Five eighths? Don’t you mean three quarters?

Ray Bullock Jnr. as Joe in Soul Searcher
Ray Bullock Jnr. as Joe in Soul Searcher

Shooting People‘s book “Get Your Short Film Funded, Made and Seen” recommends surrounding yourself with friends on your shoot. This may seem contrary to the advice fledgling filmmakers are always given not to cast their mates in their movies, but assuming your mates are professionals and talented at what they do, I wholeheartedly endorse Shooting People’s suggestion. As Michael Bay says, when he’s not busy bludgeoning cinema to death with a big CG robot, filmmaking is like war. Everything is against you – time, money, the weather – and you’re always fighting to get your shots and tell your story.  So you need to know your cast and crew have your back.

This is why my filmmaker friend of twelve years, Rick Goldsmith, will be operating camera on Stop-Eject; why Colin Smith, veteran of Soul Searcher and The Dark Side of the Earth plus countless other films I’ve DPed, will be gaffering; why Ian Preece, a trusted fellow freelancer with whom I’ve shot numerous corporates, will record the sound for part of the shoot; why my lovely wife Katie is designing the costumes; and why I wrote the lead role for Kate Burdette from the Dark Side pilot.  It’s also why I’m delighted to announce the casting of Ray Bullock Jnr. – Soul Searcher’s leading man – as Dan.  Ray gave a great audition opposite Kate last night and I look forward to working with again after eight years.

Ray Bullock Jnr as Dan auditions opposite Kate Burdette
Ray Bullock Jnr as Dan auditions opposite Kate Burdette

I know that all of these people will deliver the goods, no matter what the realities of the shoot throw at us.  So although there are still locations to sort, schedules to arrange and bit-parts to cast, I feel a contentment now as Saturday’s start date approaches.  Because when it comes down to it, with all these great people on board – plus great new collaborators like Sophie Black and Deborah Bennett – all I have to do is not fuck it up.

And by the way, you can read more about Katie’s work on the costumes over at her Katiedidonline blog.

Five eighths? Don’t you mean three quarters?

Dark Side update

Benedict Cumberbatch as Max
Benedict Cumberbatch as Max (photo: Richard Unger)

Carl and I have decided we need to change tack a little with The Dark Side of the Earth. We had some interest from a major Hollywood studio, but the suggestion was that the dialogue is too period, too archaic. I just don’t have the mental capacity to tackle another draft, so we’re looking for a writer who can do a polish and make it a little more mainstream, ideally someone with experience of writing for Hollywood. I’ll let you know how that goes, but it definitely seems like if this film is going to be made it will not be by a UK company.

In other news, I’m now casting for Stop/Eject, the short fantasy drama I’m shooting next month. And if anyone reading is in London this Friday afternoon and fancies helping me out running the auditions, please get in touch.

Dark Side update