Shooting #Overheads

It was pretty easy, to begin with. Andrew Leach came to me & said hey, man, we’ve twitter-known each other for a while, you shoot film & I write stories, why don’t we crash those things together?

We laughed at the name MASSIVE OVERHEADS PRODUCTIONS and then made it come to life.

Josienne helped. Andy’s family helped. Together, we all worked out how to record location dialogue (nightmarishly hard!) and how to clap scenes, so I can edit them together, how to use all the hardware & software & stay focussed on the creation, the telling of a story, when there are so many shadowy codecs & redundant formats hanging over you, when every shriek of a gull renders another wav unusable.

We did a casting call & were swamped. We said we had no budget, all the gear & no idea, it was our first time. But so many people wanted to be in it. They were all superb & I hope we get to work with them all in future projects.

Andrew MacIntosh, Andrew Leach’s artist friend, painted the caravan from the poster. Go check out his other stuff, he’a an actual magician.

Josienne had a song in her head since the start of the project. She recorded it at home, and you can hear traffic & trains in the background. It’s a lovely piece. The sentiment is perfect. Then her & I worked together on the theme tune, the debut of our new project. No vocals. We bring some of our other musical influences into play & made a dirty, noisy, distorted, foreboding drum-led piece. Familiar to fans of Formication, perhaps, but not a sound I’ve explored in a while. It’ll be on bandcamp, soon, so you can listen whenever you like. More details coming soon.

Andi Ashen swooped in, an un-caped hero and helped us rescue some of the location dialogue. it’s hard to get right, and I know more for next time. I think it sounds perfect, now, but it wouldn’t, without The Ashen’s ears.

In the end, Tina Harris, Claire Lebowitz King & Madison Leach are the stars of the show. Shooting & editing them was pure pleasure. I could’ve used any scene I shot. I learned lots about how to put it all together, about the best way to shoot to tell the story. How to direct them to get what I need. I felt their trust & it felt unearned, but I think I can do it. It’s a huge thrill, the power of pen to screen. I feel kind of manipulative, though, too. I can make a person sinister or serene, just by setting the words they say like this or like that. By cutting away too early or too late. By using sound or shadow to hint at things, or not hint at them.

It’s easy to get hamstrung, making things, isn’t it? Weighed down by the possibilities of what you COULD do. Is this film I’m making as good as Kubrick? As Coppola? Is the music as good as Pantha Du Prince, as musical & obtuse & meaningful as Stockhausen, as artfully abstract as Eno, as creative as Derbyshire, as leftfield & focussed as Weatherall, does it have a point, a use, a direction like Flylo or Fourtet? But, no fuck that. It’s none of those things & I’m none of those people. I’m just a random nobody who thought maybe he could, and if it’s shite and you all stand around and laugh, well, so be it. I’ve been there before & I’ll be there again, I expect. But as always, my scars on my sleeve & everything you see & hear, I did that and not one of you can take that away from me, hashtag smiley face.

So, I’ll learn from my mistakes & go make them all again, bigger & better & right before your eyes, this time. The real magic here is believing you can, and then doing, whatever it’s in the face of. I’m already nearly finished our second film project & there are two more about to appear. We made them with no production money using kit I bought off ebay, paid for by doing shift work in a bookshop & day rate computer support stuff. We paid for people’s help where it was appropriate and relied on goodwill & favours were we could. It’ll grow or it won’t & I don’t care either way. Andy’s got some beautiful stories to tell & it’s a thrill & privilege to help bring them to life.

Here’s #Overheads. Enjoy.

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