The cameras roll this week, and McGann and Pickup head the cast for this short film based on the story by Graham Greene. They join Owen Brenman (Doctors/One Foot In The Grave) and Natasha O'Keeffe (Lip Service) in a psychological thriller, the story of which was written in 1939.
Having first had wishes to turn the story into a film when I was thirteen years old, little did I think I would manage to work with a cast of this profile, especially as it was around the same time I discovered Withnail and his housemate, (probably in the video machine every weekend at school without fail). But let's not forget the underrated Paper Mask.
In a world of HD Cams, Reds, Canon 1Ds, 5Ds and state of the art CGI, there's little ol' me making a short on 16mm. Now, that's exciting. But whereas with those digital things you can run up to take 70 (if you're David Fincher), it's looking more like a disciplined maximum of two takes, perhaps three for safety. No corpsing chaps, there's precious film running through that camera. It's old school - the definition of 'moving pictures'. Will this define me as a film-maker in years to come? There is a certain strangeness at seeing Martin Scorsese wearing 3D glasses on the set of Hugo. The director of Taxi Driver?? But then again Hugo was 'about' old cinema. Interesting.
Thought: must see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel before the shoot.
Final shot lists to complete, touch-ups to little set details, a little addition here, a little subtraction there and we should have something of a starting point. I hope. I must live in the moment. Apply that acting training to directing. But maybe I'll only be truly happy once I see the credits rolling at the end of the film on that screen. Then I'll probably just miss the shoot.
So after nine months of pre-production, two years of development from the time pen hit paper, and twenty-three years in all, let's make movie magic. On 16mm.
Follow Tim Hewitt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dpunchbowlfilm