Solium: The Skinny Short Film Competition

Shortlisted in The Skinny Short Film Competition 2015, cinematographer Robbie Gray explains the ideas, inspirations and processes behind Solium

Video | 13 Aug 2015

Filmmaker's statement:

This film, Solium, was created by myself (Robbie Gray) and Michael Hunter for our art degree at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in the early parts of 2015. Solium is an experimental film that involved filming in many exterior locations including a hill top, beach, forest and an abandoned tunnel, and also getting to shoot inside the fabulous Caird Hall in Dundee. We also built a bathroom set inside the university for our only other interior scenes. We set out at the start of the year with the plan of making a visually beautiful film, using the Scottish landscape as well as we possibly could and I really hope you enjoy watching our film.

Solium is the story of one man's journey through his subconscious to various dreamscapes, which he travels to by means of his bath tub, where he overcomes many demons and torments to reach his ultimate goal of peace and enlightenment.


What do you do and why do you do it?
I am a cinematographer and gaffer involved in short films, music videos and corporates. I spend all my time doing this because I love the variety of work with every day on the job being different to the one before and also meeting all sorts of interesting and talented people.

Where did the initial idea for your film come from?
We started out by giving ourselves a brief that consisted of creating a visually beautiful film using many Scottish landscapes as locations and using creative lighting techniques while indoors. As the script and themes developed we started to introduce many Buddhist themes and this enabled us to use these locations to create this experimental narrative.

Describe your film in five words?
Cinematic, visceral, uplifting, spiritual, original.

What excites you most about filmmaking?
I like the variety of filmmaking. Going to new places and meeting new people. It is also extremely rewarding to see the finished product and your vision come to life.

What advice would you give to other filmmakers?
My advice would be to create as much as possible and keep learning as much as you can in the process.


Director – Michael Hunter
Director of Photography – Robbie Gray
Producer – Robbie Gray & Michael Hunter
Writer – Andy Smith, Robbie Gray & Michael Hunter
Editor – Robbie Gray & Michael Hunter

Christopher Curren