Ben Sebastian’s Wolfman is a long way from the usual short films. The 12-minute-long work unfolds as an explosive all-action piece pegged on a survival story. The fast-paced work, which aptly takes the tag-line ‘An Action Short’, portrays how an unnamed young guy held captive fights his way to freedom from what appears to be a seedy den for gangsters.
We get to see high-octane action sequences that pack in some no-holds-barred hand-to-hand combats, martial arts stunts and stylised gunplay. The very framework of Wolfman reserves little room for chit-chats and the short suitably steers clear of any dialogues as bullets fly and bones are broken.
Ben says omitting dialogues and keeping the characters unnamed were all part of the plan. “The idea was to make it action-intense. The focus was on camerawork and visuals,” he says, adding that he went for fast cuts throughout. “Also, we kept the camera dynamic mostly rather than going for static shots,” says Ben who also edited the film and did the VFX.
Shot at an old building in Kottayam, Wolfman was filmed in 10 days. Ben says the action sequences were partly inspired by the acclaimed Indonesian film The Raid 2 and he credits his stunt co-ordinators Abhijith and Naveen Nandhan for the fight choreography. “It also helped that Sajeev Sajan who played the protagonist had learnt a bit of Kung Fu before,” he points out. Ben says he likes role-playing shooter games and some of the frames shot in the first-person point of view demonstrate the influence.
A self-taught filmmaker, the 29-year-old says he picked up the techniques of movie-making from YouTube tutorials. “I like experimenting with film editing and watch a lot of western action short films. But it is a genre not much explored in India,” he says. One reason why he chose to try his hand at an action short film.