The Visual Translation

The Unfamiliar’s visual translation tells the story from Elizabeth “Izzy” Cormack’s perspective.
The film rarely cuts to a scene where Izzy isn’t involved.
The aim was to create a cinematic anxiety throughout the film as Izzy continues to doubt her own sanity.

The Film Grade

Colourist Andy Lee used an actual 35mm film reel as a filter in the grading process of The Unfamiliar. 
Andy Lee graded the footage that was shot in England vastly different compared to the footage in Hawaii.
The blue colour of a corpse was used as a reference to grade the Hawaiian spiritual realm.


Hawaiian music

The very first (sound) reference to Hawaii being a place of potential danger, within the film’s context, was the Hawaiian song that played over Tommy’s two-way radio.

The idea behind using the Hawaiian song, which has a very 'tourist-friendly' sound, was to introduce the idea that a normal tourist haven can also become very scary when experienced in another context. The song was used throughout the film.

Before the mix:
After the mix:

Original Music

Composer Walter Mair incorporated original Hawaiian instruments and combined it with classic musical instruments to create a truly unique sound for The Unfamiliar.
He worked with a conductor and a full orchestra in some of the scenes and used multiple layers of unique sounds in most other scenes.

His work is better admired in surround sound.

The single layers:
The chant as used in the film:

Songs Created For the Unfamiliar

Singer-songwriter Anna Wolf teamed up with music producer Pop Morrison to create the theme song for The Unfamiliar. The song and music video (also called The Unfamiliar) will be released before the film’s USA release in 2020.

Anna Wolf

Multi-award-winning singer-songwriter,  with a hypnotic stage personality.

Pop Morrison

Music Producer, drummer for the Stereophonics and multi-instrumentalist.
Made with the support of the British Film Institute.