Teresa tells us about the progress in the making of her Ben Steiner Bursary’s film The Quiet Ones:
Since winning the Ben Steiner Bursary in May it’s been all systems go for me. My first port of call was to team up with a producer and then soon after that I had my DOP on board too. We then got to setting up a Facebook & Twitter page for the film, so that everyone could take a look at what we were doing. I’ve also been blogging monthly at The Limping Chicken, on how pre-production has been going and what I’ve been experiencing along the way.
We’ve managed to assemble a highly dedicated and extremely talented crew and cast. I’m so grateful for the amount of effort everyone is willing to put in and I feel that we are all working towards the same goal; we all want to make the best film possible for Deaffest 2015! Our team is a mixture of Deaf and hearing people as we really want people to integrate and learn from each other on this project. I’m especially hoping that this opportunity will open up more doors in the future for the Deaf cast/crew involved.
We’re lucky enough to be filming at Pinewood Studios, which is one of the world’s leading destinations for film-makers. So many amazing things have been shot there and it’s a great place to work as the atmosphere is so inspiring. This will be the first time a few of our younger, Deaf actors have been to Pinewood, so I really hope they enjoy their time working at such a prestigious location.
The film we’re making, is a thriller called “The Quiet Ones”, the plot is filled with lots of twists and turns, so we’re hoping to keep our audience on their feet and thinking at all times. To add to this, we’re also trying to retain a sense of mystery on set, so we’re going to shoot a total of three endings and only essential crew will know which ending we select for the final edit.
We’ve got rehearsals coming up soon and I’m really looking forward to working closely with the cast, to help them build their characters. I want them to be involved creatively as much as possible, so I’ve been asking them to decide some things for themselves, like what style of clothes they think their character wears, or what certain character props should look like etc. Just little stepping stones towards creating these whole new personalities. During our rehearsals I’m going to be focusing on utilising Stanislavski’s System as an acting method. It’s very naturalistic and there are many techniques involved to help actors give truly convincing performances, which will be important for the more emotional scenes within the film.
I’ve also recently finished storyboarding the film and we are going for shots based on cinematic value, as opposed to making sure everyone is signing within the frame. We’ve chosen this styles as we feel the final look of the film will be more professional and a lot of the key plot points are communicated though subtle body language; we want the audience to pay more attention to what the characters are saying when they’re not talking (BSL or English).
Other than that, we’re sorting through all the technical formalities, for instance, what kit to hire, where to acquire certain props/set and making sure that we always stay within the budget of the bursary. We’ve worked hard on keeping things as organised as possible in the hope that our preparation will pay off when it comes to the shoot itself and we’re all very excited about the next steps.
An update from Teresa on her film (Part 2)
Since my last update, we’ve now completed filming and are well on the way in terms of post-production.
Due to everyone’s hard work and preparation, the shoot itself went extremely well. The cast had learnt their lines and remembered everything we went through in rehearsals which meant we could get all the shots we had planned and with fewer takes. Our crew were also very efficient and they all fulfilled their roles perfectly. Usually, on set you can come up against a few hurdles but this didn’t seem to happen to us and I put some of that down to how well we all worked together. It was my first time working with a lot of those people but I was very pleasantly surprised by their skills and very grateful for their hard work.
After we wrapped the shoot, we had a quick one day break from the film but then got straight into the rough cut. It was a huge relief to have all of our shots logged, as we were able to know exactly which takes were our favourites, so we could drop them straight into our editing timeline. I’d highly recommend using log sheets whenever possible.
We’ve now tightened up the edit which has sped up the pace of the film nicely. So, our next steps are to create some small visual effects and then have our sound designer mix all the dialogue, atmospherics etc. together. I have selected some music to use as the film’s soundtrack because I think creating the right atmosphere with sound is important (even in Deaf films), as you never know who will eventually see your film or how much they can hear. I also want this film to reach a mainstream audience and I think it’s important that we can show that Deaf film-makers are capable of making well rounded films in terms of both visuals and audio.
At the moment, we’re on target for all of our post production deadlines and we’re looking forward to delivering the final film to Deaffest. I have no idea how people will take the film and I’m sure people will have their own opinions about it, which is great, but what I do hope is that the audience can see how much hard work everyone has put in to getting the film from page to screen.
Photographs taken by Martin Diver
Update from Teresa since the making of her film (Part 3)
We’ve now completed all the production stages for The Quiet Ones and have been focusing on creating a buzz with a marketing plan. We’ve already released the posters and there are some behind-the-scenes photos available on the Deaffest website. We will also be releasing the teaser for the film which will then be followed by the trailer for the film, so keep an eye out for those.
In addition, a website for the film is currently under construction and should be available online within the next few weeks. You’ll be able to find lots of info on the site, particularly information about everyone who worked on the film, including links to their personal websites if you wish to find out more about them or maybe even work with them in the future. We’ll also host all of the photos, teaser, trailer, posters etc. on the site so people can find everything in one place.
Later in the year we hope to have some other goodies available to view and download, such as storyboard artwork and desktop backgrounds. Don’t forget to keep checking back for those! There is a behind-the-scenes film made by Gary Thomas to accompany The Quiet Ones, which gives a quick insight into how we made the film and all worked together. We hope that this will encourage people to watch the film and vice versa.
Our next step will be putting together packages to send out to as many festivals as possible. We want to include a dossier with the posters, synopsis, behind the scenes photos, and the film of course! As it circulates, we’ll also be able to update the dossier with any press and screening info. Another part of our marketing plan involves a press release which we’re going to push out there in as many formats as possible (newsletters, newspapers, blogs, forums etc.), and we hope this will add to the film’s credibility.
Overall, our plan is to not only market the film but to also promote the people that worked so hard on it. We want the film to be successful in it’s own right but we also want the film to encourage the success of everyone that was involved.