This year I was asked to take part in National Youth Film Academy’s Introductory Course as a director. I didn’t know much about the course upon accepting my place, only that they seemed to have a good track record of getting exciting industry speakers in for workshops, which at the very least would teach me a thing or two.
I could never have expected the journey ahead of me at the time. What followed were two weeks of intense filmmaking, with a super-talented team, under the guidance of Oscar Nominee and NFTS’s resident Scriptwriting Teacher Rafael Kapelinski.
We were split into four groups, each with a director, one or two writers, crew, eight actors and a group leader. One of the biggest challenges i shared in with the writers was scripting a 15-minute short film with 8 characters; even more so when considering the capabilities of all the actors, which would have been murderous to have underused.
Rafael pushed myself and writers Zoe Hunter Gordon and Emily Rose Nabney further and further to the point where we were still working on the screenplay through the weekend after the first week when all other groups had started filming. We knew that there was not worth shooting, if we had nothing worth shooting. After starting production on the monday we still knew that the project needed work and even changed the screenplay mid-way through the shoot before sailing through the rest of the film with lightning speed as D.O.P Richard Scott quickly worked to discover the set way to use natural light for the visual benefit of each scene.
What was nice as a director was working with the actors front he first day of scriptwriting through to the end of production, building their characters with them from the ground up so the world was shaped around them rather than desperately attempting to give quick in-cognitive instructions for characters they didn’t understand. The work we did with the actors allowed us to shoot the film in an authentic and genuine way which really emphasises the fun and games as well as the darker undertones of the piece.
I will be able to share more on the project soon, as he film is the property of the NYFA and they are responsible for festival submission an distribution, but for the time being here is a teaser poster.