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Oct 16

It’s happening!

We have been shooting for three days now and I have never been so tired in my life!

Michael Winner once said that the most difficult part of making a film is staying awake for six weeks. I remember laughing when I heard that but now I understand what he meant.

Our shoot is only going to last for three weeks but the complications of filming an entire feature film in such a short time are making life incredibly complicated.

Also, we are filming in a number of different locations and even with a small crew of 18, moving everyone and all the equipment they need can take up a lot of time.

Avesta, our 2nd Assistant Director, has proved invaluable as she’s so good at working out detailed timetables of which vehicle needs to go where and when and carrying what. I don’t know what we’d do without her.

Our first location was at Woodlands Leisure Park near Dartmouth which was wonderful even though the rain came down for most of the day. Watching James, our Director of Photography, slithering down a death slide with his camera gripped tightly in his hands is not something I will easily forget!

The scene at Woodlands is going to be a happy interlude in an otherwise tense and suspenseful film and we were afraid that the grey skies and heavy rain would ruin the mood.

Luckily, however, once we had finished filming our stars enjoying themselves on the indoor play equipment, the rain stopped ong enough for us to film the picnic scene and an adorable litter of piglets at the animal centre.

So far everything is on schedule, despite the weather and the moving from location to location. Of course, there is still plenty of time for things to go wrong, but it’s a wonderful feeling to see the months of preparation finally transform into images on a screen.

Yay! It’s really happening!

Sep 29

AN AMAZING LADY


My Mother is an inspiration.

In an era when playgrounds are considered health risks and parents are encouraged to keep their children wrapped in cotton wool I am so grateful to have been brought up by a woman who believes that life is about seeking adventure not security.

As a child growing up in the Sixties it was pretty unusual to have a mother who worked.

And my mother didn’t just have a job, she ran her own business and taught me that women can do anything they choose.

She was born during the last year of the First World War, emigrated with her family to Australia when she was 11 and returned to London as a young woman just in time for the Blitz.

She worked in Fleet Street throughout the war and had to be re-housed several times after her home was damaged by bombs.

Later she returned to Australia to research a novel she was writing and became stranded when her caravan broke down in the Nullarbor Desert. After 13 days she was rescued by a travelling circus owned by the man who was to become my father.

At 94 she must be one of the oldest bloggers on the web and has just finished a novel which she intends to publish as an e-book.

Many of my daughters’ friends have begun following Mum’s blog, including Dave Reynolds, who is making a series of films called The Underwater Realm about a mystical race of people living under the sea.

When Dave needed a ‘mature’ lady to make a short appearance as an ancient Atlantean he asked Mum to play the part and she was delighted.

As you can see from the photo above she looked amazing in her makeup and wonderful costume.

If you want to check Mum’s blog you can find it at www.dianahardie.wordpress.com

Do you have an amazing relative?

Sep 23

Spots!

The fact that I haven’t written a blog post for some time might suggest that nothing much has been happening on the film front.

The truth is the exact opposite.

After we shot the teaser-trailer last year I wrote about how lonely it felt once the filming had finished and all the crew had gone home leaving Robert, David and I to face the next stage alone.

At the time I had no idea just how much there was to do before we could get the team back together for the shooting of the whole film.

Rebecca, our lovely director, has kept busy preparing her vision for the film at home in London but here in Devon we have been dealing with the more physical tasks of building sets, researching locations and stocking freezers with enough pre-prepared meals to feed a cast and crew of nearly thirty for three and a half weeks.

When I first suggested making a film I thought it would be an exciting experience. I had no idea then that it would grow to take up every waking hour!

But the good news is that after months of slogging away we have finally reached the point where our team is about to reform.

We now have the magnificent Mike Higgins working with us as our First Assistant Director. Mike is a great asset to us as he has a wealth of experience gained from over 30 years experience working on films ranging from the original Oliver! to Gladiator.

We also have a Production Designer in the person of Philip Higgs who has just spent a day going around the locations measuring and photographing everything so that he can begin work on his designs.

As some of the scenes are going to be shot in our house Phil spent a lot of time examining furniture, pictures and ornaments and carefully fixing red sticky labels to anything that he felt might be useful.

The result is that my house looks at though it has caught measles!

And what is worse is that everything that has not been ‘stickered’ will need to be removed. That means finding a temporary home for a huge range of things from sideboards and sofas to my beloved collection of huge houseplants and two large fish tanks.

But it will all be worth it.

In little more than two weeks we will again have a whole film crew around us and Deadly Intent will become a reality.

I can’t wait!

Aug 08

Herding cats!


I am now beginning to understand why producing is described as herding cats!

We have been trying to pin down the dates for the shoot – we had originally wanted to start at the end of August – for weeks and every time we have been about to make an announcement something has happened to make those dates impossible.

The very nature of the film industry means that projects are often prioritised or cancelled at very short notice and this makes scheduling extremely difficult.

In addition to this when making a very low budget film there is the problem of not being able to pay people what they are really worth.

This means that you have to find people who are passionate enough about your project to be prepared to give up their time for free or in the hope that they will share in the profits once the film has been sold.

Unfortunately, even the most enthusiastic people still have bills to pay and inevitably this means that they will have to take on paid work in preference to yours when it becomes available.

This is not so much of a problem with post-production work, although it can result in a long delay before the film is finally finished, but it is a nightmare when trying to arrange a shooting schedule.

To put it simply, you can’t shoot a film unless everyone is there at the same time!

For weeks now I have been struggling to arrange a schedule that would suit all our cast and crew. Originally we had planned to shoot during the school holidays as the restrictions relating to child licences are not so severe then but a key member of the crew was due to shoot on a multi-million pound feature in September and when the starting dates were moved forward to mid-August we found ourselves with a major problem.

Since then I have been juggling dates and commitments, trying every possible combination to find a period that will suit everyone. Now, many weeks later, I am having to hold my hands up in the air and admit that it is simply not possible!

It is horrible having to tell people who have been brilliantly supportive to me and the film that they will not be able to take part but I have no choice.

If this film is going to be made we have to choose a date which suits the majority of people and stick with it. Those who are not available will have to be replaced.

And that is what we have done.

We will begin the shoot on 11th October 2012.

There. Done. Announced.

Now we just have to make it happen!

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