Member Profile: Jane Gull
My Feral Heart (2016)
After his mother passes away, Luke, a young man with Down syndrome, is forced to move into a care home. After sneaking out of the house to explore the countryside, he meets a young woman who gives him hope and purpose.
Ben Pohlman: So, Hey Jane, thank you very much for joining me on today's call. We've got Jane girl, James, an independent director. We first met Jane when she screened her short film. We were lucky enough to screen her short film Twitch at the Liverpool liftoff film festival. And then Jane went on to make a to direct a, a feature narrative called my feral heart, which one best narrative at a Los Angeles liftoff, I believe. And then went on to be nominated and subsequently won a seasonal wards. Won a few awards at the season. Wasn't the Jane.
Jane Gull: Ye ah, we did. What do, what did we win, was it best film?
Ben Pohlman: Best director, best feature narrative and best actor for Steven.
Jane Gull: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for reminding me. I knew we won three.
Ben Pohlman: And so yeah, thanks for jumping on call with us.
Jane Gull: Thank you for inviting me.
Ben Pohlman: Oh, no, no, no, no, no worries. So how has it been? I know you've been busy. What's, what's going on?
Jane Gull: Yeah, it's been busy. I don't know where the years go. I mean, it was, was it two years ago? We won those awards or three?
Ben Pohlman: I think it was 2016 actually, I've got it on my screen and for me, 2016 sixth, where are we now? That's three years ago.
Jane Gull: Wow. Three years ago. Well, things have been pretty busy. I was hoping that I'd be shooting a film this year, but that didn't work out. But hopefully next year or being, well I should be shooting too. Well there was various films last year that didn't sort of, they didn't come off various reasons, but the give Newsies which West the period drama that I'm doing about the witch that's due, we're in pre-production at the moment and due to shoot in spring. Yeah. So there's been
Ben Pohlman: Pinewood for the underwater.
Jane Gull: Well, fingers crossed. I hope so. Yeah cause I've got some underwater shoot, so hope hopefully we'll be coming to Pinewood. But yeah, no, it's been really busy but a lot of sort of just like, you know, behind the scenes stuff and the preparation. I mean, after all, what I realized after doing like the festival circuit and everything, it was a case of, Oh gosh, what, what now kind of thing, because everything had been sort of all my time and energy being invested into that project. So I've just been sort of planning different projects with a few different producers, different writers, so that hopefully there'll be, you know, I can go from one project to the next yeah. That, you know,
Jane Gull: Like three or four years in between. But yeah, it's just really been it's actually been really quite difficult to get the second film off the ground I think, because you know, financially and everything was invested in that first one. And you know, we made it for a really low budget and you know, lots of people worked. You know, not for free, but you know, they worked a very low cost and, you know, we ourselves as filmmakers, myself, the writer and the producer invested, you know, into the project. So can't really continue to do that. So yeah, so things have been a bit different and you know, and the next project requires more finance as well. So it's a sort of, it's been very different ballgame really.
Ben Pohlman: Yeah, for sure. So, but my feral hearts had a a slow start. Right. But then it became, it had so many amazing things happen for it. So what's happened, what's happened has, have you found that, that from this plaque, maybe I should explain for the, for the, for the listeners if, if you don't already know, go look it up. My feral heart, you can buy it on Amazon right now. I believe it's still available on DVD and you can you, it was on sky. I don't know if it still is. Yeah,
Jane Gull: It's finished. It's run on Skybox office.
Ben Pohlman: Finish this one off Skype box office. Is there anything else coming up for it? How can people,
Jane Gull: Yeah, I'm not quite sure. I think it, yeah, it's still available and some of the video on demand platforms and you can yeah. Get it on DVD,
Ben Pohlman: On iTunes and things like that, right?
Jane Gull: Yeah. All those, those platforms. So yeah, when we made feral, we didn't have the distribution and everything in all the sales in place before we started shooting. So that's why things, you know, took a little bit longer. Quite often with those independent films, it's a case of, you know, make the product and then, you know, but yeah, exactly. Whereas with some of the other projects now, you know, we're trying to do it, have all that in place before we sort of go into production. Yeah. So it's a sort of a different beast really.
