The story of a man who cannot be remembered, desperately trying to hold on to his former life and reconnect with his true love before time runs out.
Writer/director: Andrew de Villiers
Producers: Jorah Fraser Porteous, Shawn Seifert, Andrew de Villiers
Mister Forgettable has been a passion project of mine since 2009. I originally conceived it as a campy, heroic short that would fit nicely between a matinee double feature I was writing with friends.
The plot followed a film noir hero along the lines of Dark Man, The Shadow or The Spirit. He would have the world’s most undesirable and tragic superpower: the ability to be forgotten.
The idea of a man who cannot be remembered is intriguing to me. It is full of possibilities and drama. The notion that we all feel forgettable sometimes, that we can all relate and understand the emotional through-line of the character, is most intriguing of all.
There was the reasonable and inevitable question of cause and effect. The age-old question if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does it make a sound? Ergo, does Frank’s inability to be remembered hint at a larger metaphor for purgatory? Is he simply dead and grasping at the memories that haunt him, looking for answers?
As questions arose, I developed what I thought was the cause, a reason for Frank becoming forgettable. The story became darker and more contemplative.
The tragedy became the focus, and the relationship between Frank and his wife, Alice, the cause. It occurred to me there were parallels between Frank being punished and fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast. So Mister Forgettable became a kind of film noir / fairy tale hybrid. All of this story work eventually went on to inform the look and setting of the short film.
The team that worked with me to make Mister Forgettable deserve all the praise in the world. They saw me through the evolution, they helped me get the story and characters to where they needed to be. We always intended Mister Forgettable to be a kind of test for a feature we hope to make someday but, as time went on, it became a standalone short that means as much to us as any feature ever could.
The development and production of Forgettable was beyond ambitious. It tested us all, created challenges we sometimes could not solve. It created risks and it has created reward. Namely, dropping the audience into the middle of a complex tale meant trusting them to piece together the mystery as it was unfolding.
There is an undeniable beauty in the performances, in the way it was shot by Shawn Seifert, in the music and in the design of the film.
More so than any short I have made, Mister Forgettable is cinematic, haunting and beautiful.
As the writer and director, I am not offering praise to myself here but to the team of talented people who really made this film. I am thrilled to have been part of this journey with a great team and I cannot thank the people who put their heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into this production enough. I’ve been dreaming up films for a long time but never before have I been able to show the world something like this. Something I am proud to share.
About Andrew de Villiers
Andrew has 15 years experience in film production and is the winner of a Canadian Comedy Award for directing and producing Riverdale: The Archie Movie Trailer.
He has several films in development including a retelling of the legendary Davy Crockett and has produced dozens of corporate videos. In 2013, he directed a TV movie for Movie Central and Lifetime, titled Secret Liaison.
Mister Forgettable was a labour of love for Andrew and the crew, a final step before moving into professional productions. One of his regrets is that the film’s length and challenging structure made it a difficult film to screen at many traditional festivals. He stands by the performances, design and emotion of the story and hopes to one day rework and expand it for audiences.