DAY 2 – ‘Not Long Till Monday’


Having survived the madness of yesterday, we woke up tired and ready for the assault on Paisley Town Centre square to film our reaction shots to the phone conversation as Paul walks through the main square, past the statues and up the stairs!  Luckily we had help from Paul’s friend Craig – a fireman (so build like the side of a house and crazy with it) – who was also our actor for our driver scene later on in the day.

We hit the main square about 10am, in the rain, set up our shots, and just fired them out!  Not the best of weather for it but we’d rather just bosh something out than have nothing!

Paisley in the sun - which we didn't have!!

Paisley in the sun – which we didn’t have!!

Job done and hassle free…..yas yas yas yas!!!

Typical…as soon as we finished all the shots, the sun eventually comes out!!  Ahhh the wonders of the Scottish climate!  Damn you!

Next stop, the Old Mill for some nice tracking shots by the river and waterfall!  But NOooooooooo!!  There were fisherman blocking our main shots so that was out of bounds!!  HEAVY SIGH!!

Old Mill location

Old Mill location

Next, we’ll just head over to Morrison’s Car Park and get our angry driver shots – a scene in which Paul steps in front of a car, narrowly getting hit but getting an earful of torrid abuse!

Supermarket clock.

Supermarket clock.

With  the sun now out, we got rigged up and fired these out of the ball park – DONE!!    A few establishing shots later and a quick drive up to Barshaw Park for another wide shot of Paul walking up hill to the forest.

Back home for a quick rest, tea and biscuits and then off to Seedhill 5-aside football pitches for more shots.  We acquired the help from some of the boys from Renfrew Utd, to have a mock game, where I could film some of the jostling and banter.

Being astro-turf it’s the not the best idea to do running slide tackles – which Paul did, so he looks like he needs a skin graft on his right peg!! hahaha anything for the film!!



The fishermen were still at our Old Mill location, so that’s put on ice for another day – just like Paul’s leg!!

Day 2 in the can!

DAY 1 – Scene 1 Take 1 madness


Having shot a few Takes last night of a quick cutaway pub scene at the Bull Inn in Paisley, as a prelude to the actual week if filming, today was our official start date and what a typical Scottish start!

As most know, the first day of shooting is always awkward , as everyone involved gets used to each other and the film itself and methods of working…well we started right out if the block with a belter!!!!

Scene 1 Take 1 – rehearsal done; filming Paul giving a beggar (Ally) some spare change and a brief chat!!

Getting ready for Scene 1 Take 1

Getting ready for Scene 1 Take 1


About to press record when suddenly, “Haw yooos, whit ye’s dain” (translated as – “hey guys, what are you filming?”) we see coming over the hill, ie, across the road from their crack den, a couple of drugged up BAMS waddling with intent in our direction!

CLICK!! Camera off!! All our attention focused on our gear as we try to strongly persuade them to leave us in peace to get on with our jobs!!! NO CHANCE!!

Scene 1 Take 1 The Walking Dead.

Scene 1 Take 1 The Walking Dead.

After trying for about 10 minutes to explain to them that we’re doing a short film for no money and trying to do something with ourselves for a charitable reason and for Mental Health awareness issues….we were still getting hassled and obviously getting nowhere…..oh well!!!

Mobile out, police phoned!

Polis phoned!!

Polis phoned!!

In the meantime it was made aware that a previous film crew from a reputable TV programme, apparently, paid them 50 quid to leave them alone!! Needless to say, I told them I wouldn’t give them 50 pence!! With my steel toecaps on and my eyes fixed squarely at their gurning jaws, I was having none of it and ready for action.

Dealing with the BAMS! Unamused.

Dealing with the BAMS! Unamused.

In no short time, the police arrived, sorted out the junkie bams and we just flew through the scene and got out of Dodge!!

Scene 1 Take 1 in the can!!

We further filmed a few shots in the local corner shop then a living room scene at Paul’s before turning in for the day!!

What a start!!

