Just when you thought nothing could happen in the year of 2020 – it did and with time on hand my art-department had what it needed to flourish and trying to make the impossible possible.
Independent small budget challenges would be enough but when pre-production begun we were still in lockdown. So the online ebay bidding and searching begun, with quite a run up to shooting trying to do justice to the period, credible and authentic, telling a true story in 1963 .
So I learned that much of my own household & kit, could contribute to set and story. But yet some prop buying road trips (once lockdown lifted) and an influx of vintage goodies in good old beloved charity shops made it possible in the indie film world. Hooray for independent productions, still possible.
So summer spend mostly in charity shops, hunting down some contacts in the prop world to get the crucial items to tell the story. And then the exploration and doing in the graphic department, what was available what needed to be done to make: make-believe, believable.
Adding a potato stamp to stamps (hooray for ebay), making various cigarette boxes, designing Kings college letters,printing and taking photos … all those little things to tell the story, as truthfully as possible – well believable.
Items gathered, script broken down, a few miles in a car to hunt down the vintage tea-chest ( got hold of 5 in the end) … the location needed to be found to complete the 4 sets (in one location) of storytelling. With the help of distant communication we got onto one page and the camera started rolling eventually.
Extracting the now and infusing the once upon a time: And not only props and set dec fell into my hands with this production, but also the wardrobe and with a keen eye of the director https://www.instagram.com/tara.screenwriter/ we have been able to do that too. With the help of ebay and a constant flow of photos on good old whatsapp- we where set for the day to arrive.
Set 1: was the living room and the crucial dinner table seen , with even a little child actor (managed to get that itchy knitted original 60’s dress too :)!) this scene had to be right. Cooking the cabbage, potatoes and liver into the authentic meal of the times…
Set 2: The girls bedroom , with an intention to highlight and communicate the opposing characters of the two sisters ( only so much time to tell it all in a short). So furniture shuffle and set dec in motion: I think we got to a sense of 1963 and sisterhood in a moderate poor household.
And then not just the long corridor but also some front of house scene, in an attempt to do the script and period justice (skirting carefully around limitations) … and adding details where possible. ( yes I did the embroidery on the handkerchief too )
SET4 : Leaving the best to last to tell – it was the first challenge to instal on set – before sound man and storm came in: we erected the jerry rig style greenhouse ( yes, not without my helpers for this one) – so crucial to the story telling – the man’s shed and place of contemplation and special moments… but when we got to location … there was nothing there, other then a plan in my back pocket and wood,glass and tools in the car.(gathered over weeks to make it a budget friendly built.)
And not only another set but also on 3 different days at different stages … I had my work cut out but it felt very useable and lived in once I was done with it … and gosh how much quicker is it to take things down then putting them up …always fascinates me.
And here we are in 2021 and this fruit of our labour and passion has made it out of the editing room, over the pond and into the festivals.
Stay tuned for the next account of 2020 productions. For a list of of all the amazing talent creatives and passionate filmmakers on this one… jump onto IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt13792562/?ref_=nm_knf_i3