Film is such a powerful thing. I think what struck me when I was younger was going to watch movies with my friends and family and coming out of the cinema feeling really inspired or moved by certain films.
It was fascinating to me that watching a film for an hour and a half could have such a profound effect, and that’s definitely what led me to want to pursue a career in the film industry.
Training in film and TV
I trained at the National Film and Television School (NFTS) and have been working with Horsham-based production company Fact Not Fiction Films since early 2015.
Since then, I’ve worked on a variety of films and documentaries all over the world including ‘The Frontier: Ukraine’, ‘Ellston Bay’, ‘Lucy: Breaking the Silence’, ‘The Residency’, ‘Everybody Flies’ and most recently ‘Missing a Note’.
Being the director
‘Missing a Note’ was my first short film project as a director and the film brings to light a topic very close to my heart; dementia.
I wanted to create something with a message that was personal to me and that others might also identify with. It was important to highlight the early signs and to shine a light on the everyday living with the disease rather than just reinforcing an image of dementia people are already aware of.
I was very lucky to work with such an excellent cast on this project. We had Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones), Elaine Paige (Cats, Evita) and rising star Darcy Jacobs (Les Misérables).
The cast exceeded my expectations and I was truly in awe of their acting abilities. The crew were also a pleasure to work with and throughout the three-day shoot, we became a bit of a family.
The whole process was so much fun but that doesn’t mean it didn’t come with its challenges. I think the most challenging scene had to be at the end when Molly is saying goodbye to Angie in the kitchen. We were running out of time (and daylight) and the director of photography (Donna Wade) and I had to quickly come up with a way to shoot the scene all in one shot, which was certainly not planned.
Also, I think any independent filmmaker will agree that the main struggle is the financing element; shooting the film is the easy part! We were very lucky because the film was entirely crowd-funded by family, friends and others so we raised the budget that way.
In September 2019, ‘Missing a Note’ screened with Everyman Cinemas before selected showings of the new Downton Abbey movie, which was such a surreal experience. It’s also been doing really well at film festivals and recently qualified for submission to the 2020 Oscars.
Just go for it
All in all, my experience in the film industry so far has been amazing. What’s most exciting is that this is only the beginning and I can’t wait to see what else is around the corner.
For anyone thinking about getting into the film industry, my advice would be to just go for it.
Write your script, get your friends together and film it at the weekend. If you have determination and passion, there really isn’t anything you can’t achieve.