I’ve loved science fiction since I was 12 years old, and as a screenwriter and short filmmaker, taking part in the Sci-Fi London 48 hour Film Challenge has been near the top of my “to do” list for the past four years. This year I crossed that off – except I had so much fun I can’t wait to do it again next year!
The challenge, judged by Benedict Cumberbatch and Guillermo del Toro, among others, is to make a short film in 48 hours, with a set of “obstructions” you have to include. Ours were:
Title: Left Again
Prop: A map. Someone studies it and then makes a mark on it with pen or pin.
Dialogue: When I say so, and not a moment before, press that button.
See the finished film here: https://vimeo.com/63551847.
The shoot, on April 6th-7th, was one of those great creative experiences that will stick with me forever. The initial team was just me as writer/producer and Paul Gilbert, musician* and filmmaker (Lubbdupp Films), as director and editor. But through sheer good luck we managed to pull together an amazing cast in James Clyde, recently on screens as James I in Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous, and Kate Madison, famous for her Lord of the Rings fanfilm Born of Hope; a cracking composer in Martin Carman; two rising young shooters in Nick Poole and Mark Asplin of Absolution Films; and a production crew who worked their socks off (special mention to the design team of Roya Hersel and Tyfene Vally – they’ve got some nice comments on Vimeo already). I’ve been working for the costume hire company Classworks, and we managed to secure their premises – a former bank, complete with vaults – as the location. Paul and I had three hours sleep in 3 days, but everyone was still smiling at the end and we’re so proud of the result. The standard of the competition is staggering, so I’m hopeful but not unrealistic about our chances, but no matter what happens, I think we’ve made a great, fun, entertaining, spooky little film – Left Again.
Behind the scenes shots by Steven Darlow.
*Drummer for Zounds.