No story is ever black or white. The truth is a grey-ish thing. There may well be two sides to every story, but the truth tends to lie somewhere in the middle. Especially in relationships. And that’s what Photoplay director, Husein Alicajic, shows in his six-part web series, One Sided. The series explores contemporary relationships and the people within them, each faced with a real-life situation that illustrates a contemporary moral dilemma.
Alicajic’s stories reveal intimate one-sided conversations in which one person is talking to an often absent other. Their brilliance lies in his ability to manipulate the audience’s perception as he bleeds each character’s story into the next. Viewers are forced to adjust and review what they believe about the stories and their raconteurs, as they learn something new each time they get to view the story through a different lens.
Alicajic explained, “In One Sided you get to witness all of the different sides of someone, the intricacies and contradictions that make up a person, and how none of us is ever truly one-sided. The series also explores how people can present different sides of themselves to others depending on the situation. It’s these complexities of modern-day communication and relationships that I really wanted to capture. I’m interested in how we all fit together and relate to each other.”
Alicajic’s challenge was to direct single performances that carry the viewer through the full duration of an episode – a test for any director (or actor). Alicajic’s flair for drama and performance direction triumphed over this challenge throughout. His striking visual approach, seen in so many of his commercials, enhanced the magnetism of the stories. To achieve all of this, Alicajic worked with director of photography, Simon Ozolins. The power of the series lies also in Alicajic’s clever construct in which only the audience is given the ability to connect the storyline.
“The audience is in this privileged position where really they’re the only ones who get to see all of the different sides of the characters and the story, and they get to piece everything together.”
Alicajic’s challenge, though, was to direct single performances that carry the viewer through the full duration of an episode – a test for any director (or actor).
Photoplay executive producer Oliver Lawrance, commented, “Web series are a wonderfully effective storytelling medium, yet there’s so much more experimentation that can be done with the short format and that’s what got me excited with this series. The beauty of One Sided is that it’s made up of all these seemingly one-sided short stories and the audience is able to join the dots.”
Alicajic’s work has been applauded at Cannes, New York Festivals, Clio, AWARD, Ciclope, PromaxBDA, and for three consecutive years by the Australian Directors Guild as a finalist for Best Direction of Commercial Content. He also won a Highly Commended for Best TVC Direction at the ADG Awards in 2016. Most recently, Alicajic was a writer and director for the official biopic of legendary country and western singer, Waylon Jennings, and is developing the upcoming film on Australian champion boxer, Dean Waters, with awarded writer, Reg Cribb.