Ben Pohlman: Yeah, for sure. And it Mark commodes, it got four stars from Mark commode and it was on radio four and it had, it had tons of tons of press and it did, it did really well. But then I know it was like hard, it was hard to make a return right on the, on the investment.
Jane Gull: Yeah. I mean, yeah, like you said, he did do really well and it's gained momentum. It was a slow burner. And we kind of believed that as filmmakers that, you know, if we make it then people will be interested in it. And yeah, we've got some really great reviews, which really helped. And then we had the theatrical release through our screen which is the cinema on demand platform and it became their most successful film to date. I do believe. But of course you haven't got the engine of the big companies behind you promoting it. So it was very much like hands on deck all hands on deck, you know, doing it ourselves, which, you know, is often the way isn't it, with independent films
Speaker 3: For sure.
Ben Pohlman: And so you were, you moved, you've transitioned from shorts, so you, how many shorts do you, did you make before you moved into features?
Jane Gull: So I made my first short film again back in 2005, two Oh, two six a quite a while ago. So I made, I think, goodness me about, I think it's about seven short films. Yeah, I think seven, seven short films. But then prior to that I'd of done a lot of theater directing and obviously worked as an actor as well, and a choreographer, which was actually really helpful I think because I'd been working with directors and cinematographers from a choreography point of view and having worked as an actor as well, you know, all those elements I think really sort of helped
Ben Pohlman: Directing a sets a bit like choreography anyway. Right.
Jane Gull: Yeah. And I think that's why I don't like too much dialogue cause I'm so used to the, you know, working through the expression of dance and you know, telling stories through [inaudible].
Speaker 3: Yeah.
Ben Pohlman: So you had your first successes. Talk us through those. So I know that you had some success with sunny boy, right? With channel four.
Speaker 3: Yeah.
Jane Gull: Yes. They're trying to for pick that out and,
Ben Pohlman: Oh, sorry. Oh, sorry. Yes. It's breaking up a little bit. So can you talk us, talk us through that. How did that happen?
Jane Gull: So some voice [inaudible] made a short feel called together alone with the UK film council and screen East back in 2006 and then do they run in a a thing called digital shorts. So yeah, I had this idea about the skin condition called xeroderma pigmentosum, which somebody I knew knew somebody that had this condition. So I wrote short film about that. And then was fortunate to get some funding again through the UK film council to make that film. And that was really, that was such a wonderful project. Everything about that project, I absolutely loved the actors that I was working with. Emma Curtis, the producer who's one of my dearest friends now. It was just one of those projects that really, yeah, really captured my heart. It was a very special time and that done very well actually on the festival circuit and yeah. Then got picked up by art, art, ATV and channel four and the shooting gallery. So that was great. So that actually had quite a long shelf life, that film.
Speaker 4: Hmm.
Ben Pohlman: And was that the first project that you were director of that was like a critical Alomar critical, like a less a success? Is that the first moment or was there something before that?
Jane Gull: Mmm, I've had some theater things, but with regards to film, yeah. I think that was the one that, yeah, obviously most, yeah.
Ben Pohlman: This, this is, this is the thing. This is it. Yeah.
Jane Gull: Yeah. I was Twitch after that and Twitch. It was after that. Yeah.
Ben Pohlman: That short, directly after that.
Jane Gull: When did we shoot that? So I think we should let in 2013, I think 2012, 2013. Yeah,
Ben Pohlman: I remember the switch strongly. Guess what are those? I said, I've said this before to, to, to people, but it's one of those shorts that as a festival reviewer, it's hard to the, the, the process is hard and every now and then there's a film that jumps out and is, for whatever reason, just stands head and shoulders above the rest. And Twitch was one of those, one of those moments of, of really real excitement way. Like, Oh, wow, this is, this is some, this is something else. This is, this is special. This film.
Jane Gull: Oh, thanks. It's lovely to hear.
