Sunday, 4 September 2016

Journal Of The Not Quite Dead

Another night shoot, Multiple Not Quite Deaders and AD Lane....

Tuesday 30th August 2016

AD Lane Demonstrates The Correct Way To Deliver The Director Beard Stroke

I have noticed something which, it seems, is a trait that all films share. That is they never, ever run to schedule and nothing seems to go entirely to plan. So, the mark of a good Film Maker seems to be that they can improvise and internalise their panic so as not to worry the other cast and crew. AD Lane is an expert at this and, after 10 years of working with Invasion Of The Not Quite Dead, he seems to take every adjustment or bump in the road very much in his stride. The more time I spend on set with #IOTNQD the clearer it seems that the film has cult status stamped all over it. This can be attributed to AD Lane's refusal to compromise his vision and accept anything less than perfection. It is a feeling that is shared by all who are labouring so hard to bring the film across the finishing line and as we approach 90% completion the levels of activity are building. As I arrive on set at #IOTNQD HQ there have already been a number of scenes already completed. There is a sense of urgency as we work hard to keep within timescales but this doesn't mean that there is a compromise of standards. Invasion Of The Not Quite Dead will, I am sure, be welcomed as a new kite mark for Independent horror but to do this the whole cast and crew have to push barriers and ignore the desire to sleep. AD Lane has pushed himself and his production team to deliver more completed scenes in a tight window of availability than I ever thought possible. It is exhausting to watch him and yet the results are there for all of us to see. 

AD Lane and Kate Griffiths On Set
Gill Wardle Pre Not Quite Dead Make Up
This particular days shooting will see the largest number of Not Quite Deadites ever on set at one time and a pivotal and bloody scene shot in a caravan. One again Kate Griffiths and her magical but gory bag of tricks are being called on to bring to horrific life the Not Quite Deadites. Watching Kate work always renders me speechless and in awe of what can be achieved with huge talent and the expert placing of silicon and tissue paper. When liberally doused with the best fake blood in the business the results are simply delicious. Watching Kate work is like witnessing a master craftsman combined with an artist creating a masterpiece. Sadly, you will have to wait to see exactly what I am talking about but  I can tell you that you will not be disappointed. AD Lane had stipulated he wanted a new iconic look for his titular creations and he certainly got it! Lead Not Quite Dead duties are given to Gill Wardle and she seems to be relishing the responsibility. During her lengthy make up session she tells me that she has worked with Kate before and it is obvious that its not just me that respects her skill. Liana Sadler is also hugely excited about her film role and confirms what I have always believed. That most horror fans would jump at the chance to see a film being shot, let alone feature in it themselves. It is this enthusiasm that allows long hours in makeup without the slightest noticeable reduction in commitment to the project. As multiple takes are required for these scenes and shooting runs late into the night I am astounded by the patience and good humour on display. When AD Lane told me that he treats all who are involved with Invasion as family he really wasn't over stating. Occasionally when you interview an actor who has emotionally connected with a project they will talk about bonds of friendship, the hard work that was tempered by a spirit of camaraderie and a belief that they had been involved in something that would stay with them till the die. Invasion Of The Not Quite Dead will be one of these films and it is belief that is passionately held by all cast and crew.

Liana Sadler and Kate Griffiths
This particular shoot also gave me the opportunity to work with James Fisher, who I had the pleasure of interviewing last year. James has always impressed me with his passionate support of Independent Film and I relished the chance to actually watch him act. James was sharing the scene with Evie Scott, who plays his onscreen girlfriend. It always fascinates me to hear how people got into acting and Evie's route starts in a fairly individual place. She is studying Archaeology and Anthropology at Kings College, London and takes the occasional acting role purely for the love of film. Evie is a natural and clearly loves every moment in front of the camera, not because she is ego centric (quite the contrary) but because being part of something that is the sum of many parts is thrilling. She also has a fantastic sense of humour and made the long hours on set fly by! Independent Film means that everyone does whatever is required and, with no room for divas, you can find yourself in the strangest of places. Special mention and shout out to the other three Not Quite Deadites, so to Paul, Luke and Lou thank you so much you were all amazing!

As the owner of a PR company it is my job to find the 'hook' to develop a marketing campaign around. It needs to be strong enough to connect an audience with the film and provide enough stimulus so that they will want to purchase a ticket. Depending on the film, this can take be a challenge yet without it a film cannot entertain a chance of reaching the size of audience it deserves. Invasion Of The Not Quite Dead presents me with a different problem in that there are so many 'hooks' to seduce an audience with. If you yearn for a horror film that is more engaging and shoves you to the edge of your seat with more than just flashy effects or pointless blood letting, #IOTNQD is for you. But if you sense that the real horror is something more insidious and tangible, something that lurks within all of us, the challenge of the human condition. #IOTQND is for you.

See you on set next time!

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