Last year my friend Shayne mentioned that he had written a script for a film so I asked him to send it to me so I could have a look and I said that if I liked it I would make it. I was travelling to Kings Cross for a meeting and decided to read it on the journey. I was instantly hooked and before I knew it I had to get off the train and reluctantly wait an hour before I could finish reading it. By the time I was home I was on the phone to him telling him I wanted to make the film.
The film is an urban drama set in North London. I can’t give away too much about the feature right now but it is a step away from the normal urban gangster film and brings in some different elements. I know – not much to go on but the information will come later down the line…
After learning the story and characters inside out we developed the script and incorporated our visions together so that we knew we were on the same path to the film’s outcome. I decided we should make a short film first of all so we began to write a side story that fits in with the feature script; this would help us show our concept visually to aid us in getting the feature off of the ground.
We co-wrote the short film and before I knew it, myself and my good friend Catarina Rodrigues (Co-Producer and 1St Assistant Director) were placing casting calls and setting the wheels in motion to make a film.
Slowly we started building a cast and crew. One of Shayne’s close friends is an actor and he mentioned that he may be interested in playing one of the main characters. I jumped at this because I strongly believe in keeping within a creative family. It is always good to work with your own as well as bringing fresh faces to a team and I am very thankful that he said yes. Then, during a conversation with one of my colleagues from University, Marija Paseta, in which she mentioned her interest in producing, I approached her to help me with the film. I was ecstatic to have Marija on board as Producer because this would allow me to focus on Directing and working on the creative aspect of the film without being overloaded with work producing it also. She is also one of the hardest and most efficient workers I have ever met and it is great that this film brought us together as friends.
By December I had a full cast and crew and had booked in rehearsals and filming days. I had found locations that were happy to help me for free or at a very low cost and I had props being built.
This was the biggest production I was going to be directing so far and still being relatively new behind the camera, the pressure was on and I wanted to be as prepared as I could be.
I spent every day and night working on how I wanted the story to come across and how I wanted the shots to look. We had no budget to work with accept from mine and Shayne’s own pocket and I also knew we would often be tight for time. A lack of money and time are two ingredients that can seem daunting when trying to make a film the best it can be with limited resources. We were also working with people that were only being compensated with food and travel and I wanted to show them how important the project was to us and how appreciative we were of their commitment to the film. So I made the effort to meet with as many of the cast and crew as I could before rehearsals. I wanted the actors to be able to meet me first and go through any questions they may have.
Everyone was so professional and dedicated to the project from the get go… it was profoundly overwhelming. Shayne’s friend also wanted experience on production so took extra time helping with tasks behind the scenes. By the time we got to rehearsals there was no turning back and by the end of the first day we were all getting along really well and creating some really nice scenes. Although more will be said about this later when I can go into more detail about the project and our wonderful and talented actors who graced us with their presence.
So, that being said we filmed in January and have now moved in to post production and the first step towards our feature film. I will be sharing this journey in more depth and detailing each step we took to get to where we are currently and where we will be going. So forgive me for being somewhat vague in this post and I ask you to accept it as an introduction to posts that will follow that will detail a rewarding and creative journey into filmmaking.