Wednesday, 11 September 2013

14. Crew


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.


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

                                                               Rupert Reynolds-MacLean

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY              Peter Ellmore

ORIGINAL SCORE                                  Tom Haines
MUSIC RECORDED AT                           Brains & Hunch                 
‘GUILTY’ PERFORMED BY                     Chris Branch
                                                              Pascal Wyse
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
                                                               Avye Leventis
VOICE OF WORKMAN                             Toby Manley

ART DIRECTION & PUPPETS                  Acceber Yelnam
PROP MAKER                                         Mark O’Brien

GAFFER                                                  Aldo Camilleri
FOCUS PULLERS                                    Daniel Kolditz
                                                               Ilaria Fulvio
DIT                                                          Rebecca Kenyon

PRODUCTION MANAGERS                      Caterina Lotti
                                                               Sam Jackson
PRODUCTION SUPPORT                         Hayley Richardson
RUNNERS                                               Joshua Osborne
                                                               Charlotte Olding
                                                               Amy H C Wilson

SPECIAL THANKS TO                             Luca Paulli
                                                               Mark Waring
                                                               Ben Gulvin
                                                               Emma Fisher
                                                               Dylan Ritson
                                                               Layla Atkinson
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)

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