‘Boss Boot Camp’ – our Reed Short Film Competition entry

We were really pleased to hear that ‘Boss Boot Camp‘ made the shortlisted 12 of the Reed Short Film Competition 2012. On Wednesday 30th May myself, Matt, Ross and James went down to the excellent Hospital Club for the awards night. Unfortunately we came close but weren’t lucky enough to win one of the three prizes on offer. We’re still really proud that the film made it to the final 12 out of 503 entries in total and we’ll come back bigger and better next year in an attempt to make it third time lucky!

Boss Boot Camp is a lighthearted action-comedy written and directed by Matt Downton and myself that explores how truly tyrannical bosses are made. It features the charismatic talent of Will Harrison-Wallace as ‘the boss’/drill sergeant and was shot over a two-day period in early March.

Our excellent cast and crew endured horrible weather, a long, exhausting weekend shoot and of course, the drill sergeant himself who is pretty terrifying at times(!) to produce a film that we’re really proud of and the first comedy I have ever attempted. There’s lots more behind-the-scenes information and photos at the Lightmill Films mini-site.

On day 1 of the shoot FXHome kindly allowed us to film the office scenes at their offices in Norwich. Later in the day we moved to The University of East Anglia (of which most of the crew and half of the cast are graduates) who allowed us to film the classroom scenes in the congregation hall. On day 2 we shot the boot camp scenes (amidst the biggest downpour of the year!) at my dad’s farm in Suffolk.

We’ll be teaming back up with many of the same people to continue making short films and other creative projects. Check back at the Lightmill Films website to see our progress and our other films.

Sheltered from the Rain: A pop-up tent provided me with some cover from the rain and I was able to shoot from a small opening in the side – Completely unplanned but an effective solution!

Umbrella: Two of our cameramen James Gorman & Ant Essberger, filming from underneath our only umbrella, in fact, Ant stayed under it all day, bless him.

Reed Short Film Competition 2012, The Boss, Short Film, Reed.co.uk short film, Reed

Props: Our lead actor Will using a tiny, not-so-macho umbrella to stay dry during the last few scenes.


Watch this space: Peppermint

5D Mark II, Clapperboard, Film, Movie, ShortSo recently I had the pleasure of working on an excellent short film script written by a friend of mine, Stephan Drury, and as I hadn’t written a post on here in well over a month it seemed a fitting topic to talk about.

The rest of our very talented crew included DoP Teele Killing who I regularly work with as well as David Royse (sound) and Tanya Skinner (makeup). We shot at various locations around Norwich including the University of East Anglia (mine and the lead actor Mark Jackson’s old university), an office inside ITV Anglia and at Stephan’s beautiful rural cottage. Many thanks to ITV, UEA and everyone else who helped out (there were a few runners and lots of extras who must be thanked.)

Needless to say, this was one of the most challenging projects in terms of lighting, not only because we had to work with an unusually sunny forecast but because we started losing light every day around 5pm. Shot mostly on Teele’s 5D Mark II, we managed to shoot in some very low light and difficult-to-reach places (such as Stephan’s rather grotty loft space) which again proved the benefits of using a DSLR. I helped out with lighting and camera and did some B-roll shooting on the 60D.

5DmII Canon 5D Mark 2The film’s fantastic cast were Mark Jackson, Alex Aires and Jacob James Beswick who all excelled in their roles in the film. At this early stage of post-production we can’t let too many cats (or should I say rats) out of the bag but expect to see Peppermint at film festivals and competitions across the UK and beyond!

Also, if you’re looking to hire sound equipment in East Anglia and, like us, have found rental companies are few and far between around here head over to Rookery Productions Facebook page for enquiries; kit includes Rode NTG2 mic/ boom/ dead cat/Edirol R-44 four-input audio recorder/ lav microphones x2 (wired)/Beyerdynamic DT770 headphones: £35/day, £450 deposit +insurance +delivery.

Our Entries to Virgin Media Shorts 2011

This year I’ve been lucky enough to work on two entries into the 2011 Virgin Media Shorts competition. The first was ‘Click’, a short film written by UEA MA Scriptwriting graduate Drew Castalia. It stars Matt Downton a local up-and-coming actor as a student lost en route to his psychology exam. The test that awaits him is more than he could have ever expected or prepared for. It was shot by myself and James Gorman and the brilliant music is by Dave Bloor and Simon James.

The second entry to the competition I had the pleasure of working on is called ‘The Profit’, a science-fiction short starring a current drama student of UEA Tina Baston and directed by Ross Turner.