The first feature film completed by Rusalka Pictures.
Available on DVD and BLU-RAY HERE
A story about an agoraphobic man who tries to escape the confines of a granary, by facing his fears and fighting his demons.
Stars: XANDER PHILLIPS, EVESHKA GHOST, ALEX WILLIS
(A note from the director:)
The script was written in three days, after failing to shoot three films (two of which were cut short during principle photography).
We had no money left (or none we were willing to spend), and a bunch of props that we would have to recycle without spending them on previous films we'd like to one day make.
This was a problem, obviously, as the story couldn't be a simplified version of our previous scripts. It HAD to be original.
Several ideas were on the table, but we weren't all comfortable doing them, and I couldn't come up with something fast enough. We'd already had the location for over a year, and our time was coming to an end. What could we shoot, I thought, that I know about the most, that requires the location to be left in it's purest form - and with no actors left after all had abandoned - with just the crew?
So the script was on the table, everyone agreed. Every crew member had to play a part - or several! And that was that.
It took 34 sessions (big and small) to complete, which is far more than I'd like to for one movie, but that's what happens when it's all about little bits here and there.
The script was only 62 pages long, with lots of room for improvisation. I can't say it was only a reference, because we DID follow the dialogue where it was written - but where it wasn't
, we just had to be creative and 'make it up'.
Xander had stood by us through all the films, through thick and thin. So I said to him - let's do this film, and you can star in the next one with a sword - which happened (see The Bastard Sword
for more on that one!)
This film took the spot for our hometown East Grinstead's FIRST EVER world movie premiere (most likely first ever premiere in general, too). It as a pretty good turn-out. The feedback was pretty much as expected. It's a long film, it's borderline art-film. But that's the way it's supposed to be.
Considering how compromised it was for props, time, prep, and the attack of a thousand planes and killer rats, bats and all sorts (oh my), I'm happy with how it ended up. The soundtrack is my best word to date, which is surprising since it didn't take very long to write, not compared to Chalcedony
albums, which usually take over 5 years to produce each one.
It was also a massive learning curve to see what it actually takes to produce a film for a three-figure budget from start to finish. Being 150 mins long, with a 118 minute soundtrack, and featuring some overdubbing (in case you missed it!), the goal was complete in my book. I will explain what I mean:
Simply put, by making a film of exceptional length, which affects processing time, editing time, soundtrack, mixing time and virtually everything, it has disciplined us as film makers to achieve the overkill of what is more commonly required. This is why shooting our THIRD film (a horror), seemed almost... too short (let's hope it's not). And I won't lie to you, The Bastard Sword
is even longer than The Granary
, and that's after cutting the hell out of it to make it move as fast as possible. It's a 130 or so page script, and we followed it very strictly.
Why did we call it 'The Granary'? Well, because everything we'd done had been about the granary up to this point. The place was so legendary in our eyes as a crew, that it needed to have it's own brand, it's own marker for existance. We got something out of it!
On a side-note, some reviews said the film was 'self-indulgent'. I pondered upon this, keeping an open mind.
For one, I didn't want to star in this film. I did it because I had no choice. I joked with the crew that somebody out there would think it was a very me-me-me film. Ok, so people are easy to predict, but in fairness, agoraphobia, mental illness - the subject matter of the film IS self indulgent. It's also very drawn out and never-ending, and difficult for anyone to relate to. So in my positive opinion, I don't disagree, but objective achieved. On to the next project...
The film was shot on three CANON 550D cameras, with Samyang Prime lenses. Audio was captured with a Tascam recorder and a shotgun mic that I can't remember the name of.
Some scenes used a multi-camera set-up of up to 3 cameras at once, which was a challenge for lighting, but allowed for one-take improvised performances to be captured safely so we could move on faster.
Other bits of course, were done the old fashioned way with one camera in a linear way, or 'The Bastard Method'
as we like to call it.
This film is sponsored by every damn plane at Gatwick airport, without our consent.
The irony being - the planes didn't come out too bad in the end, it was actually the fan on the light that ruined it!
is released on DVD and BLU RAY in our SHOP HERE
, so grab a copy, and see what you think.