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Photograph courtesy of Tomás Amaro ©
"Sometimes the view out there is fanny-tastic!"

Zac (Idge Logan)

That was an INTENSE 48hrs!

Yep, you heard me - 48hrs. In that we had 5 locations scattered over a 10 mile radius, nearly 150 slates, complicated sequences involving children, animals and a Meatloaf impersonator... and a healthy dose of "liquid sunshine" (we were shooting in Wales, so what were we expecting?!). It has taken over 48hrs to just recover... Yet I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

To say that this has been one of the most enjoyable shoots is to understate the emotions at work. It had been a fair while since I had braved the stress and pace of an independent film set... The last couple of times had been particularly problematic for me, as I had taken on the burden of far too many roles - writer, director, AD, Producer, Director of Photography, Editor. I am sure I have missed a couple out, but I think it is clear that I was the driving force in each department on the last one (a road movie across the country too - no small feat!).

So what made this one different? As I may have mentioned before... It is all down to the team!

PicturePhoto courtesy of Tomás Amaro ©
Everyone (and I really mean it when I say everyone) was on their A game during the shoot for The Busker. Our lead and writer Idge provided the exact balance of cocky street-smarts and romantic naivety I had envisioned from his words on the page. The long-suffering housemate played by Shelly provided the perfect sardonic foil for our hero on his quest for a date, while Mel was a true inspiration - with so little dialogue of her own, she gave our hero's love interest an unspoken sweetness and charm that would enchant anyone. In fact, every single member of our cast made their marks on our film - I really hope they are proud of their work, because I cannot have got through the shoot so smoothly without it!

And then there was the crew. As I mentioned above, I was pretty much a jack of all trades but a master of none on the last couple of shoots... Here I had a crack team of guerilla film makers that were on it like a car bonnet! Our producer Lisa, having put so much work into the film, has been our driving force... Her reward is an entire crew providing such overwhelmingly positive feedback that she will have little trouble setting up the next one with these guys if she needed them! Backed up by her trusted assistant, Production Manager Hayley, they proved a force to be reckoned with. I have to say a special thanks to Hayley as she was the one who brought me to the project - ladies, my gratitude knows no limit!

Our 1st AD Tom - without this lad, I would have internally combusted. He ran our set with expert precision and skill... This lad is going to go far. DoP Chris knew exactly what I needed and duly captured it brilliantly... This lad is going to go far. My Assistant Luke worked so hard to do all the little jobs that needed doing and did so with speed and efficiency... This lad is (OK you know where I am going with this!)...

Not only that, but everyone was phenomenal - Marta our script supervisor and continuity, Jon our 2nd AD, Charli with wardrobe, hair & make-up, Kris on sound, Tomás our stills photographer/brolly holder, Travis our runner/other brolly holder... The list goes on!  It is a rare thing when people work hard on a project together and everything flows as smoothly as one could ever hope for!

PicturePhoto courtesy of Tomás Amaro ©
Yes this may all sound like a massive love-in... But I do hope that this underlines my main point. When you surround yourself with talented, enthusiastic people the work does not need to feel like a burden. If there had been one loose cog anywhere in this machine, the film would have had to go into the 3rd day... Something that none of us really wanted. Thankfully I had this cast and crew working so hard in order that I may provide the vision that was required as efficiently as possible. It is also important to mention the very generous backers on our Kickstarter page - our initial target was hit in under 3 days! Without their support, the cast and crew could not have worked so well!

The next stage is approaching and I look forward to sharing the progress as it all happens. It has been a fantastic endeavor - one of the most enjoyable film experiences I have had. I only hope I was not too tyrannical to my crew (those of you who have been on one of my sets know what I mean!)...

I think I did OK - when our writer/star tells our producer that I was "much better than the last tw@t who directed my work", I shall take that to heart with a very big smile!