I often believe that filmmaking is an addiction. Most people that you talk to, after they have poured their heart and soul into a single short (or feature) film, will tell you of the exhaustion they feel afterwards. Exhaustion from the shoot. Exhaustion from the post production process. Exhaustion from the festival circuit. So why keep doing it? Because it’s an addiction. I for one, frequently walk away from films and say “Never again”… and then I sit down to do something different, and there’s a little tiny thought in your brain that begins to grow. You start forgetting about all the difficult and harsh aspects of getting the film made, and start to only see the good in it. Then you begin to realise what made the experience so great. It’s that feeling of being able to watch something that you crafted and made. You got to tinker with every single aspect of what’s on screen. Every little thing is a decision. Hair. Make up. The way the window looks in the background. The way the character reacts to their environment. It’s an endless list of decisions that you come to be very proud of, and have no one ever to blame but yourself for its flaws.
However, for me, there’s an even greater element that draws me back into filmmaking time and time again. The people. Anyone that ever says that a film was singlehandedly made by them is either not seeing the full picture, or missing out on what I consider to be the greatest part of the whole process. I love meeting people, and filmmaking is an opportunity to meet a vast group of people and band your singular skills together to make something fantastic.
I’m going to use my latest short film “The Rite of Rosemary” as an example. The film was originally started when I met the author of the short story in Dorset. Years later, I asked her permission to use her story to adapt into a film. That’s just the start of a process. We worked together remotely to sort the script out, and when it was ready – I needed to find a producer. The wonderful thing about London is the networking opportunities, and the diversity here. Sara soon came on as my producer. We’d never met each other prior to this film, and weren’t even originally from the same country – but we saw the opportunity given to us with this film and therefore banded together. From there, we began to put a cast together, meeting endless amounts of fantastic actors before we settled on those that we felt most brought the characters to life off the page. After we had cast Guy Barnes as Jack, it was only then that he spoke to us about a location he knew of that we may be interested in. The cabin in the woods that he presented to us was moody and perfect for the film - already the short was beginning to evolve beyond the page into something new simply by the people putting themselves into the process.
Then the crew began to come together too. Only 10% of us knew each other before – but as people started coming onboard, our team beg