Nursery Rhymes | Award-Winning Single-Take Short Film | Short of the Week

Nursery Rhymes | Award-Winning Single-Take Short Film | Short of the Week

Why is a Metalhead singing Old MacDonald on the side of a rural highway? A surreal scene turns into an engaging mystery in this celebrated single-take short.

From celebrated Australian commercial director Tom Noakes, in partnership with Will Goodfellow and Lucy Gaffy of Studio Goono, comes this AACTA-nominated short that challenges audiences initial perceptions and prejudices through a succession of carefully orchestrated twists and reveals. Achieved in a single take (out of 4!) amid challenging conditions, this brief 5min mystery perplexes, then delivers a gut-punch.

A selection of Short of the Week, the web’s leading curators of quality short films:


Studio Goono Presents
in association with Scoundrel Films
A Film Directed by Tom Noakes

“The kind of film where you’ll need a minute to recover after the credits roll, Tom Noakes’ Nursery Rhymes disorientates its audience initially via a surreal, contextless opening. Confusion gives way to a slowly unfolding puzzle however, serving up revelations all the way through to its emotional close, when it delivers a gut-punch that I am still feeling today. From the extremely creative screenplay, to the perfect execution and performances, this five minute film creates a dense atmosphere that will leave viewers paralyzed long after its unsettling conclusion.

Instantly inspired after encountering Will Goodfellow’s script, and the idea that “courage asks unexpected things from us”, Tom Noakes got to work crafting his vision of how to translate the script to the screen as effectively as possible. With extensive commercial experience, Noakes was not afraid of a story that would require a high-concept production and test his limits and those of his crew.

Opting to film in a single shot, except for the last cut that wraps the film, Noakes’ direction is quite remarkable, coordinating every element of the filmmaking in perfect harmony to create a short as powerful as it is memorable. Transporting his audience to a nightmarish scene, Nursery Rhymes is shot from a low camera that only begins to turn and reveal the devastation halfway through its brief runtime. The slow coordinated movement of the camera doesn’t allow the audience to look away, and proves a perfect pairing for the film’s intricate succession of reveals, producing a film that is not only technically proficient, but uses that proficiency to play with audience perceptions and prejudices in a fun way.” – S/W Curator, Céline Roustan

Directed by Tom Noakes
Written by Will Goodfellow
Produced by Lucy Gaffy & Morgan Benson-Taylor Executive Producers Adrian Shapiro & Tim Bullock Cinematography – Aaron McLisky
Production Design – Ruby Mathers

METALHEAD BOY – Toby Wallace
METALHEAD 1 – Lucie Cleuet
METALHEAD 2 – Braithe Selby
METALHEAD 3 – Stef Smith
METALHEAD 4 – Wade Keighran
FARMER – Martin John Barlow
FARMHAND – Brock Fitzgerald
FARM WOMAN – Margaret Rowe
CHILD 1 – Minami Adachi
CHILD 2 – Elie Cao
CHILD 3- Yena Lee
MUM- Tsu Shan Chambers
DAD- Shingo Usami
CHILD ON BIKE 1 – Danny Whalan
CHILD ON BIKE 2 – Taysha Whalan
CHILD ON BIKE 3 – Kiah-Rose Whalan
CHILD ON BIKE 4 – Chontaih Whalan

1st AD – Kate North Ash
Makeup, Hair and sfx – Margaret Aston
Wardrobe styling – Brenda Hayward
Sound Design – Lachlan Harris & Thom Kellar at Folklore Sound Sound Recordist – Lee Kelly
Colourist – Billy Wychgel
Casting – Danny Long
2nd AD – Luke James Smith Steadicam Operator – Damien King 1st AC – Ollie Braslin

2nd AC – Rob Farley
Camera Attachment- Pat Brain
Gaffer – Pete Sutton
Grip – Martin Fargher “Fabs”
Art Director – Lauren Sillato
Standby Props – Ben Walker
FX wind machine – Aidan Anderson
Make up and Hair Assistant – Victoria Forester
Make up and Hair Assistant – Margo Regan
Tattoo designs and consultant – William P Brown
Foley artist – Andrew Simmons
Production assistant – Holly Winter
Nurse – Emma Cohen
Catering by – Ree Booth
Green Room – Cato Logisitics
Animal Wrangler – Aaron Booth
Runner – Mayuna Kiyama
Stills Photographer – Craig Martin

Reproduced on this channel with the permission of the filmmakers


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