Growing Pain Production Day 1

Here we go and ready to go, the pre production and everything before the big days had come to an end. I can honestly say I was nervous, but you got to feel the fear and do it anyway, you got to work through those uncomfortable feelings. The rehearsal was done at the Telegraph pub, it was a smooth and interesting process to see the script coming to life through the different stages.

As a writer/director or filmmaker it is one of the most satisfying things, magical, seeing work in your head then on paper becoming real. Rehearsals are what they are, a preview to the real thing, a really interesting stage. All the cast turned up except Lucy who couldn’t make it. It was a shame because there was the all important dream sequence she is the star in. It wasn’t a big fuss because I knew how much of a pro Lucy is and she’d be alright to nail it on the day.

On the day the only person who was there before me was Faye and Mr Coley, the owner of the dentist. We went inside and got settled. I unloaded all the food I catered for into the kitchen. Mr Coley was as good as gold for allowing us to operate around the entire building. We didn’t wrap till 8pm and he was great for going on about his day, then coming back and trusting us. Still when we weren’t finished pushing 6pm he left to go home and allowed us to lock the location up ourselves. Mr Coley was more than fantastic, he gave us a lot of trust and a big massive thank you to him and his organisation and a repay of the favor one day.

Everybody started to show up one after the other, all on time or near enough. I got the breakfast picked up and served from the trusted, locally respected Mazzi’s Cafe around the corner. People were fed, then my D.O.P Dani and I set up lighting and planning of the first scene. We got shooting shortly after, all the extras were included including all the cast bar Lucy who wasn’t due until noon. My friend and script editor on Growing Pain, Rob Craine, was an extra with his friend Marzena, they arrived. Being the first takes of the shoot, you have to have the right attitude and confidence, which I think I took too well. We got through the dentist hallway scenes in good fashion with the extras acting scared and stuff.

Lotti, played by Faye, put on jewel performances for the jewel character of the film. Her scenes were really, really strong as what was expected really from a performer like Faye, expect and get nothing less. Joey played by Samuel and Cindy played by Katie took to direction well, they got everything right and put on strong performances to create a funny action orientated scene. Dr Peterson played by Steve was the same, he took to direction well and completed a professional performance.  The scene couldn’t have been completed of course without the extras, they were needed steel and were great for contributing. After that scene, they and Lotti were wrapped.

Lunch was next, everybody ate then Dani and I set up for the next scene. Lucy had arrived and mingled in, by this time she was meeting everybody for the first time. It was an easy breezy dentist scene which consisted of Cindy, Lucy, Joey and Dr. Cindy and Dr went through their dialogue no problem like the professionals they were. There was a solo shot of Katie which looked iconic like, the lighting from the window seemed to really like her.

It was the first action of Lucy on screen, the first time I worked with her on screen, so I was excited to see what she was like. She brought this upper class persona to her character which I wasn’t expecting at all, I got used to it and liked it the more the shoot went on. We got another iconic shot of the shoot of Lucy, a panning shot I really wanted. There was a couple of tricky parts to this scene where Lucy and Steve had to put on several amounts of operating gloves which took time on each take – bless them. We used cutaways and thank God for editing to clear that up. We also had to find a prop to cater for Samuel having an erection which we used a toilet roll. A funny obstacle for a funny part of the scene.

We had a break, Katie and Steve were wrapped and then the last scenes were the big ones so to speak, the dream scenes. Dani and I dressed the set, blacked out all the windows, set up the lighting to create the dream like effect and got ready, Lucy was going to be performing a strip tease and Samuel in cloud nine watching her. I picked the track “Ohh la la” by Goldfrapp as the backing song to the scene and we got shooting. We took a good couple of hours for these scenes. We shot lots of variations, that was important because it was such important scenes. We took as much time required, it was a dream sequence, music video and film all in one, a good challenge worth attempting.

Both performers were nothing other than professional is all I can say about them. The scene was daring because it was going into a sex scene/porno territory,  my first. Lucy was very professional in her no holds barred revealing costume (her suggestion) she weren’t holding back, I liked that because I didn’t intend too either. I was concerned how far they were going to allow me to push the scene. In the end I got everything I wanted out of the scene and more. It was a successful result from very professional people. Samuel was a superstar, it was hard to believe he is only fourteen, but he took to everything that was asked of him, even such challenging scenes like this for a fourteen year old. He didn’t shy away and carried his performance like the total professional he is. And it was a great way to en

d day one.


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