major events of the Second Punic War. I focused my narrative on one soldier of Hannibal's army who due to a serious head injury wasn't able to keep up with the rest anymore, so he, just like hundreds of soldiers each day, was left behind, most of whom died quickly. Hamilicar Mahab (my character) managed to survive yet got lost within the depth of the mountains.
We woke up at 4am, drove one hour to location, and then walked an other two hours in the cold to get to the right spot. The snow was frozen, very slippery, and the fog really dense at times, one false step and the day could have turned into an unfortunate event. Through out the day I was very careful on the time too, getting lost in mountains at night is something you want to avoid. I find it always incredibly overwhelming to be fully immersed in nature, especially in snowy mountains with no civilization to be seen anywhere around. I truly wanted to capture and transfer on screen the scary, intimidating yet breathtaking scenery we were surrounded by. Few days before shooting I had gone to the location I had planned on shooting the scene in, I had pretty much thought out all positions and picked the exact spots for each take. Unfortunately the snow melted one day prier shooting so I had to pick an other location last minute, which I could not visit before the actual date. We were climbing up the mountain without really knowing where we were going, and how it was going to look.
No cinematic experience had ever given me such a strong hang over before. Still one week after the shooting I caught myself daydreaming about the mesmerizing trip. It literally fueled my joy for a while, it was a short yet powerful experience, something I wish to explore deeper in a future project.