After a long edit process picture is locked and sound and music are being added. Pretty soon we will be setting the screening date at BAFTA for all our Kickstarter backers to see the finished film for the first time…
Mike Myshko (editor/Producer) is also the VFX designer and grader so his job now is making all the ghosty bits work. He’s also making sure all the colours of the sea, sky, shingle and Suffolk are beautifully co-ordinated in the grade.
Here’s some stills from the shoot.
If you’d like to join us at the BAFTA screening, a £50.00 donation will get your name in the credits and two invitations (first come, first served)
It has been two years since I updated this blog and so much has happened, dear reader. The Wilderness has been put into cold storage, and will stay there for the time being while I make my debut feature film – A supernatural thriller that I’ve written called WIDOW’S WALK.
We are about half way funded to make this super low budget horror/ghost story with a big old twist to it. We shot a teaser in Suffolk in our ‘ghost house’ last November. Watch it here…
So the last time I blogged, we were going to be part of two festivals in London. It was great to be screening on home territory – especially the East End Film Festival because THE WILDERNESS is set in Hackney Wick innit… We came very close to a prize (Best UK Short) and the Audience Award – thank you to the 30+ people who came to our screening and voted…
But now it is onwards and upwards to HOLLYWOOD!
Our US premiere will be at HOLLYSHORTS which is the top short film festival in Los Angeles. Bringing it home again, BOXER ON THE WILDERNESS will screen at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd – around the corner from where I used to live for ten years – oh the irony!
Then I’m off to Portland for the Portland Film Festival in Oregon. While I’m away we will screen at Bornshorts in Denmark and coming up in October we will be part of FICTS in China and then Milan… A festival with strong ties to the IOC again so fitting as we have a strong Olympic theme in the film – Harry Mallin won gold at the 1920 and 1924 Olympics.
All the while I’m developing a new low budget screenplay I’ve written called Widow’s Walk. It is a ghost story set in my native Suffolk – please follow us on Twitter @Widows_Walk…. the festivals are great places to network and meet new people who are looking for new projects and up and coming directors… So keep watching this space as we I get closer to the grown ups table and am invited to direct my first feature film….
Here I am at the festival awards last night. Very exciting to see our poster in the lobby of the Empire Cinema…
We were nominated in TWO categories, which is very exciting for our first festival. Best Cinematography (Kit Fraser) and Best Short Film. Unfortunately we didn’t come away with a prize this time but onwards and upwards as next, we will be part of the East End Film Festival screening in Stratford on June 22nd. Just up the road from Hackney Wick where THE WILDERNESS is set so it will feel like we are ‘playing at home’.
It’s been a long road to the festivals, but this is the really fun part – getting to show your film to a lot of people on a big screen and meeting other emerging film makers. I’m just so excited to be part of the London film festival circuit. Such a great reward after everyone’s hard work.
NEWSFLASH: If you are reading this before 5pm on Sunday (today) please go here
This is the Kickstarter campaign for The East End Film Festival and it is in its final exciting five hours.
They need all your support. Pledge NOW to the East End Film Festival and get some nice rewards for the festival we will be part of…
Here’s a fellow blogger and one of my huge supporters, executive producer of BOXER ON THE WILDERNESS and BFF Ann Marie’s insightful take on my creative process with my film making as we get ever closer to The Prize of making THE WILDERNESS. Deep Breath…
So proud of all my cast and crew who came in on a Sunday to shoot our beautiful little movie. Featured here are Matt Casey as the boxer, Jim McDonnell as his coach and Derek Lea as our fight coordinator. Kit Fraser was the cinematographer and we shot on the RED Epic, a camera capable of super high speed photography ( up to 300 frames per second) that can give us the super slow motion that I was going for.
The rig you see is the highly sophisticated Omega AR rig that allows the camera to do much more than a steadicam. We got some amazing footage with it on that vintage boxing ring.
