Growing Pain Pre Production

It’s been two months of day in and day out graft to get this project through pre production. Being the producer as well as the writer and director it has been demanding and challenging, both at the same time sometimes, but a challenge worth taking.

Growing Pain being the birth project to Pattern Maker is exciting. An experiment to get it just right so it can set a good tone for the company. Hopefully it can set a good standard whilst always staying true to Pattern Maker’s style and vision of course.

It’s funny, the script itself was written over three years ago and the first draft was thirty pages. It was originally called “Toothache”, but changed it to “Tooth Pain” because there had already been too many Toothache’s. One recent one, a horror, a past colleague of mine is starring in – Caroline Boulton.

So it was changed. Eventually Tooth Pain had a line drawn through it though because it wasn’t strong/true enough to the story and the project then found its working title “Aching Pain”. After that the film found its final title “Growing Pain” which plays the most homage to the stories message and that was the final decision.

Over the three years the film was rejected a few times for production with feedback that is was too long, too much dialogue and not good enough basically. Some didn’t even give a reply so I had to go back to the drawing board. I kind of put it on the back burner after that to work on writing features and production assisting on sets. At that point I was still developing a craft for screenwriting so the film granting production was obviously unlikely.

Having developed more skills and experience, three years later I went back to it. With my previous short film “Cider and Roast beef” completed and screened, I went to the project with confidence. I stripped it down to eleven pages so it was punchy, compact and tight. It took about five drafts from there to get it ready to bring to market and I am proud of the final product. It’s had good feedback. I am grateful for my relationship with one of my script editors, Rob, and close writing friends, Fay.

The cast was a joy, the experience demanding also. I knew Lucy Laing from my very early acting days and have always wanted to work with her since, she is such a powerful performer. She was awarded the role of Rosie. Katie Bass I also knew as she had been in a few productions and we got talking. I promised I’d cast her in a next short film, which is what I did and she played the role of Cindy. So the audition process was for the roles of Joey, Lotti and Dr Peterson.

Lots of actors applied, but I had to whittle the selection down to a one day intensive audition process. Lots of talent came with different variations for the roles. Samuel Davies nailed the role of Joey in every sort of way. It was just one of those auditions which was faultless, others were good, but at the end of the day there could only have been one choice.

This was also the case with Faye Sewell who auditioned for Lotti. Faye is a jewel of a performer which put on a jewel of an audition for the jewel character of the film. Again, at the end of the day there was only one choice (closely with another which resulted being toughest decision throughout the whole pre production stage) but I made the right choice with Faye and I’m proud of that. Steve Mancour was hilarious, auditioning for the part of Dr Peterson. His frame gave him an advantage too. His audition portrayed a very convincing character.

After that the team was cast and we were ready to rock the show.

I got the locations sorted, costumes, props, catering etc. I’d like to thank Mr Coley for giving up his free time to let us use his dentist to shoot for the day. The Telegraph pub for letting me hold audition and rehearsal space. Katrina for letting us use her house for the second day of shooting. Cherryduck (the production company I freelance as a head production assistant for) for providing the lighting equipment’s. And finally the cake and florist shops in Holland Park for extra locations.

Having produced my last short film I knew the demands which came with finding the money and making sure everything was provided for throughout the three P process (pre production, production and post production) but that was nothing compared to this project. Growing Pain was times three of Cider and Roast as there was a lot more cast and crew. The departments which were included in Growing were sound, handled by Ziggy, make up by Jack and the photography by Saffie and Michael. Ziggy I worked with before, Jack I found through a friend Suzanna/Sooz (thank you) Michael was the D.O.P on my last film and Saffie was a newcomer.

So the money was there and I busted my ass for two months to make sure it was there. It’s funny when you work hard and have passion for something things seem to want to help you sometimes, well out of nowhere a distant friend heard about my film, got interested and wanted to help. She put in some money too. Her name is Bronwen Jones, she is a very good friend. She likes the arts and to help us film makers get kick started. I will repay the favour, I have great thanks to Bronwen and I always believe in good karma.


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