Yesterday, my two-page screenplay ‘Ultimate Cosplay’ finally found its way on top of a very high tower block in Tower Hamlets to become a short film. The story is about a group of friends that like to dress up in costumes (cos-play) who on learning a meteor will bring an end to life on earth, decide to meet for one last hurrah by having their photo taken with the meteor streaking behind them.
Interestingly, although the script was written three years ago for the Impact 50 competition and made the finals, it did not make the final cut. Consigned to the filing cabinet, it rested there until I discovered Impact 50 were looking for a few more films to make up a shortfall and so began the challenge.
Prior to this, I had applied and been accepted onto Talent Campus 2 where my thinking began to change in regard to my own personal responsibility in networking and getting my work produced. Earlier this year – having written and produced a farce at a theatre in west London that received an extended run – I turned to my attention back to writing and the opportunity of getting my short film produced.
Fortunately, having auditioned and recruited actors previously, there was not a problem in recruiting them. In fact, of the seven actors, six of them had either performed or auditioned for the farce with the other being a friend from Talent Campus. Likewise, the crew was made up from people I’d met through Shooting People networks, Film Oxford training, a friend of a friend and another from Talent Campus 2.
So what of shooting the film itself?
Well, as a producer, there was plenty for me to sort out beforehand so obviously it took a lot of organisation. The hardest task being the risk assessment and applying for a venue from Film London: two task which were new to me and seemed like they might shipwreck everything. That said, the people at Film London were really helpful and saved my bacon and the project.
On the day of the shoot itself, limited by changing weather and booked time on the roof, we organised it so as to film the second half first with all 7 actors. The hour after that we reserved for our two leads actors and their frenetic attempts to get to the tower block roof to meet with their friends and be part of the photo.
This worked well and saved people hanging around on the day.
I am writing this a day after filming and have already viewed a raw edit of our short and its looking great. Obviously, there are still a few things do but it was so worth it. Crew and actors had a great time – even if we did have to take shelter in a room off the roof while it rained. That said, the majority of actors had left by midday and the rest of us, an hour or so after that.
And finally, whether you are writing a short film for Impact 50 or not, know this: with good prep, a short film can be shot in a day. So what are you waiting for?