Ben Pohlman: No, no, no, no worries. Is this a, it's still still resonates. Still sticks in my consciousness somewhere. Do you know what I mean? Yeah.
Jane Gull: Again, that that film is very special to me. It has the same, the same actors in it as in Sonny boy. The little dog. Yeah, exactly. The little dog in twitcher was actually called Sonny boy. And he, unfortunately he passed away this year and she's really sad. And just like where the film was shot, both films were shot in Essex in my home County. Yeah.
Ben Pohlman: Yeah. There was a, there was a rugby or rugby changing room. Right. That was changed. I remember you telling that story. It's like, I was like, it's a ropy changing room. Bloody set design is amazing.
Jane Gull: Yeah. It was Manuel rugby club or football club. We use their changing rooms I think. Yeah. Yeah.
Ben Pohlman: I encourage everyone to go and like go watch, watch the short cause it's and see if you can spot a ropy changing room, I bet. Or football change. I bet you you cannot, you'll know what it is though cause there's only a few interiors. But like I know that the transition between it's probably an interesting topic to cover, right, because he's sort of the thoughts of our audience members are at this stage or around this stage. The transition between going from short films to feature films and that that poses a unique whole set of challenges, which I don't know that you've, you've personally been through. So I wonder if you could give us your personal insights and experiences. What was that like moving from, from short film director to feature film director?
Speaker 5: Yeah. So for me personally, I'd been with the short films that I've made, I've been produced quite a few of them myself. And I mean that's, I think that has challenges in itself, directing and producing even a short film. So I think to do that on a feature films, you know, a bit crazy, really. So I think the first thing is to, you know, to, you know, have a good producer who you can work with who can take the reins of that, that side of things. So you're concentrating as a director on the the, the, the directing rather than worrying whether there's parking down the road for the cars and think, you know, those the day to day things. But then also when you're, you know, making a short film, it's, if it's a five, 10 minute film, if it doesn't work out, you know, how you wanted it, you can not bury it away.
Speaker 5: But you know, it's only a five or 10 minute film. But I think the thing is with the Fiji film, it's such a big responsibility to everybody who's involved in it, who's given their time because it's, you know, people are working on it for however many weeks. So you need to sort of think about the bigger picture. I think that's, that's the thing. I mean, a short film. I think if even if it's not the best script in the world, you might have a performance that carries it or it might be like a visually stunning piece. But I think for a feature film to get an audience to sit in there and like watch it for an hour and a half, you know, the story has to work. That said, I think people underestimate short films. You know, everyone thinks, Oh yeah, we can make a short film.
Speaker 5: But actually to tell a story, to engage an audience in that short space of time really, you know, that's, take some craftmanship. I'm sorry Ben. But to go back to your subject question about I'm from shorts to features. I, as I said, I think making your first feature film, it's a different beast because it's, I don't know if that films a disaster where you go on to make another one. This is a question. This is the question. But even if it's not a disaster and it, you know, turns out, well, you've then got to make your next one, but you might not eat it. And I think that all comes down, unfortunately it comes down to finance a lot of it and that, that unfortunately that's, you know, what I'm finding now that is about a lot of it is about, well first of all, a good script, but even having a good script isn't always enough to get the finance. Then it becomes that chicken and egg of, well, we'll finance if you can get the one of these actors in it, but you know, those actors might not be available for 10 years. So eight for those actors. Yeah. And you know, it's show business, isn't it?
Speaker 5: And when you want to be creative and have, you know, you know, did the creative side of thing, that's wonderful, but people want to be their investment to be returned.
Ben Pohlman: So are you getting involved in the finance side of things yourself? Do you have a job to do pitches or how does that, does that look? Yep.
Speaker 5: I mean, yeah. So at the moment on the projects I'm working with, with the producers yeah, that is a conversation because that's the other thing. If you've made a completely independent film, but you've made one film, you're no longer a deputy director, but you might not be on the ladder of the industry if you haven't had the finance from one of the sort of key players. So that is one of the conversations I've had with a few people. It's like, well, you're not, you know, you're not a Deb, you feed, you feel maker anymore, but you're not, you know, your project was completely independent where you think you would actually get some, that would be a good thing. But I don't know if you're all completely independent and you've not had any of the sort of help along the way.
