Director of Death Coaster Short Film: “I Would Want To Go Out With A Bang”

Logan Rapp
(Photo: Vimeo)

Glenn Paton, a TV producer in the UK, wrote and directed short film H Positive, which has lit up the interwebs, going viral on Facebook and becoming a Vimeo Staff Pick. The film follows Mark, a rather loathsome, but incredibly wealthy individual, who finds out that he's terminally ill. 

So what does he do? He builds and designs a roller coaster that would give him an adrenaline rush right before it squeezes oxygen out of his brain and puts him to sleep, permanently. 

Glenn Paton / Vimeo

We got a few questions in with Glenn, who was gracious enough to answer them. 

OBSEV: Both your film and Kickstarter video want to start a debate about euthanasia. What made you want to set out to make a film about the issue?

GLENN PATON: I find Julijonas Urbonas' art concept for the 'death coaster' an incredibly interesting concept as not everyone in life wants to just let 'nature take its course'.

It's an original idea and if the roller coaster was actually made for real, the scary thing is that the physics are actually there to cause cerebral hypoxia!

 

 

 

It may seem incredibly selfish but I'm always said to friends and family that if I had a prolonged terminal illness in life, without any way of treatment, I would want to go out with a bang and I think that's why I was attracted to Juljionas' concept.

I felt that it would make an extraordinary short film and lends itself to the idea that the 1% don't live like we do, so why would they allow themselves to die like we do? So, I centred the idea around when a rich man is terminally diagnosed, he plots an exit that no one would believe.

Euthanasia is such a tricky debate as there are a lot of different points of views and something that people feel very strongly about. For example, I had a lot of contributions on Kickstarter from people and companies that believe in assisted suicide.

Glenn Paton / Vimeo

OBSEV: What was the process like working with someone in designing a coaster expressly made to kill someone? 

GLENN PATON: Julijonas Urbonas is an artist and architect. He isn't planning on trying to kill anyone!

He has a vivid imagination, a massive brain and has loads of original concepts.

Upon meeting him several times, he made good contributions to the short film idea and he was totally behind the short film screenplay and believed in my idea.

Glenn Paton / Vimeo

OBSEV: How has the death coaster been received in fiction and as a real life concept by the public?

GLENN PATON: The film has been very well received by film critics and the industry and the public response has been largely positive. However, as you might expect with a topic of this nature, it's not everybody's cup of tea!

It has also been interesting to see how much traction your video for the euthanasia roller coaster has been getting on Facebook. It's incredibly hard to receive 8 million views in under a week so I like to think that the public want to debate this topic.

OBSEV: Do you have any plans to expand H Positive to a full-length feature? 

GLENN PATON: I would love to make a feature of H Positive but, as always, I need to find someone to fund the feature film.

I feel that it would sit comfortably in the same vein as Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror and I've got loads of interesting thoughts to bring this to life as a thought provoking social commentary.

Glenn Paton / Vimeo

OBSEV: How did you simulate a killer roller coaster without, y'know, actually killing someone?

GLENN PATON: I shot all of the roller coaster sequences with Go-Pro's attached to helmets and I filmed on the roller coaster myself for several hours on the Superman roller coaster in Madrid. I used this roller coaster because it looks out on barren woodland when at the apex of the ride.

And, I had an especially talented actor called Roger Barclay.

Check out the short film below, and many thanks to Glenn Paton for the interview. 

H POSITIVE from Glenn Paton on Vimeo.

 

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