‘Hunting: A Documentary’ as reviewed by Emily Thomas

Hunting: A Documentary (Abaigael Woods) tells the story of a young vampire about to embark on his first hunt, much to the consternation and disdain of his experienced older brother. We follow the ups and downs of this momentous day, meeting his chosen victim and watching as things go not-necessarily to plan.  

Abaigeal and her crew adopt an effective mockumentary style, and the outdoor scenes show a particular familiarity with the genre and embrace the quirky subtlety evident in many mockumentaries (Abaigeal lists the Office’s deadpan humour as one of her main influences). She utilises the seemingly spontaneous camera movement essential to the genre, although in her director’s interview she explains that the filming process was anything but.

Weather issues meant that the shoot had to be rescheduled, impacting on the availability of some of the cast members, and editing problems led to only half of the footage being included in the first cut.  Despite this, characters like the old lady were able to be cast due to the rescheduling, and the film flows well and leaves us laughing. The talking heads filmed with the two vampires are well done, and the main characters are very physically suited to the roles. Abaigeal talks about her decision to cast the elder brother-  she initially wanted parents for the talking heads but the actor’s audition was so good that she wrote him into the script instead- and stresses adaptability when filming a project such as this.

This film marks Abaigeal’s first stint as director, although she says that she wouldn’t make a mocumentary again- a lot of improvisation was needed from the crew and attempting to get them in shot could sometimes be a challenge. Her advice to first time directors? Stick to your instincts and follow your gut: perseverance is key.