Thursday, 11 September 2008

From the archives!

On my current website you can view the most up-to-date shorts and excerpts from my work, so I thought it might be an idea to make available some of my older work for download.

I wish I could say that this stuff is so much lighter and less dark and seedy, but alas, no...

So. Here, ladies and gents, are two short films I made during the 1990's. Click on each title to download.

Waiting Game - Drama - 20 minutes
Starring Michelle Holmes
(Coronation Street, Goodnight Sweetheart, The Chase, Life Begins, Shameless)

Set in a suburban brothel. When one of the punters tells the management he has had a less than satisfactory experience, the five prostitutes have to uncover which one of them is the guilty party, or they're all out of a job.
As punters come and go throughout the evening, tensions reach boiling point between the prostitutes...

This short was my first attempt at a more straightforward drama, that was purely character-driven. Of course, it didn't quite turn out that way, and pretty soon we had a wonderful atmosphere on set of script and improvisation and 5 actresses who give amazing performances.
You can spot my love of David Lynch at times too in one of the characters.
I think I am most proud of this as a piece of no-nonsense drama.

Foreplay - Thriller - 12 minutes.
Starring Frances Barber
(Boudica, King Lear, The Ice House, Real Women)
Jack Deam

(Shameless, Clocking Off, Queer as Folk)
A young lad answers a newspaper ad for hired help at a mansion in the country. He arrives, to be interviewed by the mysterious Gloria, a vampish, playful woman with a secret.

This was my second short, after my first amateur effort, and my first opportunity to work with proper television actors!
Frances Barber is something of an acting institution and I will always remember working with her with enormous affection. She was so supportive and totally understood what I was trying to do. She also looks terrific!
Jack Deam was an upcoming actor. he'd just done Queer as Folk and went on to do be brilliant in Shameless and Clocking Off. He was a dream to work with, full of ideas and enthusiasm.

It's also worth mentioning that this short was actually an expanded scene from a feature film script I wrote called PLAYBACK, that Frances, Jack, and Simon Callow were all attached to! Somehow that never happened. It was all too soon and I was too inexperienced. But Foreplay acted as a kind of 'taster' for that film.
Playback is definitely something for the future!

I hope you like the two shorts, they allowed me to learn so much about filmmaking, and as such, I'm very proud of them. I'd love any feedback you might have!



Helen Smith said...

Fantastic. I liked them both. I particularly liked The Waiting Game. It was very involving, considering it ran to 20 mins. The performances were all fantastic.

Shame you didn't get the other project off the ground with Frances Barber/Simon Callow.

Dan Turner said...

Thanks Helen.
Yes, Waiting Game is one of those pieces that just kind of 'worked' for me. Just a combination of right actresses and the right vibe. The competitiveness between 5 actresses ina room is incredible, but reaps rewards ;-)

as for Playback. That was 14 years ago, when I first started out.
I rather naively went round to all the agencies with carrier bags full of scripts and dropped them off.
To my surprise I got personal notes from all sorts of people like Nigel Hawthorne and Paul McGann, and Simon Callow & Frances Barber both said they wanted to do the film! I had NO idea what to do next!!!!
It makes me cringe to think about it really.
It gave me a great confidence boost though.
I will return to that script at some point, as it clearly had some merit to get that caliber of actor to want to do it.