An Ocean Between The Waves

An Ocean Between The Waves, written & directed by David Redhead, is a dreamy debut film and evocative snapshot of a young woman’s journey to better manage her anxiety.

Sarah, a recently qualified therapist, makes an impression on a naive Crystal.

It isn’t long before their relationship goes beyond professional protocol and Crystal begins to question everything from her sanity and even her sexuality.

David Redhead was born in 1992 in Scunthorpe, a small industrial town in northeast England. Growing up in Scunthorpe has fuelled a desire for making raw, realistic content, reminiscent of the ‘kitchen sink’ dramas of the 50s and 60s that focused on ‘real’ peoples’ issues. In 2011, he enrolled at the University of Leicester and studied English and Film Studies for the next three years. After working many jobs after graduating, he moved to London in 2016 to pursue a career in film. In London, he gained a wide range of experience running on sets and in post houses, whilst also helping friends out in their own productions. Redhead currently works in post production preparing content for video on demand platforms. His real passion lies in writing his own films and being on set, seeing his own ideas come to fruition. ‘An Ocean Between the Waves’ is Redhead’s first feature film.

Says Redhead: “In hindsight, since I can remember, I’ve always suffered from some form of anxiety; overthinking and worrying unnecessarily to name a few. It was only until mid 2016 when I realised that it was a problem and was something that I shouldn’t be living with.

I was struggling to find a story to write about for a short film. As it turned out, this bad experience fuelled an idea. I found exploring anxiety through the medium of film was useful therapy. It allowed me to understand how absurd it all is, but at the same time, how real and detrimental it is.

It took me around 6 months of on and off writing to complete the first draft of the script. In fact, none of the film was written in order. I wrote each scene and then stitched them together. I didn’t want a fairytale story where someone starts off hopeless, and by the end of the story they couldn’t have a care in the world. Mental illness is not like that. It doesn’t necessarily follow that trend, it fluctuates frantically, and I wanted to capture that in the structure of the film.

‘An Ocean Between the Waves’ is by no means a biographical story, but it is a personal story. It takes elements of what I’ve experienced and can relate to, albeit with some creative licensing. People often ask me why I’ve written my experiences through a female. For me, the gender is irrelevant in some ways. In another way, I found it easier to write as a female, it seemed more natural and I guess by projecting my emotions onto another gender, I could remove myself from the story slightly. Crystal became her own character and not simply a caricature of myself.”

An Ocean Between The Waves is currently streaming in the features section of the virtual festival.

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