Episode 2
June 26, 2019
Episode 4
June 26, 2019

Episode 3

Episode 3 – The story so far.

A brief one just to bring you up to speed on where I am at the moment. Its been a tough 2 years of filmmaking but there is finally light!

 

Transcript for our hard of hearing/deaf listeners

Gareth:
Hey everyone. Welcome to Action, cut & everything in-between, episode three. This episode is about the story so far, because it’s important for me with this podcast to take you on the journey that I’m going on, so that we can all learn together, so let’s jump right in.

Speaker 2:
Welcome to Action, cut & everything in-between, a comprehensive guide to shooting a feature film all on your own.

Gareth:
Okay, so here we are. It is now mid-June 2019, and I’ve just had a massive move over to the UK. I lived in Australia for nine years, and now I’ve just made this huge jump over to the UK to be back closer to my family, and to hopefully shoot a new feature film in the UK. I have my two feature films now in post production, Saving Grace and Life After Man.

Gareth:
Now, let me just tell you a little bit about Saving Grace and where all that has come from. I started Saving Grace back in about March 2017, so this hasn’t been a quick process for me. This has been a very lengthy journey to get to where I am today, and that’s because of just life getting in the way. I run a video production company in Australia, so that would take priority over any kind of film stuff, because obviously you’ve got to make money, and you’ve got to make money to make these films as well, so it was my business that pretty much paid for my feature films for all the budget.

Gareth:
Yeah, all the budget came from me, self-funded. I didn’t have any investors or anything like that, because well basically I didn’t even have the experience to know where to go, to go out and get these investors on board. So I was like, “Right, I’ve got the equipment. I’ve got the crew. I can just go out and just give this a go myself and see how it turns out.” That was hard going, you know? Started writing the script in March 2017, and then from there, getting the planning going was pretty quick, and then actually doing the first bulk of the shooting only happened over kind of a couple of weekends at this property that we had. Then, Christmas came and stuff, and we had a break over Christmas, and then actually had a bit of a falling out with my co-writer at the time, and that just kind of put the brakes on everything.

Gareth:
So why that messy situation was happening, I started to write Life After Man. Then Life After Man really came around pretty quick, people were jumping on board, and I kind of learned from my mistakes from Saving Grace and the process that I went through with that, like the script. I spent a lot more time on the script. I sent it off to a script doctor, who is actually in the UK, got feedback from them, and then went back, edited the script, and then within a month or two I started shooting Life After Man.

Gareth:
So I started shooting Life After Man in May 2018, and from there, again, it was just what I could fit in between work, doing it at weekends or midweek, if I was quiet with work, and whenever I could get the crew and actors together basically. So yeah, went through all that process, shot right up to Christmas basically, and then had a break over Christmas. Now, one of the major things that I’ve learned is to not have a break between filming, like a large break. I know you can break for a week, or two, or three while you’re kind of getting work stuff and getting your budget back together, or trying to sort things out for the shoot. But, having a large break, especially kind of over Christmastime and all that, is really difficult, and in Australia, the summers get super hot, and a lot of the shooting requires kind of exterior shots, and it would just be horrendous for the crew and the actors.

Gareth:
So yeah, we had this big break and then kind of was really struggling to get up to speed after Christmas came, just due to the fact of getting everybody together. My DOP and a couple of the crew started to work on their own film, which we’ve spoken about in the last episode, so Guilt came in in the middle. That slowed things down to get back into it, so I went off and I decided to finish what was left of Saving Grace. I went back in. There was a lot of planning involved, and kind of stunts and things, so I think I was just procrastinating with it as well, and I was putting it off, ut I just thought, “No, this has to be finished, has to be done,” so went back to Saving Grace, finished off everything that needed to be done there, and then that was an amazing feeling, like, “Okay, right, Saving Grace is done.” So, that’s gone off into post production now.

