Filming Writer's Block

I should have written this a while ago but I thought I’d leave it and wait until it had cooked through my brain.

Last week, I helped make a film, well I say “help” but I actually started helping an hour or so after not recording the audio and realising! Never going to live that one down.

So, yes, I went to Wolverhampton with Alan and Paul to make a film with Sound As A Pound Films. Written by Dave, it was called Writer’s Block and basically follows a guy who has a writer block just before an event. It’s a short and the observant ones amongst you will know that Dave actually first told this story as a Dead End Dramacast.

Dave directed with Paul and I helping where we could. Paul did some set design and was the all important clapper loader while I managed the sound. The camera we used as a Sony shoulder mounted something but we recorded the audio using a beaten JVC minidisc recorder as the camera had a lot of noise. A nice chap called Chaz was also there who helped with sound and gave some really useful insights into the scripting and story. This all left the acting to Alan and Tony.

Now, we made a film with Dave ten years ago, yeah ten whole years ago and I remember it being challenging in the sense that we had a script and followed it to the letter. This time it was completely different – Alan had collaborated in the script beforehand and on the day we all got involved. Chaz made a really good change as he observed the filming and made everything flow better. I made directorial comments too. The reason why I mention this is that the whole process was very fluid and there no egos getting in the way. Dave did an amazing job of listening to all the feedback and using what he thought was important but at the end of day, still led on the production, providing the all important leadership when it mattered. Made for a really good environment to work in. I think Al and Tony did a fantastic job too – they were really patient with this fluid movie making and totally got it. This reflected in their performances which were spot on. I don’t know if it was supposed to be a comedy as such but they it like one and it really worked.

My only minor criticism, if anything was the way it was filmed in that the actors did have to replay the same scenes out again and again when they might have only needed to re-shoot a small close-up. I guess Dave was covering all the bases but in a larger production it can be problematic – actors get tired and there reams and reams of tape is used. Hope Dave doesn’t mind me saying that but I said it on the day too.

Have to say though, I really really enjoyed the day and hope that the next one isn’t in a another 10years because I feel like we all work really well together. Al has hinted he’d like to get back into it which would be cool. He said something very kind actually, he said that he would only make a film if I was there on set which was very nice to hear. This is because he sees me as a technical film maker rather than perhaps a creative one. Thanks Al, that’s a nice complement.

Real thanks must go to Dave though for pulling us all together to do something we all love.

PS currently in the middle of nowhere but when can I will upload some photos of the day.

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