Festival Director Paul Bruce talks to Gulliver Moore about his film ‘Walking Against The Wind’ which will be screened at the Edinburgh Short Film Festival next month.
Walking against the wind features the life and times of a family of mime-artistes, can you tell us where the idea came from? What lies behind the concept?
The script was written by Timothy Bennett, an American screenwriter. After writing much of my own work, I thought it would be a fun challenge to work with another’s screenplay. I put out a call for scripts and the response was overwhelming, but Walking Against the Wind was the only one that really
spoke to me and related to my evolving style.
There are some amazing and very varied locations used in the ﬁlm, ranging from country houses to Paris to remote graveyards, can you tell us about ﬁlming in them and how you sourced the locations you used?
Finding locations was a huge challenge, but I knew they would make all the diﬀerence in the ﬁlm so myself and the team were determined not to settle with anything less that perfection. We were fortunate to ﬁnd the beautiful house in Somerset, but we did a lot of work on it; painting/ stripping walls, hanging a chandelier and turning a pool table into a dining table. The big Paris establishers
were just a trip on the Eurostar and we made up Somerset House in London to look like the streets of Paris. The penultimate scene was ﬁlmed in Knowlton church in Dorset, the gravestones are actually all made from polystyrene and wood and we hammered them into the ground… I was nervous it wouldn’t work but they looked great on camera and we had the ﬂexibility to place them where ever we wanted.
The tracking shot near the end of the ﬁlm passes a rook on a gravestone which then ﬂies oﬀ as the camera passes, tell us about making that shot! Was it CGI’d?
It was shot on a Glidecam HD, but was actually incredibly wobbly! In my search to rectify the shot in After Eﬀects I came across an incredibly generous Greek VFX artist online – he oﬀered to stabilise the shot for me which was an incredibly complex process. It was actually his suggestion to put in the crow, and he put me in touch with his friend living in Michigan who did a superb job making the 3D
crow from scratch.
How diﬃcult was it to cast a ﬁlm where many of the lead and supporting characters are mimes? Or was it really easy to cast?
Again, it was a long search in casting. We had hundreds of video auditions in for the main character which were narrowed down to ﬁnalists attending face to face auditions in London. Darren Gosling and Michael Boyd who play ‘Arthur’ are perfect for the role and Darren put a lot of work into educating himself in mime in the lead up to the shoot. Casting the mimes was also hard, but I was lucky with Richard and Ellie who are a couple in real life and a dream to work with (their mime antics were particularly entertaining in-between takes).
Im guessing the make-up bill for the ﬁlm was quite high? Did it signiﬁcantly slow down shooting the burial sequence?
The makeup did of course take a lot of time, but we scheduled it in at the same time as we were preparing lighting and dressing the sets so it all ran reasonably smoothly.
What are your hopes and ambitions for the ﬁlm?
I made the ﬁlm because I loved the script and I could imagine it as a brilliant ﬁlm, I enjoyed the production process immensely and am very happy with the ﬁnished result. I also learnt a lot along the way and developed myself as a ﬁlmmaker, and thats all I ever wanted to achieve from the ﬁlm, so really it’s done everything I needed it too already. Any awards are a nice surprise!
What projects are you working on next?
Plenty in the pipeline, I’m currently ﬁnalising all the pre-production for a comedy short about a Dragon and have a few scripts in the works for various projects all diﬀerent shapes and sizes!
When I’m keeping up to date with my blog, it can be found at www.gullivermoore.co.uk
Walking Against The Wind will be screened at the Voodoo Rooms Ballroom on Saturday 8th June, 7:30pm.