By April this year, it will have been two years since I last directed a film (my first festival-screened piece, The Opening Night), and it feels amazing to be back in the proverbial chair again. I believe that a person's essence and soul is very much inside of them, and if they can't express it on the outside, they're just trapped inside a shell; sometimes I feel as though I have so much rushing around inside my head, in a Tree Of Life-style montage of images, thoughts & feelings, that I'm going to burst! So to get even a little of this down on paper or on film causes me some relief.
I've been planning Ashes for a while now but, on Monday 6th February, it suddenly felt very real, because the trailer was shot, in Beeston, at Adele Coxon's Coco Studio:
(The trailer set - Coco Studio in Beeston)
The edit is currently taking place; once it's been cut together and then scored (by DJ Cmore Trix) it's be online for you all to see, and our funding campaign can begin. But in the meantime, I wanted to share with you some of the photos I got on the day - to give you a little taster, so to speak. As always, I'm not a professional photographer - I take them to capture and catalogue life rather than as a serious art form - and I highly recommend you go to Crash Taylor's page for all his photos from the day. But, for now, here is my record of the day:
The make-up for actor Sarah Lamesch was done by Rena Kalandrani in a great little dressing room at the studio. She had two looks to achieve because I wanted the trailer to jump between images of light and dark - first off, she made Sarah look tranquil and peaceful for a morning glow. Secondly, she gave Sarah a gothic, darkly fetish look with smokey eyes and wild hair, for the scene where she is terrified of an approaching assailant. Here are a couple of photos of Rena at work, plus a little video I got on my photo camera of her talking about her work:
And here is Sarah in her finished make-up for the first scene; (For the photos from the second scene, check out Crash's page - as mentioned above - or wait for the trailer to see the finished result)
After the work we did together on Jar of Angels, my DOPs on Ashes are the aforementioned Crash Taylor and Rik Winter, of Taylor | Winter Films (hence their 'in association with' credit on Ashes). Here are the boys doing what they do best:
At the end of the day, as the caring director that I am (!), I made sure that people were rewarded for the hard work that they did. The boys got cake, and the girls were treated to some time on massage chairs:
As always, you can see more photos from the day on my Facebook page, or you can get the full cast/crew list and other details about the film on its Festival Focus page.
The Ashes trailer and the finished costume advert are both scheduled to be released around the same time. As I write this, I do not know which will be done first, and that is a fact which excites me greatly.
In the meantime, my latest video blog is online, and it talks all about the pre-production of Ashes, covering everything leading up to the trailer itself.