I first heard about the 50 Kisses competition through Chris Jone’s blog. I loved the idea of making a crowd sourced feature film and was looking for another project to sink my teeth into. A two page script, I thought ‘how hard can it be’? Boy, was I in for a treat. After narrowing the 50 scripts down to two, I eventually picked ‘Colton’s Big Night’ written by Nathan Gower, it had the charm, humour and quirkiness that I was looking for. The main character was also a ten year old. “This is perfect, I love a challenge”!
With just over a month before the deadline for the film competition, I started calling up all my friends, asking if they’d a) like to get involved and b) if they’re free the weekend of the shoot. The next big challenge was to find the cast; we had two days to find our ‘Colton’ as we needed to apply for a permit for the underage actor 21 days before the shoot. The pressure was on. With the help of of our producers Jassa Ahluwalia & Katya Rogers, we found our leads.
We had everything in place: the cast, crew, equipment, location and talent. Lights, camera, ACTION! It was a frantic two days full of challenges and problem solving. We were limited with how much time we could film our eight year old actor playing ‘Colton’ because of his energy levels, concentration and child legislation. This forced us to come up with convincing and interesting ways to tell the story without using him in every shot. We had crew members stand in to double as Colton, we filmed drawings and props to give the audience an idea of who Colton was, and we rehearsed scenes with the other actors before calling our Colton onto set. We had to get the shot in one or two takes otherwise he’d lose concentration. So there was a lot of pressure on the crew and other cast members to get it right every time. They nailed it!
Post production has been an intense process of finding all the magic moments and putting them together. Trying and testing every shot to get the best results from the material we filmed. We also had some of the film originally scored by the brilliant Lyndon Holland and a song made for the end photo sequence by the amazing Rachel Phillips. (I’ll post more info about this soon.) It sounds epic! We’re currently finishing the visual effects for the film, grading and sound mixing it before the deadline this Saturday!
This project has been a real roller coaster and it’s been a great learning curve. I’ve learnt all about the logistical challenges that come up when working with children, the importance of casting and how vital pre-production is in order to get the best results. I would like to say a massive thank you to all those who helped. I just want you to know it wouldn’t have happened without you! Cheeeeeers!
Next month I’m off to New Zealand to shoot a pilot for a web series, it’s my biggest project yet, and I can’t wait to share more about it with you all soon!