Tuesday, April 25, 2006

fun and pain

I’ve been working on something with Cooke recently – a new short which we are hoping to do at some point in the near future. It came out of doing the director’s diaries for the BBC website – we’re on our second batch of them at the moment, having done 8 last year (I say we, but they’re all in Cooke’s name – obviously, him being the focal point of the diaries, and the feature film director and all – with me helping to devise them + shooting and co-editing them, and occasionally featuring in a kind of mordant sidekick role). They’re featured at the BBC Film Network site at the moment, in the magazine bit.

Because they are supposed to be all about Cooke’s development of his features, and because at the moment he is working on the road movie Where We Come From, that’s what we initially hoped to make them about. But then we realized that, even though Cooke was doing workshops with a bunch of actors (do actors come in a bunch? Or is it more like a troupe? Or maybe it’s more esoteric – an Insecurity of actors, maybe?) – we couldn’t film the actual workshop contents or the actors due to contractual/legal blah blah blah reasons.

So, for the second diary we decided to illustrate the process by coming up with a new idea which we could develop in a similar way to the way that Cooke has been developing WWCF. We nicked a storyline from a Daily Mirror problem page and developed it into a story about a woman who accidentally and sympathetically sleeps with her boss, but then can’t get rid of him. Then we got Mark Devenport and Micaiah Dring in to workshop for a morning, improvising character one-to-ones from some outlines we drew up, and then a scene – all of which is featured on the video diary. Both Digs and Micaiah were great, and despite the time constraints (we basically had about six hours to do the whole thing, including editing) I think it turned out okay. It was good to work so quickly in a way, and made it seem possible that we could actually turn around a short fairly quickly. Get Digs in a suit, maybe add a couple of other roles and we’d be there.

Of course, Cooke’s tied up with writing at the moment, and I’ve got a load of editing work on, and these things never seem to be as easy as they should be, but I am really keen to get this made, as I think it could be really funny and painful. Anyway, the film’s at http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/filmnetwork/magazine if anybody wants to have a look.

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