Saturday, 23 July 2011

Filming your passion project

It's week two of filming on my new film The Man Inside, and it's been an incredible time so far.

Filmmaking in the UK means that as a director you have got less time and money, which means tight schedules and all the stresses that brings. But, in truth, I've had a chance to experiment, rehearse and be creative and it's been wonderful.

Peter Mullan has been an inspiration to work with, pushing me to find the truth in every scene and not just have actors turn up and read lines.
Its something writers really need to understand.
Both Peter and I are writers, and I was relieved when he told me he doesn't follow his scripts to the letter, but prefers to see what comes from rehearsal.
If the action or the words feel false, you have to discuss and develop.
What reads fine on the page can often feel false or unrealistic when played for real. So it's it's best to have an open mind.

This philosophy was extended to the point where I actually threw out a whole scene last week and started again.
The results were so much better for it.

When you're making something like this film the characters become very real. The actors know instinctively what their characters would do in a situation, and so do I. Together we look to make each scene feel real.

I'm sure many writers would resist such a notion, but the truth is that the written word has to be translated into a location, with actors and a camera and a direction. Sometimes, it just doesn't feel right.

The best thing about working on The Man Inside is having actors who are 100% committed to the collaborative process.
It's inspiring to see the trust they place in me, but also to understand it works both ways, and if something feels wrong then I must accept it.

As a young insecure director I may have once been horrified at actor suggestions, but when you feel passionately about a project and the actors trust you, it no longer becomes a fight. It becomes a journey you all take to make the best film you can.


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