Wednesday, 27 August 2008

All My Dreams on VHS

So, we're right into editing All My Dreams on VHS. I got to check out the rushes over the bank holiday weekend and will get to see the first rough assembly this evening (yikes!). It's all a bit bloody exciting.

It's written and directed by Tim Atack, stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and O-T Fagbenle, and is produced by George Chan for the BBC Film Lab. For my part, as well as my usual script-editing duties, I'm also line producer on the project.

Version: VHS
George had commissioned Tim to write a low-budget 10min screenplay for the Film Lab a couple of years ago. The result was All My Dreams on VHS. George liked the script but it wasn't feasible to pull the resources together to move it forward at the time. So last year, when Tim was looking for new projects, he asked me if I'd be interested in producing it.

Of course, I said yes, and we went about conceiving it for the low end of the low budget spectrum. We could confidently cut a few costs without going amateur (i.e. there was a lot of stuff we could do between us, without being paid; and we knew people... if you know what I mean), but a small budget would be useful, so we applied to the Digital Shorts scheme in 2006. Well, I say "we". Annoyingly, SW Screen doesn't let Producers apply as part of the creative team, so I wouldn't have got a Producer credit for it if we'd been successful with the funding.

And to clarify, we weren't successful with Digital Shorts... which, it turned out, was a blessing in disguise.

Because, sometime around Christmas last year, George Chan asked Tim if he'd done anything with that script yet.

Version: All My Dreams
The BBC Film Lab was set up by George Chan, Deep Sehgal and David Olusoga, and is basically a labour of love run out of BBC Bristol. It helps BBC staff learn skills in making drama for the screen, by enabling them to actually make films. It's not BBC commissioning, but it does mean access to a whole load of people, with a whole load of knowledge and skills who also want to branch into drama, build up their cvs, or just help out.

This year they wanted to produce a series of 10-15 minute shorts, and were interested in producing AMDOVHS as part of that series.

This, of course, was very exciting.

It was actually even more exciting than I thought it was going to be, because, as well as meaning we could work with a professional crew, it also turned out to mean:

a) A small budget on top of a wealth of in-kind support
b) A Producer who encouraged us to aim high in terms of the scale of the project
c) An official Line Producer credit for me

and importantly,
d) A huge learning curve

It's meant being able to shoot on HD, work with top class actors, a fantastic crew, and a great location. In terms of what I was expecting (and certainly compared to what we were considering before the Film Lab gig came in), we've so far had to make relatively few compromises... But it's not over yet, and with the completion deadline coming much earlier than anticipated, I bain't be counting no chickens...

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Feed my blog!

I haven't blogged in AGES.
Yes, I've been busy... but you know... I've also watched a lot of TV, so no excuses really.

And then I got BLOG FEAR, the official term for which, I believe is "blogstipation".

I'm hoping to relieve my symptoms by going on a course of 'get-boyfriend-to-give-me random-blog-titles' pills. Let's see what happens. Given that summer seems to have taken the year off this year, I've got a lot more time indoors than I anticipated.