Ben Pohlman: Oh, that's interesting. That has been something that's been so to certain producers prefer it. If you've, if you've been in a pro, involved in a project that's had like production money finance from, from industry established companies, then is that what the situation is? And then that gives you a profile as a, as a director that's been involved with X, Y, Z company.
Speaker 5: Yeah. Well, I think, I mean, I don't know. I'm just from, you know, people that I've spoken to and firms are my experience. I think if your project is a project that has had one of their sort of key players, you know, supporting it from there, from the off, it's going to have you know, be elevated it a little bit more. I think they, it's going to have a bigger profile, a feel completely independent film. You've got to have something really unique. It's going to make your film stand out amongst all those others that have already got the, the, you know, the leverage there. And I think that even needs to be you know, an amazing story, a key cast member. Something niche about it. Or you know, or just being, you know, just brilliant. I don't know. But you know, even, and I'm sure you've seen them and lots of brilliant films that never make it, you know, past the cast and crew screening, not because it's not a good feel, but maybe they've not had the support to get it out there to people.
Ben Pohlman: That's interesting that you've had this experience because my feral heart was incredible. Like it, and it did re it did it, I would have thought to certain people it would have been, it would've been enough of a calling card as it were to, to, to track, to trust, to trust with the finance for them, for their, for the next one.
Speaker 5: Yeah. I mean, I hope I'm, I'm, you know, now I'm on the back of my feral heart and working with some brilliant people. I'm still working with the team of my federal heart. We're doing a feature film in the autumn set in Scotland the same writer from my Pharaoh heart. Yeah, that's brilliant. And I'm also working with some wonderful producers, Kara Newman, Georgina French who have all loved my feral heart and working with some great writers. Working with zebra Duncan and working with Daniel Hayes, who I'd been working with the many years from. We're working on a TV drama. We co-write in that. So yeah, so it's about finding in your, you know, your teams and just, you know, trying to China I guess. All right. Hustle. Yeah,
Ben Pohlman: There was a story, I can't remember who it was. I think it was like, it was, he was an established theater actor. Somebody really famous, his name has completely escaped me and he was talking about, it might be even somebody that's somebody like Jeremy irons, I can't even remember. Anyway. who, who was trying to try to produce a feature film or get a feature film off the ground. And he was just like, he couldn't do it. And he said, even with his kind of like a list, a name, he'd stayed there. Still still didn't, I mean, he needed a lot of money. Right. He needed multiple millions. But even with his name, he was like unable to, unable to get off the ground. I remember seeing this interview and actually I think by the end of it, he, he managed to get off the ground and it was like he was talking about in process, but he's saying it took, took me 10 years. It's just, I find it fascinating how there's all these different hurdles that you do have to jump through. And it doesn't, it does. There's no rhyme or reason.
Speaker 5: No, no. And I think that's the thing and that's why I've got, you know, various projects at various stages and various topics because you invest all your time and everything into one project. It could be something that happens in the news that makes that project not, you know, you can't make it or another film comes out about the same subject or any, you know, many different things. So I've got different projects, different. And actually that's been really interesting because I've always been interested in lots of different films and I want to make different films. I don't just want to do, you know, ad no serious social dramas, much to people's surprise. And when, when I was acting, I always, one of the things I hated about that was everyone really, you know, put you into a box. I didn't find that in theater when I've been directing theater.
Speaker 5: I've done comedies, I've done pantomimes, I've done Shakespeare dramas, physical theater. And they seem, you know, as a director, you know, you take a script, a project regardless of you know, the type of piece of theater it is, and you, you know, you direct that piece. But we feel mean. It does seem to be you know, there's some, a couple of projects I've got and people have been like, Oh, I wouldn't have thought that was your kind of thing. But you know, Spielberg directs different types of cinema. So yeah, that's been quite interesting. Trying to convince people that no I can do a coming of age comedy or something. But I suppose if they haven't actually seen that cause most of my shorts have been quite serious.
