Short Film: To Lose Control

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Marty Stalker is a former Royal Marine turned film director. Liverpool born and now based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he has  previously directed short films, documentaries, music videos and several TV commercials for both UK and US television. To lose Control, his latest short film, is something of a personal project for the director – its aim is to raise awareness of  P.T.S.D (post traumatic stress syndrome) and the benefits of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy as a treatment.


For the sake of his family and after a violent incident with two burglars at his own home, Chris Draper, a former elite soldier decides to seek professional help for his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After two years of leaving the military, he begins to be haunted by an image of an Afghan Policeman who he worked with on his tour of duty and who was shot through the head by an enemy sniper. Chris doesn’t understand the reasons for seeing this face, which is breaking him down mentally and causing him to alienate himself from everybody around him. Chris meets Susan Williams, a qualified Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist during his private therapy treatments. It’s only through the Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing method that the real explanations for the flashbacks are made clear.

Marty Stalker and Maggie Cronin go over the script.

Marty Stalker and Maggie Cronin go over the script.

It took two years and five drafts before he was satisfied with the script, collaborating with Visionworks Television. Filming took place in Northern Ireland – even the Afghanistan war zone scenes were filmed in a local quarry, augmented by footage shot by Marty during a tour of duty.

Marty (in cap) gives direction. Chris in foreground.

Marty (in cap) gives direction. Chris in foreground.

Chris Patrick Simpson (soon to be seen in Belfast “behind enemy lines” Troubles drama ‘71) plays Chris. Maggie Cronin is therapist Susan. For once Marty had the luxury of employing an A.D and cameraman Jim Crone.

As an indie you’re expected to wear many hats on set but this time was different, this time I wanted to focus 100% of my attention on directing the actors and getting them where I want them to be with regards to performance.”

“It has taken me five years of messing around with various genres to know exactly where I want to go with regards to my future career. My direct influences in film are Shane Meadows and Peter Mullan so gritty drama is where I want to be, I’ve never felt more determined. I’ve never been the person to do anything half arsed and drama brings so many challenges to a Director.”

Originally posted 2014-09-14 22:34:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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