Everything is now in post. By the new year we should have a locked picture, with sound design, colour grading, FX, original music recorded at Abbey Road Studios all ready for our premiere screening at BAFTA in the new year.
We will be streaming the event live from the Princess Ann Theatre so watch this space for details of how to log on and be part of this little film that I hope will be the beginning of my feature film. THE WILDERNESS
In other news, I’m co writing and producing a feature film with a wonderful film maker from Kurdistan. Lots of stuff coming about that in the new year. And writing a ghost story I want to shoot in Suffolk… Watch this blog….
We reached our goal in 28 days. The £7000 needed to shoot my boxing short film BOXER ON THE WILDERNESS has been raised from friends and family – and some people I’ve never met. Oh the power of asking for what you want – and Facebook!
I woke up on Sunday wondering how on earth I was going to raise £1500 in 36 hours. Most people had been pledging £10, £25 or £50. That was going to mean husseling – or rather hassling – a lot of people very quickly. Things did pick up through the day with last minute pledges coming in from people who had been meaning to get their act together for four weeks and just forgotten. So they were in under the wire, but how, oh how, could I get that last injection of funds. Than I had a sudden thought:
That TITANIC CREW JACKET!!
I have a tiny part in James Cameron’s TITANIC. I was FIRST CLASS WOMAN – I’ll write a full blog about that experience one day – It was not a tiny part of my time, however, it was amazing actually. I was in Mexico for a full 2 months shooting. Or not shooting. There was a lot of sitting about in a corset which is not comfortable. I left that job with a new respect for Edwardian women and their martyrdom to whalebone let me tell you. Despite my discomfort and the suffering I did for James Cameron and my art all that remains of my performance is a few flashes of me in an oyster-coloured silk evening gown in the First Class Dining room – and even then you have to know where to look!!
I’ve edited what remains of me – not even one of my lines is left – onto my showreel here. It’s right after the Mr Holland’s Opus scenes….there’s also some funny scenes with Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston and Spinal Tap’s Michael Mckean…. anyway…
After every big movie, the crew gets a jacket to remember and commemorate or whatever and I still had my TITANIC CREW JACKET from 18 years ago. I have never worn it. It looks kinda like this one in the photo but mine is made of wool with a leather collar, so a bit nicer actually.
So I posted it on the INDIEGOGO site that it was for sale.
By about 8.30pm I was starving, I’d been at the computer non stop for 12 hours. So I left the house for the first time in 2 days and got a takeaway and cracked a bottle of red wine. This was going to be an all nighter.
My phone went while I was eating but I let it go to voice mail. I needed to EAT! Then a text. It was my friend Sarah: “Call me someone wants your TITANIC jacket”
Within 30 minutes the jacket was gone. To a real film and Titanic fan. A good home! Hoorah! That left only £250 to make the goal… even though I’d paid a higher rate to Indiegogo so that we got to keep what ever we raised (unlike the Kickstarter we did where you have to meet your target or it all goes back to the pledgers…) I wanted to make this last amount out of principle. We had come so far!
I kept Facebooking and Tweeting and went to bed around 2 am. I couldn’t stay up any longer. £239 short of goal would have to do. But woke up at 4am again and started Tweeting and Facebooking in the dark on my iPhone that the amount we needed to get to £7000 was £239. Then I fell asleep again at 7.55am exhausted and woke up at about 10am. What had we finished at?
I checked my inbox and Terry Bell – an Eton Manor Old Boy that knew Villiers and was trained by Harry Mallin – had sent an email to say sorry, he’d been on holiday, but would love to pledge with a cheque for £250. Where should he send it?
We smashed the goal by £6!! I love when a plan comes together, don’t you?
Forty eight hours after our deadline, pledges continue to come in thick and fast. Some people don’t like to use their cards online – understood – and some like to do a direct bank transfer. Soooooo, until I edit those closing credits – which will be weeks from now – you are still able to pledge. Email me here and I’ll send you the details.
