In James Popplewell’s short, ‘Mixed Messages‘, two young professionals, who are sharing a flat in London, are flirting with one another. The chemistry is there, but is it the right timing?

Mixed Messages by James Popplewell

What is your film about?

This films about the possibility of a relationship between two people sharing a flat in London. They struggle to express their feelings, perhaps because they don’t really know what they are. These days people have so many options for relationships, so it can be difficult to commit to being with someone.

What are the main topics raised by this story?

One of the main topics is the timing and how it can affect things. In life one small event can possibly lead you to a new direction, leaving you with a new job or even a partner. Flat sharing is a great chance meeting new people and quite often that’s how relationships form. But for some it might be an obvious way to fall in love and they try to avoid it.

Loneliness is another topic. Overcrowded metropolises are full of isolated people, who are looking for someone special to share their time with.

What is your credo as a filmmaker?

I think the aim is always to try and make the audience feel something. Then hopefully to entertain and if possible, help them see something different or have a perspective that they didn’t have before.

James Popplewell

Who is the target audience of your film?

Anyone who likes to watch films. I find it interesting to watch short films from around the world. I believe they have more freedom to show different cultures. For example my film a quick snapshot to how some young professionals live in London.

Can you share a funny or interesting story about the making of the film?

One of the cast members called me on the way to the shoot to say that they were running a bit late. We had met once previously in a café and spoke for an hour or so about everything other than the script. But we seemed to get on which is the most important thing for me on a low budget project like this. But when we spoke on the phone that morning and I mentioned something about the script they realized that they had been reading the wrong character.

Why did you decide to submit your short film to the short film corner?

It seemed like a great opportunity to come to Cannes and get a look at how the market works. There are lots of useful talks here and you get a chance to meet people from the industry in a short space of time. It would be more difficult to do so in London.