Ben Pohlman: How do you manage that's really, that's really interesting because how do you manage like focus on a specific product? How do you know what to work on? Because I find that if I, if I'm working on lots of different things, I ended up not being very effective. Whereas if I work on one thing, I am more effective. So how do you, how do you manage that?
Speaker 5: The, I'm the other way around. I've always, I like variety. So yeah, I, I quite like that. I like to I mean obviously, you know, like today I'll be focused on one of the projects that we've got a meeting tomorrow. So that would be my main focus and obviously, which West is the next project that I'll be doing. So that's that's quite immediate, you know, some of the decisions, but I'm still, you know, I've got you know, the one we're doing hopefully in September and but yeah, you do have to juggle and put a different head on
Ben Pohlman: To put a different hat on for all the different things. Yeah. Yeah. It's a totally different head, isn't it? Yeah. So how do you prepare for a, a, a piece? How, so say, say, what's your process for preparing as a, as a director for say you can say, you know that you have a
Speaker 3: [Inaudible].
Ben Pohlman: I dunno. Let's, I mean, let's, let's keep it open. How, how'd you prepare?
Speaker 3: Mmm,
Speaker 5: Well the old saying goes and my drama teacher, proper preparation prevents poor performance. So yeah, prepare, prepare, prepare, but be prepared to throw that preparation out the window. Yeah, I mean, just knowing the script inside out and back to front, the characters, the world. Yeah, I mean I do loads of
Speaker 3: [Inaudible]
Speaker 5: Work behind the scenes, you know, for me that nobody will ever know that it's not, you know, I don't share it with anyone because people don't need to know that. But I like, I like to be really planned and have, be prepared. But then I love the sort of spontaneity of it and you know, that can all go out the window. But I think you can, by preparing, you can, you know, tease out all your mediocre ideas and then when you get on set, you know, once you've got, I think once you've got the actors, it's, that's when, for me, it really comes alive. Do you storyboard? I do, but not to, again, it's more for just as a, you know, yeah, I do, but I do it with my drawings and, you know, just my scribbles. My, I have a scrapbook I'm very sort of hands on.
Speaker 5: I don't like doing things on the computer. I like scribbling. I can show, show you one of my scrapers, you know, they're in here. Yeah. And I do storyboard, but again I think it's good to do that. But I, I'm not rigid in that. I do. I, you know, some of the best things that have happened on projects have been those magic moments on set. And that's why like I love working with Susie cinematographer cause she comes from a documentary background, so she's very like sort of thinking on their feet. Whereas there've been some sort of crew members that have been like, well hang on a minute, you never said we were going to do that. What do you mean we're going to go and film that rainbow? Or whatever that was. That wasn't planned. No, but this is a gift. You know, there's magic moments. You can't, you have to embrace them.
Ben Pohlman: Yeah, sure. That's, that's, that's interesting. I know everybody likes, likes to work differently. How I know you from our conversations before, I know that you place a particular focus on your relationship with the actors because of your experience with acting. I wonder if you have anything to say about that.
Speaker 5: Yeah, I mean, for me let's see, everything's important. But I do think if well for me personally, if I'm watching a film, if I don't believe the characters,
Speaker 3: Mmm.
Speaker 5: Then I lose, you know, I, I, if I start looking at all the, isn't the editing gray and all look at that lovely camera angle, then I know that I'm out of the story and not with the characters. So yeah. So I would say that is my onset. They, the actors really are my main priority. But again, that comes down to preparation. That's because myself and then a photographer would have, you know, I've got that shorthand and we would have, you know, spent many hours planning prior so that once we get on set, I can sort of concentrate on the actors and but then Dana, I do like to be watching through the monitor. I know some because I do think actually, you know, when you're watching something live, you know, can look very differently than the monitor. So I do like to have a monitor attached to me the whole time. Yeah.
Ben Pohlman: So you, you review all the rushes and then how do you, do you, do you work with the editors as well?