Gareth:
Then, went to help out on Guilt with Carl and Lindsey. You’ll hear from Carl in episode four, about the cinematography. Went to help them, and then my English move was coming up as well, so suddenly there was this deadline looming, of, “If I don’t get this film finished before I leave, then it’s not going to be finished.” So, crazy preparation, super stressful, trying to get everything together. I had multiple locations. We had stunts. We needed more horse shots. The logistics were just pretty horrendous, especially for one person.

Gareth:
When you’re a producer as well, you’ve got so much pressure on you. You have constant emails, phone calls. Everything needs to come together. It just needs one person to be, you know, “Can’t make it.” Caitlin, my lead actress, she was pretty ill leading up to me leaving, so we were just worried that we may not even be able to shoot at all with her, because we didn’t know when she was going to be better. But she was an absolute trooper, and she just pushed on through, and she did an incredible job, and what we’ve got is just so good. I’m so happy with it, and I can’t wait for everybody to see it.

Gareth:
So, yeah, that’s kind of a quick process of kind of my filmmaking journey. It hasn’t been easy. It’s been a real mixture of stress lonely nights, trying to work things out, no one really to kind of bounce ideas to. I had my assistant director, Chase, but he’s been busy with his own film that he shooting now, and then he works and things like that.

Gareth:
So you know, just endless nights of to plan things, and I’m not the best at planning, either. I like to think I’m more kind of creative-brained, and I don’t like systems and things like that, so for me, to plan ahead is quite a big deal for me. I tend to leave things to the last minute as well, so that’s not great. But it all turned out in the end, and I’m super happy with everything we’ve got, and some of the things that were difficult that I put into the script, actually having to go back and think, “Okay, that’s a major stunt. I’m going to have to pull that out or come up with a new idea.” I think it’s actually stronger with what I ended up with on the final shoot.

Gareth:
So that’s just kind of a brief overview of how I put my films together. You know, this pretty much started in March 2017, and it’s now June 2019, so you know, two years to get these done, and that’s with full-time work, trying to run a business as well, and now a big international move back to the UK. Plus, my businesses still actually running in Australia, so I’m having to deal with that, get the films finished here, post production, and then build up my business here as well, because I don’t have any contacts here either, so I’m pretty much starting from scratch. That’s with my business and with the filmmaking.

Gareth:
All my filmmaking experience came in Australia, so I literally don’t know anyone in the business here. You know, now it’s about getting out, networking, and just meeting new people. I’ve been here four weeks now, and already I’ve got interest to speak at a uni and things like that, so slowly but surely, we’ll get there, and I’m just excited to get Saving Grace and Life After Man all done in post, get the screeners ready, and then head out to AFM for November. That’s kind of my deadline at the moment, is November, so full screeners kind of ready. I’ll be hoping for October, sometime like that.

Gareth:
Yeah, that’s it. I just wanted to bring everybody up to speed, because I would like to kind of hear from people who are going through the same thing. When I’ve listened to podcasts and all that, it always seems to be kind of Americans who’ve already made it, and they’ve got all these kinds of celebrity friends, and they’re in Hollywood, or they’re in LA. So I just wanted to put a different spin on it, and say like, you know, you don’t have to be in Hollywood. It’s not about who you know, and everybody says, “Oh, it’s about who you know.” I think that’s bullshit, because you make your own path in this world, and if you just keep pushing on, and you’ve got the passion, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make it.

Gareth:
That’s about it for now. Thanks for listening. Please subscribe, and write in the comments if you’ve got any questions and things like that, because I’d love to know that you’re out there, and you’re enjoying it, or if there’s anything I can do differently with the podcast. I am just going to started and building up, and we’ve got some great interviews lined up, so can’t wait for you to hear those. And yeah, keep making your films, keep planning, and just get it out there. It’s not about who you know. Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you on the next one.

Speaker 2:
Action, cut & everything in-between, a comprehensive guide to shooting a feature film all on your own.

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