Your support will be greatly appreciated!
Here is the second episode of my Valentines Messages series. The episode has just made it into the Los Angeles Cinefest Official Selection- which I think it's a very good timing for its on-line release! If you would like to help Valentines Messages to win the Los Angeles Cinefest audience award, you can vote by using the link below.
Your support will be greatly appreciated!
This is Valentines: Lovingly Yours, the first episode of my four- part series, Valentines: Random Love Words- inspired by Yahoo! Mail which offers an email auto-compose service delivering pre-made random messages on Valentine’s Day.
What was originally just meant to be material for a new comedy show-reel turned into a short, then into four...And I thought launching the series on Valentine's Day would only be appropriate considering the theme.
The whole series was shot on a spring day in various locations around West Kensington, London. There was ample room for improvisational work during the day, which added to the fun of bringing these quirky characters to life and provided a lot of extra material. The whole experience was both instructive and fun. I hope the audience will enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it.
My second short Something For You has now been released. And it could not have had a better première night: it won the Best Comedy award at the Rob Knox Film Festival, the very same festival where my first short, Taking Chances, made its London début last year.
Taking Chances was very well received, going on to have a very successful festival run. I was really looking forward to be back: having another première at the festival where it all started felt like an auspicious coincidence in itself. And to be welcomed back with an award was absolutely amazing!
Something for You is a longer and more ambitious project than my first short. Hopefully, all I have learned on that first shoot has been put to good use!
By the time Taking Chances was completed I knew that acting and directing in the same project was a challenge I wanted to continue pursuing. I love seeing things from different perspectives and giving my creative contribution to a project from beginning to end. Tackling more than one creative role in the same project makes sense to me and has helped me grow professionally.
With Something For You I wanted to create a short film that was longer and more complex than Taking Chances- even though budget limitation was still a big issue and needed to be taken into account. I was interested in developing the same theme of Taking Chances and take it further, giving it a more romantic angle. The focus here is still all on courtship misunderstandings and bad timings but there is more time to explore the main character's motivations and feelings. The protagonist- Aida- is clueless in her romantic pursuits, but as we can see as the story develops- she and her love interest Peter are not that different after all. Even though most of the story is seen through her point of view the attention shifts to Peter at a certain point in the story- a change in perspective that I was also very keen to explore.
The shoot took place over two very full-on week-ends after a couple of months of pre-production. It began as an exercise in stretching my new found directing muscles but soon grew into something I felt very passionate about. It was a challenging but invaluable experience made also pleasurable by the support of an amazing cast and crew.
The main challenge this time was adapting the script to the location. Due to budget restraints the search was long and difficult. The place I eventually secured had a great filming potential, but it required a considerable amount of script and shot list adaptations. Even though the set-up was quite different from what I had originally conceived, the change of plan turned out to my advantage: after I reassured myself that it was perfectly possible to make the changes without affecting the overall meaning and feeling of the story, I opened up to the opportunities that the new scenario had to offer, and I even ended up with new ideas for the two main musical montage scenes, which satisfied me more than what I had originally conceived.
On the plus side, being able to contain the shoot in one location and having free use of the kitchen to arrange on-site catering definitely simplified matters and allowed me to save time and money- which was crucial considering my low budget. I firmly believe that something that should never be compromised on in film production- no matter what the budget is- is good catering. There is a lot of food involved in the story- we had chocolate cakes and cream cupcakes- so we made everything count: Aida's culinary gifts all ended up on the menu after the shooting!
Post production was long and eventful- there is still a lot to learn for me technically-but the whole experience had a definite sense of moving forward. And the response I am receiving made it all worth it. It confirmed to me that no story is too small or too simple: as long as it makes people laugh- or even smile- is a story worth telling!
Taking Chances has marked the beginning of a wonderful journey.