Speaker 5: Oh yes. So I'll be in the idea the whole pretty much the whole time. But not so, so yeah. So I would sit down with the editor and review all the rushes. And then the editor would then do a for like a very rough assemble based on the script, cause it, you know, I love the editing process is one of my favorite parts of the film making programs together. Right. Yeah. Because you know, things can change and you know what you go through in that room with that editor, you know, they see the best and worst in you.
Ben Pohlman: That's a great, a Martin Scorsese quote that says he's saying if you don't feel physically ill after your first cut, then there's something wrong.
Speaker 5: Yeah. Yeah. It's, yeah. Okay. yeah. So then we'll do, you know, let them do a first assemble. I think it's quite good to see that with fresh eyes and then, you know, I'd be sort of be involved in the process the whole way along really. But giving them some, you know, some time as well, not literally just what you don't want is an editor who's just there as somebody to know, operates around. Exactly. You know, they, you know, they need to question things and you know, come up with ideas and, yeah. And as I said, Benji, who I've worked with now on four projects yeah, it's, it's quite, I think, you know, you have your cinematographer and your editor, you sort of, you're sort of real for me, the real, the real team.
Ben Pohlman: What's a, what, what's your, what's your biggest challenge is do you think? What's the things that you find hardest or the bit of the things that maybe you can say find an exact actual example of something that's like, that you've overcome on set or just something for the filmmakers too that are watching this, that they might have had a similar experience and that they can learn from, from your experience?
Speaker 5: If something comes to mind. Yeah, I think, I think it's just I think it, yeah, I think it's, well at the ma it's the whole process of, as I said, like with the short films, I really felt like I was completely in control because I was, not that I'm not control for it, but you know, producing, maybe writing the script. But then all of a sudden when you've got this bigger project, you know, you're, you're having to make decisions that might, you might not want to make, but it's either that or the film doesn't get made. Do you know what I mean? So there's, I think on why, because I think, you know, you can be stubborn and dig your heels in, but if you, you know, if the film's not going to get made, then what's the point of digging your heels?
Speaker 5: So it's having that flexibility. And I think for me it's about the relationships and just making sure that you're working with people who are, they've got your best interests at heart and are there to support you and likewise you to support them. And that you're all making the same feel. I think that's, that's key. So I've not even answered your question cause I'm now trying to think of, I think they've made the biggest challenges really. It's lacking and it's not anything new because I don't, whether it's a short film or a feature film is the lack of time, the lack of daylight and
Speaker 4: Okay.
Speaker 5: And egos, you know, I think that's the thing as a director and probably more so as a producer because I think producers are the real unsung heroes here. They're there from the beginning, right till the end, aren't they? When everyone else is on their next projects and then it's dealing with people. And I think that's one of the things at film school, and I know when I'm teaching students, they're so everybody's so wrapped up in technical side of things, which is very important. You know the cameras and Oh yeah, you know, this shot, that shot. But actually one of the things that you have to deal with is people from all walks of life personalities. And that was one of the things that actually put me off acting is that I was like working on these projects with directors that were so obsessed with the camera that they hadn't got a clue how to beat two reactors or, you know, I don't know.
Ben Pohlman: I had the same experience. I was amazed that these, these guys and girls were actually, it was mainly guys were like, cause the, the, the women directors I worked with were usually bad better than this. But I'm better at this. But like I was amazed at some of the people that I worked with who lit seemed like they had never, ever, ever spoken to an actor before. Ever like they, and they were established working, like they seemingly had, had, you know, fairly successful careers or laid, done like fair amount of work. And like, I was amazed, literally no, no kind of sympathy for their, for an actor's process or like, like treating actors like movable props.
