So back in July I wrote the introductory blog post for our upcoming short film ‘Behind Closed Doors’ and 9 months later here we are! A lot has happened during this time and I thought I’d write an update just to let everyone know how everything has gone, is going and will be going.
First things first, we filmed it – hurrah! It was an invaluable experience and is something that will stay with me forever and what I’m proud of the most is that we didn’t lose sight of what we set out to do. So many times I’ve been on a set where time is running out (as always!) and suddenly corners begin to be cut and the ethos of a film just falls flat in order to ‘get it in the can’ so to speak. But due to the very ‘bare knuckles’ approach we took to the production of our film, even when the natural source light started to dim and we were all getting very tired after a long day, we were able to simply say “if it’s not right we’ll do additional pickups another time”. This is one of the aspects which I thought really paid off by keeping our cast and crew to a minimum, we had that freedom to talk between the three of us and simply say “are you free on such-and-such a date, yes? Great!” – suddenly all the pressures of having to get everything filmed in the single day were relieved and we were able to get back to film-making.
I also cannot fault our brilliant actress Thea Knight who gave a seriously stellar performance over and over again. Even when the issue was production-based and we needed to redo a shot, she has the ability to compose herself and knock the performance out of the park once again. Moral of this story…work with good actors!
I feel for me on a personal level, the main learning curve during the day was to not take on too much. Trying to direct and be the cinematographer was a great experience giving me total control…or so I thought! By trying to control everything too much, I ended up sacrificing some of the film’s quality. I’m not saying my camerawork was awful and the film is entirely out of focus and unwatchable, but had I worked with my go-to-guy Tim Watchorn for the cinematography, the entire production would have been a lot easier and actually been more about the ethos of the film. The main reason we didn’t script the film (as such) was to allow the acting to be as organic as possible, not giving Thea marks to hit or timings to be here and there, taking a John Cassavetes approach allowing her to act whilst the camera follows; Not the other way around. However, since cinematography isn’t my main strength (editing since you ask! 😉 ), focusing became enemy number one and the production did slightly become more traditional with us having to set markers for Thea to hit to ensure the shot was perfect. Again, Thea gives an amazing performance but I can’t help thinking what it would have been like if she had that little more freedom with movement etc? Anyways, the lesson learned is that I will never again try to take on too much during a filming day!
So that’s the core production day rounded up! I also have to give a big shout out to another great performance from Rob Wainwright who was our ‘News Presenter’ for a morning in the green screen studio, pleasure to work with and I felt pretty bad getting him down from London for what turned out to be an hour’s filming! But always good to meet and work with new people.
So once all the filming was complete we unfortunately fell quite busy with the corporate side of Aether Productions and the post-production was put on a back-burner for quite a while afterwards. However we are steadily getting the film constructed in the editing room and the entire piece is coming along perfectly, the last thing we wanted to do was rush the film just for the sake of getting it done. On a personal level, one thing the film would strongly benefit from is having its own score. Since the film is so character focused, the film is feeling like it needs something more than just a royalty-free track that ‘goes with it’ to really give the entire film it’s own character. So if there’s any people out there that fancy giving it a go, let me know! But overall I’m really happy with how it’s all going and we’re looking for an official June release ready to start hitting all the film festivals. For a sneak peak into how it’s all looking and feeling though, check out the teaser trailer I created recently – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9b-XQZ6Fs14
And on a final note, you may have noticed that we decided to change the title from ‘Behind Closed Doors’ to ‘Bring to Nothing’ since we started to notice many other films with the same title and wanted something that made our film stand out. So for a few weeks we were searching high and low for synonyms or metaphorical phrases which where relevant to the core values of the film and also wanted to change the branding of the film to something which stood out more. So after much deliberation we soon came to agree upon ‘Bring to Nothing’ which we felt encompassed everything we were trying to accomplish with the film; The idea of being able to strip something to nothing, and be left with something unique.
And on that note, I bid you adieu! Thanks for reading 🙂