Prior to her big break, the woman who would become Rey, Daisy Ridley stars in short film science fiction thriller, Blue Season.
At the tail end of 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in theatres to the anticipation of fervent fans the world over. Not only was it the highest-grossing film of that year, but it was also the highest-grossing film in North America, and the third highest-grossing film of all-time (behind Avatar and Titanic).
The seventh main series entry in George Lucas’s beloved science fiction franchise was a booming success with both audiences and critics. One of the standout aspects of the picture was the main female lead character, Rey, and the actress who portrayed her, Daisy Ridley. The then-23-year-old Londoner was an unknown at the time of the film’s release, not having any other major film credits to her name. Yet, she quickly propelled herself to superstardom, becoming one of the most sought-after young actresses in Hollywood. The Force Awakens was not Ridley’s first foray into the world of entertainment. Before landing her big role, she performed in British television series and several independent film projects. One of her first appearances in motion pictures was in Blue Season, a 2013 short film written by Georgina Higgins, who also served as co-director and co-producer alongside Lee Jones. With a runtime of about five minutes, this suspenseful piece was created for the Sci-Fi-London 48-Hour Film Challenge. With unsettling ambiance and engaging performances, Blue Season is a short that knows how to get the audience’s heart pumping.
Ridley stars as Sarah Beaker, a young woman who finds herself hanging upside-down in a prison cell. Her only hope of escape is a nameless man at a computer desk (Kenneth Jay) with whom she communicates with an earpiece she finds on the floor in front of her. Both actors in Blue Season do commendable jobs in their roles. Ridley depicts the desperate captive very well, conveying the character’s fear that makes the viewers want her to make it out. Meanwhile, Jay establishes himself as the mysterious man on the phone, as his true motives are never made clear.
For a short that took merely 48 hours to make, Blue Season is a technical wonder that has a visual style that leaves an impression on the audience. Vince Knight, who served as editor, colorist, sound designer, and director of photography, deserves a lot of kudos for his contributions to this film. The lighting, cinematography, and continuity in Blue Season gives the whole piece a very eerie and creepy atmosphere. The camera picks up so much detail, down to drops of sweat running down the characters’ faces, that it gives the audience the feeling that they are there in the scenes. That makes the action all the more suspenseful, as we connect with Sarah in her last-ditch effort towards freedom.
Blue Season is a truly remarkable short film, not only for being an early credit for an actress who would later go on to greater things, but also for showing that it does not take a lot of time to make an engaging thriller.