Last night was the end of term of my Gospel Choir. We always have a little show and perform the songs we have learned. Invite family and friends. A lot of the girls in my choir have pledged and been an amazing support these last four weeks and will be in the credits. I’m really looking forward to having them at the BAFTA party and screening. I got a little cheer when I walked in the room and boy did my heart fill with emotion when we sang last years Olympic theme song PROUD.
“What have you don’t today to make you feel proud?”
I think I know.
Maybe I’ll get them to sing it at the BAFTA premiere screening… you never know….
“You could get a little part time job while you’re waiting for your film to get the money, can’t you?”
These questions, and others, are posed to me (and by myself to me) on a regular basis. I’m used to having a freelance life based on waiting for or creating audition opportunities and working when I land a job. It can be frustrating, boring and rewarding and no 9-5 hassles for me no ma’am.
However, since I started writing and developing THE WILDERNESS, I can say I could be doing something or other that may or may not take us a step further towards being green lit pretty much 7 days a week. For this reason I reached a sense of burn out earlier this year and had to sit for a few days and just STOP. But it’s hard. And going on holiday is not an option because that would mean not doing anything for a week – that’s why people go away, isn’t it? But I’d hate that.
Right now I have a crowdfunding campaign I’m running single handedly. We have raised £3800 already with ten days to go but it takes constant emailing, Facebooking and Tweeting to keep pestering my nearest and dearest (and the not so near) to pledge money. I wonder how much more I’d be able raise if I didn’t have to sleep.
The screenplay for THE WILDERNESS is done. It needs no more rewriting at the moment. There will be adjustments to scenes and dialogue once we are in production, but the final rewrite comes after you have shot. In the edit. So that’s sorted for now.
So I’ve started writing my romantic comedy, which is proving very fun and rather addictive. Stopping to eat or socialise worries me in case I stop the ideas flowing, or that the ideas and senarios come to me but I’m not near the computer to write them down. I wake up in the middle of the night and start to run dialogue in my head and scenes take shape there. I run it a few times, like learning lines, so I don’t forget and can add them to the screenplay when I wake up in the morning.
All this needs time and no interruptions, but then there’s meeting with crew for the short film we are making with the Indiegogo cash and time spent pursuing the finance people – usually at BAFTA in central London. This week away from all that in my mum’s empty house has helped give me a delightful space to be creative. Which tuckers you out at the end of the day. Sitting and writing all day kills your back and shoulders and is tiring!
I have Sky Atlantic here, so I switch that on to relax and try not to be jealous of the writing on Boardwalk Empire or the comedy in Modern Family. I have my own brand of creativity and all I can do is plow on, keep pounding the computer keys and the pavement and then one day, when you see the finished films, you will remember that making it is a full time job for someone and that someone will have been me.
This last few months has been one of transitions. After we did not make our £50k goal on Kickstarter – no surprise there, hindsight is twenty twenty – we have launched a new campaign with a much more achievable goal of £7000. There’s still a few weeks to go and we’ve already raised £2605. Good going…
With the money from loyal friends, film fans and well wishers, and after selling some artwork to keep my own lights on and pay the rent for the next few months, I’m already in pre production on the short film I want to direct next called BOXER ON THE WILDERNESS.
Harry Mallin, one of the heroes of THE WILDERNESS
After a fruitful but rainy and manic time at the Cannes Film Festival in May, I have to say a big regroup was in order. All The Money people there ask is “Who’s in it?” and “Who’s directing it?”
“Wellll…. if you give me the money I can put in it whomever we choose and I’m directing it.”
At which point they politely hand over their business card and swiftly move on the the next 10 minute pitch.
BOTTOM LINE: I have to direct more if I’m going to be taken seriously. Turns out 30+ years as an actress in this game isn’t the same thing. I was standing on the wrong side of the camera luv.
Check out the campaign (link below) and please pledge and share – I’ve developed some theories about crowdfunding too which I air on the splash page – and hopefully I’ll get to see you at the BAFTA premiere screening in the Autumn.