Continuing our involvement with director Louise C. Galizia’s #oneshortamonth film project, narrative microshort Looking Up was released on 4th May.
We’ve been extremely fortunate in the past to work with directors who haven’t been too phased by the prospect of having their writers on set: more often than not, we’re about as welcome as a queue of upset stomachs outside a music festival portaloo. Looking Up was no exception and it afforded us another opportunity to marvel at the patience and dedication of genuinely talented collaborators who braved the bitterest of bitter winter chills to laugh in the face of February and nail this simple but touching little piece about… well, looking up.
Huge thanks to cast Georgina Blackledge and Vangelis Christodoulou for risking terminal bum numbness through every spot-on take, DOP Laura Yates and producer Alice Ryan for their focus and get-on-with-it-regardlessness and of course director Louise for continuing to find something in our work worth putting the effort in for. Even if it requires a duffel coat.
I used to win loads of things as a kid: hand-written “Sports Day Superstar” stickers for finishing 4th in 3-man races, decorative wooden spoons by the score and a visually stunning array of colourful participation rosettes. Now there’s a short film award to add to that unbroken string of ‘life victories’:
BEST DARK COMEDY SHORT.
This time, however, the laurels weren’t awarded by my long-suffering mum or lovely old Mrs. Aylward in Class 2 who took pity on me when my plimsoll flew off halfway through the 60-yard dash sometime in the summer of ’78.
This time they came from industry judges and viewers who thought it proper to bestow them regardless of what mum thought – many thanks to the Independent Shorts Awards for the tip of the hat. Especially pleased for director Louise Galizia who never struck me as the kind of gal who’d lose her plimsoll in a running race.
The Bug goes from strength to strength!
Independent Shorts Award Winners, April 2018
Watching a young British couple photograph a chap chasing after our train between Madgaon Junction and Mumbai this time three years ago, little did I think that the chance observation would lead to a script which in turn would lead to a cracking, disturbing short film… shot nowhere near India!
Like many ideas that set themselves up for creative extrapolation, this went through a fair number of “but what if…?” rinse cycles before becoming the non-Indian-train-journey finished article that director Louise Caruana Galizia chose to schedule into her 2018 ‘film a month’ project. Thinking back to the young couple on the train to Mumbai, I wondered how they might have presented the pictures they took that day to friends back home? Having been in India for close to a month by that point, I’d already seen just how good the country looks through a lens, even where it really shouldn’t. Would friends envious of the adventure of it all look past that gloriously golden mid-afternoon Instagram glow to see the desperation on the face of the man hailing a train that wouldn’t stop…? Would the travelling couple crop out the filth and rubbish that lined the track all the way through the countryside to a weekday city of 26 million…? Would they edit out the still and sullen figures who sat out in the heat and dust to watch another line of overcrowded carriages rattle past their pole-and-tarpaulin homes…?
How far might someone go to get their perfect shot…? This was the question that led to the creation of Bloody Tourists and the route down which all interpretations of the unfolding story invariably travelled: establish an innocent endeavour; suggest a sinister purpose.
Bloody Tourists was also our first shot at a purely ‘scenic’ shoot, something rooted solely in action and intimation. The beautifully-shot result owes much to a fine cast, great direction and cinematography, and a cracking original score that leaves the viewer in no doubt that sitting through the film is best done on the edge of their chosen seat – just see for yourself…
We’ll be writing more of these shorts through the year. A second, Looking Up, was recently filmed in London – more news to follow!
On the back of the fantastic festival selection news from Portland, we’ve also heard that ‘Snug‘ has received additional cinematic props from the FEEDBACK Female Film Festival (FFFF)!
Held six times a year and shuttling screenings between Los Angeles and Toronto, the festival aims to showcase the very best in female filmmaking and screenwriting talent. Since both of us at Rich Teasers were ‘cup-tied’ by our additional Y chromosomes, our success in this instance is due entirely to the collective double-X chromosome efforts of director Louise Galizia, producer Rosie Wells, DOP Caroline Bridges, costume designer Rachel Pearce and makeup designer Niki Henry who didn’t need to be comfortably-trousered cricket-loving chaps in their 40s to totally get what we were driving at on paper.
Comfortable trousers and knowledge of Test batting averages notwithstanding, we’re extremely proud of the recognition ‘Snug‘ has received from the FFFF and pleased for the fabulous Fs whose hard work got us in front of the selectors in the first place.
FEEDBACK Female Film Festival
2018 certainly is rifling along at a fair old canter, even if ‘rifling’ suggests a pace of movement well beyond the limits of your average, workaday race-winning thoroughbred…
One half-shot film awaiting its hind quarters; two microshorts shooting with a third in the mix; a cracking comedy with a stonking cast scheduled for March; drone flying in the countryside; falling over stuff in the woods… the early news suggested the year might yet decide to lend us one of its spare keys to the opportunity box.
Then, an email:
“Congratulations! Your film is an official selection…”
1000+ film submissions. 52 different judges. Long enough odds to expect to be lapping from the dog bowl of disappointment come notification time, so it’s doubly lovely with cream and marshmallows to see the faith we have in our writing reciprocated by the gatekeepers to these fantastic events. It’s also a timely reminder to us that the faith we had in all the talented collaborators who helped make ‘Snug‘ a prize pick for such an internationally respected film festival was very well placed.
The Portland Comedy Film Festival takes place in Portland, Oregon between 21-24 March, 2018. We’re bloody well in it and couldn’t be happier!
More news as and when…
Portland Comedy Film Festival 2018
In some ways, film projects and productions are a little like London buses(*): wildly optimistic timetables, cancellations, terminal roadside breakdowns… then two turn up bumper-to-bumper, just as you’re girding your loins for a Hunger Games-style trek through the Elephant and Castle.
Time Of The Month is our second film of 2017, a comic collaboration with Random Clock Films which began shooting in Scotland at the beginning of November. The script itself was developed off the back of one of those “two people, one room” concept pitches that sound easy enough to cobble together over lager and service station sandwiches but are actually much harder to make as dynamic and moreish as lager and service station sandwiches. You don’t try to reinvent the wheel – you just try to make sure that when people are getting together to talk wheels, they’re talking about your wheel being the coolest-looking wheel on the whole damn wheel rack.
In putting a monstrous twist on the age-old couples conundrum of trying to separate the partygoers from the babysitters, we and Random Clock think we have something pretty cool in the mix for 2018. More news will undoubtedly follow, but for now, here’s a trio of circular teasers…
Random Clock Films will also be posting production updates on their own site at Random Clock Films – do pop in for a virtual looksie.
(*)Of course in other ways, buses aren’t like film projects and productions at all: the N343, for example, can get you all the way from Tooley Street to New Cross after hours, and there’s no way Fletch or Last Of The Mohicans could ever manage that.
Right from the beginning, our fabulous comedy short Snug As A Bug had a bigger, brassier, bad-assier sister.
That big, bad-ass sis is Happy Birthday Mrs. Shine: she controls the remote when mum’s not around, she’s better at netball (because she leads with the elbows) and she takes the book-ended story of Snug and ramps it up to new levels of mishap, paranoia and amateur dissection.
Lady hit squads! Lunatics in caravans! Autopsies in garden sheds!
It’s sometimes difficult to know how to start conceptualising a project like Happy Birthday… which is why we’re more than happy to devolve that tricky visual conceptualising to hyper-talented artistic collaborator Louise Caruana Galizia of Cue Pictures who has a fine eye for the enigmatic and visually engaging.
She’s made a start. We like the start she’s made…
There’ll be more news as time passes and hopefully more cool conceptualising from Louise at Cue Pictures (@cuepictures)