A fresh start in a nice neighbourhood is top of the agenda for Tom and Jess but their desperation to make a good impression leads to disastrous consequences in this dark comedy.
I wanted to make this film so I could bring to life a story my Dad told me when I was younger, about something that happened to our neighbours. I thought it was the best story ever and have asked him to tell it to me again over the years. I've also told it at parties and people usually love it. It’s a story I want to preserve and working in production the natural way for me to do this is through film. That way even more people can enjoy it.
Pre Covid I performed with improv group Field Trip in pubs around London after training with the amazing Free Association. I used to note down sketch and script ideas from time to time before this but learning improv gave it structure and made me feel more confident about pursuing creative ideas. Turning this story into a screenplay was a challenge I wanted to set for myself, to use what I had learned about comedy to write a fun script that meant something to me personally. The aim is to have the film accepted into festivals.
It took a lot of work to convert it from the story my Dad told into a film script. I had to lengthen the narrative, fill in gaps, create character arcs and raise the stakes to give it more depth and even more cringe factor. After I had done all this a friend then told me they had heard the story before, that it was an old joke! It's yet to be determined whether this is how my Dad intended it.
This story is for anyone who's been dishonest, made a bad decision, had an awkward interaction with someone they wanted to impress, or done something it’s too late to come back from. It's for those who want to laugh when it all goes tits up; in short, this film is for everyone.
Below is an example storyboard from one of the scenes.
Amber Barrow: Writer / Director
Amber is a commercials and online content producer at Gleam Futures. She has worked for clients such as Mattel, Wickes, Arla Foods, People’s Post Code Lottery and eBay, with campaigns on Sky, ITV, Channel 4 and various online platforms. She is part of improv comedy group Field Trip and was Assistant Artistic Director for Tower Theatre Company.
Charlotte Chinn: Producer
Charlotte has worked in TV in different areas such as the casting department for clients such as FIFA and SKY cinema, and for drama series 'Making It'. Most recently she has worked on set in the art department for projects such as the Amazon Christmas Commercials, Naked Bar, and Simply Be. Charlotte also was the Production Assistant on short film 'Bellmouth' by Joe Roberts and has just finished working with Gleam Futures making ads for ITV and SKY as Production Manager.
Tim Gee: Director of Photography
Tim is a commercial, branded content and film DOP with a penchant for comedy. He has worked on award winning shorts and was winner of the Cannes Evcom Black Dolphin Cinematography Award 2019.
In order to create a professional looking film we need to bring in crew who have the skills to deliver a film with high production values. This will include a Director of Photography, Art Director, Camera Operator, Sound Recordist, Gaffer (lighting) and support crew. So we stick to the shoot schedule when faced with any problems (and generally) it will also be essential to have an experienced First Assistant Director. All these people are highly proficient and although we are amazingly being offered reduced rates, we still need to contribute something for their time and commitment.
We will be casting professional actors whose expertise are crucial to bringing the right energy and style of humour to this film.
Props and Art Department
The film is quite prop heavy and requires some construction for the garden scenes so budget is allocated to buying materials for this and for an Art Director and Assistant to source items and do the set build.
Food and Transport
It is important we make sure everyone is feed well throughout the shoot, these can be long hours and as we are filming outside we will need to make sure everyone has a hot meal in the day. We also need to get our crew, cast and production team to the location for filming. We always work out which is the best way to do this, however Covid means some options may not be open to us and we must keep everyone safe as a main priority.
It hasn’t escaped our minds that we are in the midst of a global pandemic, and that filming will need to be done safely.
We are planning to shoot in summer when most vulnerable individuals will have received at least their first vaccine and the general adult population will be receiving their first. If necessary we will provide covid testing to everyone attending the shoot and will be asking for signed health declaration forms.
We are used to working on productions in a Covid world where social distancing, PPE, disinfecting, one way systems and even open windows are all now firm fixtures within a ‘normal’ shoot day. We plan to implement the same processes for this film.
As with every shoot we will be submitting a robust risk assessment to our insurers and we'd be happy to share this with you.
We will be constantly monitoring the situation and staying up to date with legitimate news sources, always putting the health and safety of our cast and crew first. We follow advice of film health and safety experts First Option and of course the Government's guidelines.
We always aim to do our best for the planet whenever we make work, and it is important we look at what impact we are having whilst making decisions for a shoot.
For instance, where possible we aim to use sustainable packaging for all food products and bio-degradable cutlery and plates. We will carefully plan what food is needed to avoid waste and our cast and crew will be asked to bring reusable water bottles and cups with them. We will also use a local caterer to supply food on the shoot.
Covid has presented its own challenges with masks and single use plastic gloves, aprons and wipes, however there is now bio-degradable equipment we can order and special bins that can dispose of the waste responsibly.
Props will be sourced locally and build work will be broken down and recycled or donated for children's play areas. There are a number of schemes that have processes in place for this.
Where practical, we will also reduce the use of paper by putting key shoot documents on walls rather than having lots of individual print outs, or sharing files digitally.
Tim Gee is now confirmed as Director of Photography. Tim is a commercial, branded content and film DOP with a penchant for comedy. He has worked on award winning shorts and was winner of the Cannes Evcom Black Dolphin Cinematography Award 2019. Welcome Tim!