Shedspotting

A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of co-directing a film with Doug Lyon for Straight 8.

The competition involves making a film on a Super 8 camera with a single roll. No editing, no retakes. You just shoot the film, record the audio and send it in. The first time you ever see your own film is at a screening with everyone else.

Our film is called ‘Sarah’, and it’s about a lovely lady called Sarah. Sarah’s favourite book is The British Locomotive Shed Directory, and she loves nothing more than to jump on a train with a flask and a packed lunch and head out for a full day of spotting. Shedspotting.

The idea for the film came from an improvisation weekend I did with Likely Story a few months back. Sarah came from a character Anne Langford created while we were improvising in a bookshop, and Doug and I thought the character of a wistful shedspotter would fit the nostalic feel of the Super 8 perfectly.

The beauty of Straight 8 is that it’s all about getting out there and doing it. Aside from playing around in Dorset awhile back, I had never made a film before. Neither Doug nor I had ever used a Super 8 camera before, but under the pressure of creating a film on one roll, we just had to jump in and go for it.

I learned loads, and I know there were loads of things both of us would do differently if we did it again, but that’s kind of the point of doing it, I guess. You gotta make stuff to get better at making stuff.

‘Sarah’ was chosen to be screened at the ICA next week as part of Rushes Soho Shorts Festival which we’re mega-pleased about. We’ll be there, and in front of an audience we’ll see our film for the first time. You can get a ticket here if you fancy coming along to a night of Straight 8 films. Ours will be on Tues, the 26th July.

So thanks to Doug, Hetty and Anne (who played Sarah) for making the film, thanks to Dentsu London and Straight 8 for giving us an excuse to do it, and congratulations to the other Dentsu teams who were chosen for screenings.

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