Every now and then an online competition arises which allows you to push your creative abilities on a self funded production. It’s always a welcome change from the day to day grind of making a buck, which doesn’t get any easier when you actually rely on media for your profession! The competition felt like a right step in terms of how it’s being judged and would also give me the chance to take my writers hat off to solely concentrate on being a Director, (and for now, still a Producer!).
Having read all the 50 Kisses scripts, “A Kiss Goodbye” immediately struck a chord to resonate on many levels. In terms of idea and characters it stimulated an immediate visual concept from a directing point of view and was also realistically achievable on the budget to hand.
The top and tail of the script were not sitting comfortably, possibly being restricted by the 2 page rule of the script writing competition? It was although it needed more time to breathe and after a few emails between myself and Tina Lowe, (script writer), she was flexible toward changes if the bulk remained true to the original narrative.
I’ve always tended to work with small crews and this project was no different due to
financial constraints. It can be harder for individuals, as they inevitably end up doing two or three jobs, but as a plus I find it can deter conflict and drive productivity. My partner has a close friend who aside being a full time pattern cutter also doubles up as PM to keep my sanity during all pre-production and shoot days. I had a lighting DOP with a mutual great visual eye and an ever reliable sound recordist who are always the spine of my crew with an additional PA and MUA being sourced via social networks. Thankfully all came onboard with very little persuasion and the usual offering of expenses and junk refreshments on the actual day of the shoot!
On the unenviable task of casting I used the usual routes of Casting Call Pro and
Spotlight. As expected I was inundated with talent receiving over 40 applications for each lead role. A select 5 for each character were met in London all in one day, which in itself was mind blowing and took a full 48 hours to digest. I often rely on gut instinct in many aspects of life and true to form it prevailed again in these circumstances with my two prime candidates on paper being as good in reality.
Location was always going to prove difficult and was the one area a big favour had to be called upon in a lifelong friend whose business premises were going to be perfect in terms of all production requirements and the pivotal central scene.
It’s been a week now since wrapping on the shoot, which I’m pleased to say was one of the smoothest ever productions with no issues other than the changing of the weather and a light bulb. All cast and crew were a credit to their professions putting 110% effort to produce some fantastic footage. A rough edit has been assembled and sent to the music composer, who has come up with a wonderful original music score befitting to the overall feel of the narrative and edit to date.
Here’s looking forward to the final cut and getting the film uploaded in time!
Under Your Hat Productions