Speaker 5: Absolutely, absolutely. You know, and then spending like four hours setting up, the lighting's get this special shot, then it's like quick run, you've got half an hour to shoot the scene and you know, just yeah. And no, just being a real afterthought. But yeah, I thought, I think all directors should go and do acting an acting course at least or, you know, put themselves in that position, you know, being that vulnerable and sort of just, you know, maybe doing some theater because I think there's that real rules of camaraderie you get with, you know, working in the theater company and being on your feet. I mean, I find it so frustrating. I seem to spend all my time at the moment, sat at a desk, you know, writing my applications and doing all these things, everything I hated at school. I've always, you know, I like to be standing up on my feet when I was teaching last week.
Speaker 5: Or the students, they came in, they all got their laptops and their iPads and they're all like sat slouch behind their desk. And I was like, right, okay. Everybody put the tables away, computers way, everybody stand up on your feet. Oh my goodness me, everybody's blah blah. We've got to stack thing. You know, you want to be on a film, say you're on your feet for 12 hours, you know, I can't understand [inaudible] like sat down the whole time, you know, you need to be up on your feet, get the energy going. People need to play more. People don't play anymore.
Ben Pohlman: I got that with with liftoff. It's I love it. It's amazing. But it's become it's become an office job. I'd never wish, I never like it's, it's amazing and I don't, I'm not complaining about it, but like I found myself sitting a lot and as an actor, obviously never sitting ever, and I never, never wanted what you were saying. Like all the stuff that you T you hated at school. Like I never wanted to go and sit in an office in some level. That's why I became an actor. But to you do what you do, you do what you do, what you have to do this. And it's interesting that it bringing that level of like energy to to work is, I think it's important and play as well. What you just said. Yeah, keep, keep playing because that's where, that's where there, that's where the magic comes from. Do you have any, any sorry. Do you have some, you can say something?
Speaker 5: No, I was just going to say, and the other thing is I don't think you can ever expect anyone to do something you wouldn't do yourself. You know, if you're going to sit there and say, okay, you know, the actors don't do this, do that. I mean, next you're prepared to do that. I don't think you should ask anyone to do anything.
Ben Pohlman: Yeah, for sure. Do you have any, any particular rituals on set with the actors that you do every time? Any, any games or any way of ways of preparing?
Speaker 5: No, because I think my dog barking because I think every act is different. So I think you have to, you know, you need to sass it really. What one, you know, to get the performances out of one actor might require something very different to another. I don't really like to over a hearse. I think you know, that and that first page is often you know, where the magic happens. So, yeah, I mean obviously
Ben Pohlman: Rehearsals.
Speaker 5: Yes. So I would film the rehearsal. Yeah. But I don't like to rehearse too much again, but it depends on the actor. If it's an actor that's not rehearse, worked before, when I love working with actors that you know, new actors, actors that maybe haven't done much so they might require a different way of working.
Ben Pohlman: So what's, what would be the biggest piece of advice that you would give to the guys and girls just starting out maybe on their first year as, as direct as a director. Writer, producers want to create their first, first or second short film,
Speaker 5: Find good people to work with, don't rush. I think a lot of the, and again this is why maybe I'm, you know, I'm taking a little bit longer now to make the next film is I think lot of the issues that are, we feel when you finish making a shit film, a lot of the, a lot of the issues you might have that could have been solved in the actual script development, which would be a lot cheaper to try and solve it, you know, then so yeah, don't rush, but at the same time to complete your contradict that, I think sometimes people can sort of wait too long because they're waiting for the perfect moment. I think there comes a point where you think like, okay, start it. We've just got to do this. It's now or never and take the plans you've got to take on risk. I mean, we really, you know, took a risk with Pharaoh financially and,
Speaker 4: Okay.
Speaker 5: Yeah. Also it was really and it could have gone horribly wrong, but fortunately, you know, when it went well. Right. Wow. Good, good to hear a few on to do it again then. So what's this, what's this project in Scotland? Can you talk about it or is it secret? So that one's called the other side. And that set in yeah, Scotland and that's about grief and loss. So hopefully we'll be shooting that in autumn and which West is about the ethics, which trials? And that's been produced by Karen Newman and written by seed more. And seed is an author of books based on the Essex, which trials?
Speaker 4: Mm.
