The Visual Effects of Captcha, interview with The Mill

The British Film Institute and Film4 Present Captcha

Eyes Only

Too Tall Productions

©2020 The British Film Institute and Too Tall Productions Ltd. All rights reserved. Registered Company No. 05391600.

The British Film Institute and Film4 Present Captcha

Eyes Only

27th Festival De Girona – Winner Best film, Best Cinematography, Best Music

Los Angeles Cine Fest – Winner Audience Award

SciFi Film Festival, Australia – Best Film, Best Male for Arthur Darvill, Best Female for Amy Beth Hayes

Superman Celebration Film Festival – Best Drama, Best Male for Arthur Darvill, Best Female for Amy Beth Hayes

Film Du Festival Merveilleux – Best Screenplay


This award winning short film mashes together some stunning noir thriller visuals with a diesel-punk love story. Fantastic on-screen chemistry between Arthur Darvill (Legends Of Tomorrow) and Amy Beth Hayes makes this British offering “Mesmerizing, stunning, intriguing and leaves you wanting to know and see more” Flavour Mag

About Captcha

Captcha, a multi award winning short film from the BFI and Film4, starring Arthur Darvill and Amy Beth Hayes.

Can love be used as a weapon?

An unassuming government scientist (Darvill) has unknowingly been ‘spiked’ with a love implant, but the spy (Hayes) who put it there has fallen in love for real.

It co-stars Nigel Lindsay (Alan Partridge, Four Lions), with the voice of Zoe Wanamaker (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, My Week with Marilyn).

From the BAFTA winning writer and director Edward Tracy (Facejacker, Fonejacker), the film combines an unusual palette of conceptual visuals and sounds to build a storyworld of steam punk 1940’s London. “The clothes, music, technologies and architecture provide a rich source of inspiration. It is cinema’s golden age with a twist of sci-fi”, says Tracy. “Piers Wenger, who oversaw the Doctor Who reboot, was on-board as our executive producer. He suggested Arthur so I met him for a coffee. We both said: “let’s do it”. If only life was always that simple!”

Darvill agrees: “I read the script and liked it, and couldn’t quite picture it in my head which was exciting. It was a really quick process between meeting Ed and doing the film. It was an exciting way of doing it, as neither of us knew how the other worked. It was a leap of faith which thankfully paid off!”

Arthur’s co-star was actress Amy Beth Hayes. “The first thing that Amy and I had to do, on our first ever meeting, was have a picture of us kissing”, recalls Darvill. “It’s such a weird thing having to play being in love with someone you’ve only just met. I find it such a nerve-wracking thing. But it’s something you’ve just got to jump into. Luckily, Amy is really lovely, and I’m sure she was feeling the same way!”

“I think CAPTCHA is a really interesting look at trust and what it is to be in love with someone”, says Darvill. “We’ve all thought we were in love with people, when we weren’t and this is a manufactured version of that. So it throws up lots of interesting questions about love…”.

Captcha was predominantly filmed against green-screen, with the highly stylised steam punk world of 1940s London brought to life by the OSCAR® winning team at The Mill, London. “It was a mad process to make CAPTCHA: we filmed in a tiny green screen studio with only minimal set, and we didn’t know what everything was going to look like. It was a process unlike any other I’ve been through”, recalls Darvill. “Ed created this world around us and the scale of it is so massive. The style is so interesting, a kind of futuristic past world that plays with your mind in such a wonderful way”.