The best is still to come tomorrow as we film in Paisley town centre…bring it!!

Filming of ‘Not Long Till Monday’ Short Film Preview

As of Saturday 15th March, I’ll be filming (DoP) a short film called ‘Not Long Till Monday’, written and directed by Paul McAuley.  It’s a story focussing on mental health issues and is primarily targeted towards the upcoming mental health film festival, of which details will soon come.  The story is a day-in-the-life look at an ordinary Joe who’s life is normal, wife, children, successful job, but internally suffers from depression, possibly ADHD, or is Bipolar, and how this affects his views of, not only himself, but the world around him.

We’ll be filming internal/externally around the Paisley area; town centre (various locations) and up the Gleniffer Braes.

Some recce location photos:

For the film shoot, I will be using a Canon 600D, with various Lenses (50mm – f1.4, 18-55mm, 80-200mm).  I also acquired the eimo DSLR shoulder mount rig with follow focus, matte box and follow focus from )

eimp shoulder rig 1 eimp shoulder rig 2

I was a bit apprehensive at first as the cost (at a very low price of £130) seemed too good to be true, in other words, cheap and plastic.  But having arrived today, I’ve set it up and I’m quite surprised at how sturdy it is.  For what we’re doing and the no budget we have, this was always going to be a Charlie Sheen winner, compared to the high-end equipment, which would cost hundreds/thousands itself.

But I’ll let you know how I get on with it and its ease of use.

Sound wise, it’s a bit of an issue – I’d obviously love a high end Sennheiser mic or a Rode NTG-3 with shock mount and a proper boom pole, but needs and budgets must, we ain’t got that!!  Obviously the on-board mics on pretty much all DSLR’s are pure mince, so external audio with sync to picture is a must.  For this we have a Zoom H2N for recording audio.

We done an initial recce of all the locations and I done a few quick floor plans, just to understand where we could block the action and possible camera moves and angles.

IMG_2339 IMG_2341

Another visit this coming week for another full-on look and rehearsal is definitely required before shooting begins.

A KEY thing before beginning any production of any sort is to gather a list of film references that could enhance your ideas, whether visually or narratively.  Here is a list I initially came up with that I thought could inform us throughout this film;

‘Following’ (1998) – Chris Nolan, ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ (1995) – Mike Figgis, ‘The Seventh Continent’ (1989) – Michael Haneke, ‘The Virgin Suicides (1999) – Sofia Coppola, ‘I Stand Alone’ (1998) – Gasper Noe, ‘The Piano Teacher’ (2001) – Michael Haneke, ‘Mulholland Drive’ (2001) – David Lynch, ‘Mouchette’ (1967) – Robert Bresson, ‘Last Days’ (2005) – Gus Van Sant, ‘Le Feu Follet (The Fire Within)’ (1963) – Louis Malle, ‘Wristcutters: A Love Story’ (2006) – Goran Dukic, ‘A  Single Man’ (2009) – Tom Ford, A Serious Man’ (2009) – Coen Brothers, ‘Girl, Interrupted’ (1999) – James Mangold, ‘Taste of Cherry’ (1997) – Abbas Kiarostami, ”night, Mother’ (1986) – Tom Moore, ‘Harold and Maude’ (1971) – Hal Ashby, ‘Lilya 4-Ever’ (2002) – Lukas Moodysson, ‘My Own Private Idaho’ (1991) – Gus Van Sant, ‘Control’ (2007) – Anton Corbijn, ‘Eden Lake’ (2008) – James Watkins, ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ (2004) – Shane Meadows, ‘Wild Bill’ (2011) – Dexter Fletcher, ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ (2011) – Lynne Ramsay, ‘Shame’ (2011) – Steve McQueen, ‘One Hour Photo’ (2002) – Mark Romanek, ‘Falling Down’ (1993) – Joel Schumacher.

That’s it for now, but I’ll try and do a daily blog once we start shooting and post our progress.

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas!!  Bring it!!