• Olisa Tasie-Amadi

Portrait of a Circle: Olan Collardy's Intimate Film Giving Us Joy During Lockdown

Olan Collardy creates a short film exploring a beautiful relationship between father and son.

The opening scene is a symmetrically split frame of Collardy’s older son sitting beside his father’s camera which he describes as “old…like really really old.” Portrait of a Circle is a candid glimpse into Collardy’s world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through watching this film, it’s appropriate to say beyond his work as the director we know him as, he also proves to be a loving father to his kids—not letting them wear Arsenal jerseys simply gave that away.

Shot entirely in his home, set to the soundtrack of an elegant piano sonata, the short film sees Collardy’s young child narrate the essence of a warmhearted bond between him and his father’s work as a gifted cinematographer. The film Portrait of a Circle saw Collardy collaborate with imaginative creatives and friends alike, teaming up with producer Adeleke Adesina to design the film’s soundtrack and colorist Karol Cybulski to paint the tones of this stunning piece of art.

The Portrait of a Circle film, voiced by Collardy’s older son, softly touches upon the nature of his thoughts about his father’s work, and his hopes of him someday following the same path. Though Collardy’s son shows tender appreciation for his work, as he is gifted with a little grey point-and-shoot camera, he does also state that he would “rather be playing games on his Nintendo, watching Pokémon on the TV, or playing with his cute younger brother.” Collardy’s exceptional film is short, extremely "cute", and once again serves as a piece of evidence as to why he is a gifted cinematographer in his own right. The film’s ambiance, achieved with minimal lighting against a light-brown wooden wall, is another testament to Collardy’s ability to create compelling and evocative images in his work through carefully crafted frames.

Over the last few years, Olan Collardy has continued to distinguish himself from other directors as his work continues to embody a truly diverse nature. Not only in the faces of his select characters but also in his impressive range of creative production. From energetic television commercials to carefully narrated short films, or even hard-hitting music videos; Collardy never fails to deliver. Portrait of a Circle is an intimate film that speaks to the times we’re living through while giving us a sense of hope. Watch the full short film here:

Read our interview with Olan on issue IX now, available for purchase here

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