by writer/director Leon Ford
Griff The Invisible’s first audience was in North America at the Toronto Film Festival. It was then, and recently at Comic-Con, San Diego, that I felt Griff is truly at home here. Griff shares many ideals with America. He believes in freedom of expression. He strives to defend the innocent and uphold justice. And he lives by the credo 'be who you want to be.' I am thrilled to be opening the film in the U.S. and hope that the feeling is mutual.
When the character of Griff came to me, the long journey to arrive at this point began. It was in a restaurant one day, I saw a kid playing under a table by himself while his parents were dining. Judging by his moves, he was some sort of superhero ninja. As I watched him I thought, not only does that look like more fun than the rest of us are having, but who’s to say it’s not just as real as what all the adults are doing? We’ve all just agreed that we are diners in a restaurant, but that’s not necessarily the truth for everyone.
This idea evolved into Griff, who is essentially like us, but when the rest of us gave up those alternate realities of childhood, he carried his on, built it up and relied on it. This place grew stronger and stronger as he grew into adulthood, until it became more real than our reality.
Griff is not delusional. He functions perfectly well in our world, enough to get by, but whenever possible and certainly whenever threatened, he retreats to his home world.
So what is Griff’s reality? It is a mixture of cultural influences collected over the decade or so that he has been living in it. Marvel and DC certainly made their mark early on him, and this developed into an entire Gotham-like city, where danger lurks around every corner and everyone needs Griff.
Inside this framework, I wanted to explore the idea of loneliness. Sydney is a city of some five million people, and like many cities this size and bigger, it can be a very lonely place. Everyone has difficulty finding a partner. But living in a big city, staying true to yourself and finding love can be almost impossible.
From this came the introduction of Melody—the only person in the world who not only accepts Griff for who he is, but encourages him. They share imaginative, hungry minds. They share lost souls. They share loneliness. They share alternate realities. She recognizes this first and wants to be with him.
At the heart of the story is love, the greatest superpower of all. At its most ideal, love is a place where anything is possible and everything is accepted. Griff and Melody may not be the most everyday characters, but I hope they remind you of people you know, you remember from school, and especially of elements of yourself. Everyone, at one time or another, has felt on the outer. Everyone feels they have something inside of value that is not fully appreciated. And the most important message to come out of this film, in the end, has been the idea that we all need to, and we all have the potential to, show the world who we are and to connect with another human being.