“Get to work”:
I Miss The War

by Andrew Walsh

The making of I Miss The War (dir. Andrew Walsh, 2014-18, 23 mins, Australia)

“The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them” - Alfred Hitchcock

I Miss The War was the fifth short film I wrote, directed and produced. It was shot in 2014.


It’s a comedy/drama about three estranged sisters who reunite on the anniversary of their late mother's death, who took her own life nine years earlier.


Throughout the day we get a glimpse into their world as we witness how each sister has processed that terrible event and how it affects them in the present day.


Kind hearted but impulsive and anger-prone Annie (Hannah Gott) has made her own peace with this loss and is focused on building a life with her supportive and long suffering boyfriend Ray (Kyle Webb).


Impulsive free spirit Stella (Laura Vine) left the nest as soon as she could and has spent the last 3 years exploring the globe, successfully out-running her past and all responsibility, before drifting back to the family home with her new husband, the socially conscious and deeply hypocritical Adrian (James Barr).


Finally, oldest sister Chralotte (Sarah Golding) finds her private and fragile world collapsing under the weight of her own guilt and a drug habit that is spiraling out of control.


Before they know it, old skeletons, long thought buried, come out of the closet and all hell breaks loose.


The war has begun and nobody is going to walk away unscathed.



Like the characters, I too have spent a lifetime grappling with grief and trauma. After a long and very messy battle with manic depression, that plagued him since his teenage years, my father took his own life.


I was 13 years old.


I saw the three sisters as a chance to explore different aspects of my own personality and experiences.


Children are so much more resilient than anyone gives them credit for. They have a unique ability to process complex trauma and put it away in a little box and carry on like nothing has happened, which is exactly what I did. It worked well until my late 20s.


When someone commits suicide it’s like there’s this unspoken rule that you’re not allowed to feel anger, but by God anger was all I felt. Anger was all I ever felt. The more I tried to ignore it the stronger it became. It sabotaged relationships and derailed friendships. It completely distorted my view of the world, damaged my physical health and hindered my creativity until I finally learnt to admit that I needed help.


My longtime producer Ivan Malekin gave me some very simple advice: “Get to work”.


I wrote the script for I Miss The War in 4 days.


The humor is a very strong aspect of I Miss The War. I’m fully aware that a comedy about intergenerational trauma, suicide, and drug addiction sounds like a strange idea, but when you’re living on the edge, chaos and absurdity become the norm and laughs often come from the place where you least expect.


The way I see it, as long as you can laugh you will survive. These characters are survivors.


The film was shot across 6 frantic days. We used the same beloved crew of misfits from my previous films Growing Out and Rearranged along with many new faces.


Each day was a challenge as we threw out the hand-held documentary style cinematography of my previous work and utilized traditional framing, blending a use of old and new technology with the Black Magic pocket cinema camera.


We achieved the film's unique look by fusing vintage '70s pentax lenses with the modern Black Magic pocket cinema camera and used Da Vinci Resolve to give each frame of the film a very distinctive look.


We wanted to create a visual landscape that was almost like a classic painting on the wall, where every time you’d look into it, you would discover something new and take something else away from the image.


Long story short, the production took 4 years altogether.  I Miss The War is now finished and out and I can’t say there was any grand epiphany at the finishing line. I shed no tears at the final edit. I still haven’t witnessed any bright lights.


Though the anger I mentioned earlier is now finally gone, and for the first time in my entire life I feel calm.


Nobody ever wins a war.

I Miss The War
is now available on Vimeo.

Andrew Walsh is a Melbourne based writer director and producer who creates short films mixing uncompromising style with intelligent and deeply personal storytelling.

Published June 25, 2018. © Andrew Walsh 2018.