OxygenThe Old Man and his Bed

Film information

The Element

  • O
  • Oxygen
  • Atomic No.8
  • Atomic Mass15.99940
  • Market Priceapprox $0.21/kg

The uptake of Oxygen from the air is the essential purpose of respiration.

Oxygen supplementation in patients with breathing dificulties increases levels in the blood and decreases resistance to blood flow in diseased lungs, easing the workload on the heart.

Making the Film

  • LanguageEnglish
  • Running time7:19 minutes

I chose Oxygen as it seemed to offer the best opportunity to make a film with a simple human story. Myself and Guy King, the researcher, were invited onto a ward dealing with severe respiratory conditions in a London hospital and the first person we were introduced to was Bob. The hospital staff clearly liked him and I immediately understood why. Despite his desperate medical condition, he was extremely optimistic, remarkably kind and not without a sense of humor.

After a little consideration, I decided to shoot the film with Bob over one long night. I decided just to be there and experience something of his situation without any tricks, complicated structural considerations or big narrative ideas.

David Katznelson (cinematographer) myself and Guy stayed at Bob's flat all night, sleeping in the room next door so we could shoot him waking up. As we packed our kit in the morning, Bob couldn't thank us enough for taking an interest in him and his life.

Sometimes films come together quite simply without too much agonizing

Marc Isaacs

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The Filmmaker

Since 2001 Marc Isaacs has made more than 10 creative documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4 in the UK. His films have won Grierson, Royal Television Society and BAFTA awards, as well as numerous international film festival prizes.

In 2006 he had a retrospective at the prestigious Lussas Documentary film festival in France and his work has been included in numerous documentary books and academic studies.

In 2008 Marc received an honorary doctorate from the University of East London for his documentary work. Marc is a guest tutor at the London Film School, the National Film and Television School, and Royal Holloway University.

His latest film 'Outside the Court' recently screened as part of BBC4's Justice season.