In October 2012, Tom and Haydn travelled to Berlin for a project on street photography. The result was a 30-minute documentary about a press photographer going back ot his roots:
Frustrated by the emptiness of modern media, press photographer Haydn West tries to recapture the intrinsic art of his profession by going back to street photography. He spends five nights searching the remains of the Berlin Wall for suitable subjects, attempting to reinvent the mystique of this famous city by elevating the mundane on black and white 35mm film.
Berliner Mauer Dunkelheit (or how a press photographer got his mojo back) was featured on Hunger TV alongside interviews with Tom and Haydn.
On 21st August 2013, we had a wondeful ADR session with Julian Glover for Backtrack. Director Tom Sands, producer (and DoP) Haydn West, sound designer Kirstie Howell and editor Phil Harris were in the studio as Julian delivered some very evil voice-over!
After three months intensive pre-production, a two week shoot, four days of pickups and weeks of logging, the edit finally begins on Backtrack.
It’s been quite an adventure! Contrary to what might have been stated in previous posts, the film became very big indeed. We have 42 locations (on a two week shoot), we have stunts, we have CGI, we have prosthetics, we have vehicular filming, we have big emotional scenes, we have Nazis (Irish) and we have Julian Glover (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, For Your Eyes Only, Empire Strikes Back, Game of Thrones, Troy)!
Head on over to www.backtrackfilm.com to read more about our adventures from the producer Haydn West on the blog.
We got a lovely write up in BN1 magazine from Wayne Imms, and a long interview with the director!
After an unexpected visit from a policeam who heard blood curdling screams, our story ended up plastered all over the local press.
It was also featured online by the BBC, The Argus, Kent Messenger and Kent and Sussex Courier and had a small write-up in the Metro and the Sun.
A few stills (shot on film, appropiately enough) from the private view of our Berlin project. The exhibition took place at Lewisham Arthouse during April/May 2013.
Friday 12th April saw us out on the Downs shooting a teaser for Backtrack which will feature in our forthcoming indiegogo campaign.
You can see the result here:
We’re two months into development on Backtrack now. We’ve been through eleven drafts of the screenplay and have all the HODs attached to shoot in May. Last week we shot a film for our Kickstarter campaign. Rather than another pathetic plea begging for money, Mick and I decided we wanted to do something a bit different; something that horror fans will appreciate: a ransom film where we threatent to torture our production assistant unless we get the money!
We shot on the Canon XF100 at 50i going for the ‘video’ look with the small chip. The behind-the-scenes was shot on a camera that cost three times as much! You’ll be able to see the finished product in a few days on our Kickstarter page.
Check out the behind-the-scenes photos below or watch the video at www.backtrackfilm.com
Mick chilling out on set
Kelly Blake mocking up a leg
Hannah under the lights
Director Tom with Hannah
It’s all Haydn’s idea. He rightly pointed out that we have a director (me), we have a screenwriter (Mick), we have a producer (him), we have access to highly-talented cast and crew and we have a few favours we can pull in. Why not?
So we’re making a low budget horror film.We’re going to show off what we can do with no money but lots of talent. And then we’re going to sell it. And then we’re going to make a bigger film with the same team.
It’s something I never wanted to do. In fact, I told myself I would actively avoid doing a low budget horror film. But there’s no point sitting around waiting for the universe to guide me onto the set of a £100m production, one assistant handing me a machiato, the other giving me a head massage, as 100 cast and crew move into position before me. Let’s go out and get our hands dirty!
We’ve set ourself some rules:
1. 2 days of principal photography
2. Keep costs to a bare minimum (this one’s easy since we’re using our own money)
3. We shoot on one camera with three focal lengths, which we already own
4. The film’s action happens on or around the South Downs
5. It can be classified as a horror film (this definition is loose depending on who you talk to – natural horror for instance, does that count?)
So Mick has written the first draft in ten days after Haydn taunted him with Joe Eszterhas’ 13 days for the Basic Instinct script, though he won’t be getting $3m like Eszterhas. I’ve got until the 4th January to get a final draft of the script finished and get my director’s treatment together, which will provide the template for the style of the film.
Better get back to work.
[below is an early imaging test for the film]