Speaker 5: There that says I made a document and what I worked on a documentary about it six years ago. And that really kickstarting my interest on the subject. Obviously being from Essex as well, I was horrified to find out that East angular had more, well, men and women, but mainly women killed from the witch trials than anywhere else in the UK. I didn't realize, wow. Most people don't. And Matthew Hopkins who has sort of become the face of the witch trials. He, he was only 25 in the witch finder general Vincent Price plays that part and he's quite a bit older than that. And yeah, and it was in, in two years, he was responsible for the death of over 350 people. He would just point them out and be like, for the most ridiculous reasons. Yeah. and when I view Colchester castle, you know, there's a big picture of him in the sales, they're very little about the women.
Speaker 5: And I thought, well, you know, it's about time we heard this story from actually the women's point of view. So our stories told from Rebecca West point of view and she was a 14 year old girl who was her and her mother were both accused of witchcraft. So it's quite heavy. It's quite heavy, but it's, we are, we're bringing the humanity and the, you know, the lightheartedness into it as well. It's a very heavy subject, but it is through her eyes. So it's, you know, there a mother and it's a mother and daughter story. It's about the love of a mother and daughter and the sacrifices you make your child and yeah. And really sort of, you know, shines a light on you know, that part of Essex
Ben Pohlman: On a new story. Yeah. That needs to be told. Yeah. And, and that's, it's it's, it's ready to go. What F do you have a shoot date or are you still in pre production?
Speaker 5: We are hopefully shooting in spring in Essex and handshake and, yeah, we're really, really, really excited about it.
Ben Pohlman: I can't wait. Just before we wrap up, do you have any anything else that you want to, to, to talk to the, to the network about, if any, any other ideas or projects or things that you want to push? How can people find you? Actually,
Speaker 5: Can they find me? Well, I've got a website which I should update actually, which is jangled.com. And yeah, and I'm just, you know, look out, look out for the forthcoming films and support them. Cause I think that's the other thing. You know, we really do need to support each other. And obviously what you guys do at liftoff is absolutely,
Ben Pohlman: I mean voice really.
Speaker 5: Yeah. Creating that sort of network. And you know, if you don't go out and watch other people's films, you know, how can you expect people to watch yours though? Yeah. We'll need to support each other. And you know, let's just hope that there's more films that get made that, you know, from different voices and different, you know, from different directors, different writers. Cause there's a lot of talent out there as you.
Ben Pohlman: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I just wanted to echo echo your point of supporting support indie film because it doesn't have a film like my feral heart. You should go and definitely watch it because I'm a film like that. Even with the even with the press that it got and the Mark commode review that it got and the, our screen that it had a cinema release, which is like an incredible achievement and all of these amazing like sky sky released on sky. So a pay cable release if you're in the U S guys are pay is part of pay cable. And even with all of that, my feral heart, I mean I don't know the actual figures, but my foal heart hasn't reached the audience that it deserves. It deserves a massive audience because it's an incredible film. And that's partly because I think I'm just observing for an as an outsider, that's partly because it's just, unless a film has a huge marketing machine behind it, it doesn't find, it doesn't find audience or it's much harder for it to find audience.
Ben Pohlman: It has found an audience. Of course, my father has done amazingly well. It sits, found, it's found a really, it's found a very big audience and many filmmakers would give their right arm to have the success that that films had, but still that film needs supporting and it goes all the way down from, from there. There's so, there's so much incredible content and ask what we do at lift off, right? We, we connect films with audiences and we connect films with the industry and it's all about that. I'm all about that connection because that's ultimately what, what brings a film to life, isn't it? It's the audience.
Ben Pohlman: So yeah, just direct, just to echo that point. Support film. Yeah. and we'll make a Twitch available and you can, you can see that connects with go, go to Amazon and rent my for all heart. I think you could probably be rented on Amazon prime on your Firestick or you can go on iTunes or buy a DVD if he's still still doing the DVD thing. And and it's been, it's been great to catch up. Jane, thanks so much and lots of love as always, and we will we'll connect with you very soon. All right. Speak to you later. Bye. Bye.
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