I worked with my friend and long term collaborator Peter Ellmore on this film. I find him really easy to work with and over the years we have built up a great Director/DP partnership. He is so knowledgeable about shooting in different conditions, and I was able to explain my vision for the film with confidence that Pete would do everything he could to craft it in that vein. We met up very early on to discuss the look of the film and I am really pleased that we have managed to capture that look, even with such a small budget.
|Pete and I check rushes from the first shot|
We decided to shoot on a Cannon C300 and we adjusted the colour temperature and used filters in order to achieve a look in camera that was as near to my vision as possible. Pete was spot on with the kit that we needed for the shoot and he also managed to get friend and colleague Aldo Camilleri on board as Gaffer, which was amazing. A big thank you to Aldo for lending his amazing skills to the shoot.
It is a testament to Pete's work that only a tiny bit of tweaking was needed in post to balance all the shots in terms of brightness and colour.
I then had a session with colourist Houmam Abdallah at the Mill, where we worked on bringing out particular tones and colours, and pushing them to enhance the picture and bring out the look I wanted. It was such a joy to work with Houmam, and I hope to do so again in future. Thanks go to colour producer Cath Short for making that happen.
EDIT & VFX
I worked with Paul Trewartha on editing and VFX. Paul and I met at Uni and have been firm friends ever since.
|Paul in the edit suite|
The edit was more a case of shot selection, as I had used an animation style approach with detailed preparation, animatic etc. But we did have to shuffle shots around and drop shots in order to make the story run as smoothly as possible. Paul has over ten years experience as a professional editor and his relaxed, enthusiastic and intelligent approach really suits my way of working. We worked through a few different versions of the edit, but eventually I feel that we ended up with the tightest possible cut, and I am very pleased with it. Paul also added some animated magic with the addition of blinks, for Bear, in the pork chop montage. I think that on a subconscious level this injects even more life to the character and helps to express his confused state of mind at that point in the action.
When I started production on this film I was pretty much alone, acting as director, designer and producer. There came a point when I realized that I was going to struggle to produce the shoot as well as finish making all the puppets and so on and so forth. So I mentioned this to Rupert at Independent (the production company that I signed with in February 2013) and that's when they stepped in cape blowing in the wind. Charlie Stanfield acted as my champion and terrier combined, refusing to let go of anything that I wanted for the film from equipment to content (including the license for Guilty). And Rupert was my trusty 1st AD on the shoot, chivvying and encouraging us in equal measure like a bearded, and slightly insane Mr Schue in a twisted Glee club. So big love and thanks go out to them in equal measure.
|Rupert and me looking at the monitor|
I couldn't have made the film without the help and support of such a dedicated crew. Everyone volunteered to work on the film and for that I am extremely grateful. Here is a full credits list:
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY Rebecca Manley
PRODUCED BY Charlie Stanfield
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Peter Ellmore
ORIGINAL SCORE Tom Haines
MUSIC RECORDED AT Brains & Hunch
‘GUILTY’ PERFORMED BY Chris Branch
SOUND DESIGN Andy Humphreys at 750
EDITOR/VISUAL EFFECTS Paul Trewartha
COLOURIST Houmam Abdallah
COLOUR PRODUCER Cath Short at The Mill
POST SERVICES Munky
SQUIRREL PUPPETEER Robin Guiver
BEAR PUPPETEER Ben Thompson
PIG PUPPETEERS Henry Maynard
VOICE OF WORKMAN Toby Manley
ART DIRECTION & PUPPETS Acceber Yelnam
PROP MAKER Mark O’Brien
GAFFER Aldo Camilleri
FOCUS PULLERS Daniel Kolditz
DIT Rebecca Kenyon
PRODUCTION MANAGERS Caterina Lotti
PRODUCTION SUPPORT Hayley Richardson
RUNNERS Joshua Osborne
Amy H C Wilson
SPECIAL THANKS TO Luca PaulliMark Waring
Ben GulvinEmma Fisher
Words and Music by Harry Akst, Richard Whiting and Gus Kahn © 1931
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd. / EMI United Partnership Ltd.
(*Btw Acceber Yelnam = rebeccA manleY - I just thought it was a bit naff to have my name appearing twice)