31st July 2015
The sun was shining outside for the first time that week, and we were struck inside shooting another scene for our new short film ‘Wonderful’. Typical.
We were back at the parents house of our actress, Joanne Gallagher, completing a few scenes we had already filmed previously.
Seven year old, Chance Monahan, joined us for the beginning of the shoot, for a quick scene in the kitchen. He had to don his school uniform, which, being the summer holidays, he found highly amusing. Then after he’d been picked up by his grandma, it was on for the main bulk of the scene with our main star, David Aston, and playing his long suffering daughter, Joanne Gallagher.
For what was relatively an easy scene to shoot, we still took all day doing it. Maybe it was that hour long break for bacon and sausage sandwiches? We had to think of our priorities!
It was also the fact that we were down on crew members. It was a Friday, so people were at work, and Ben our sound guy was somewhere in Germany, so we had extra jobs to do each. Luckily we had Katy D’Arcy with us for some much needed reflector holding!
One little shot that took up much of our time was a scene in the kitchen. We have a brilliant shot from the inside of a cupboard, as David is searching for his much loved biscuits. In true indie film style, we erected a highly unsafe rig of table, chairs and newspapers, for our make-shift cupboard to stand on. Trying to get the correct camera angles proved tricky and time consuming, but ultimately worked a treat! Another scene over… next!
“Welcome to the New Family Corporation – here for all your new family needs”
Yes, they are there for all your new family needs. The New Family Corporation, founded by the powerful Mr. Wisemore. It is a company shrouded in mystery, that claims to be helping the world, but, as one poor guy is soon to find out, all may not be exactly as it seems…
‘The New Family Corporation’ is our new, 3 minute, film that has been made for the Reed Short Film Competition 2014. The competition runs every year over Christmas and always has a theme to follow. This year the theme was ‘family business’. So we came up with the concept of a company that actually makes new family members for their customers – be it parent, sibling, spouse or child, they custom design people to fit with their customers specifications!
Three variations of the script were written in order to fit into the 3 minute deadline. For the cast we have brought back all the great people we have worked with in the past, plus a few new faces to the world of the Berry. Steve Fettis helped us with the audio levels for the film and the rest was created by just the two of us (Joseph Monahan and Callum Smith) so a lot of hard work has been put into it!
We made it into the top 50 films in the competition out of over 500 entries so we did really well! Although we didn’t make it into the top 12, we’re still really chuffed and think we’ve got and excellent little film! Please everyone, watch, share and like the film to help it get some traction online and keep on supporting independent film!
Joseph Monahan and Callum Smith
Music Written and Composed by
Steve Fettis – Joanne Gallagher – David Aston – Katy D’Arcy – Kev Thompson
Joseph Monahan – Michael Black – Konnie Thompson- Holly Gallagher
Emma Crowhurst – Sophie Burgess – Huw Morris-Jones – Steve Willis
Paul Dennis – Ruby D’Arcy – Callum Smith – Chance Monahan – Neil Watling
Camera Operated by
Sound Recorded by
Joseph Monahan and Neil Watling
Edited, SFX and Visual FX by
Callum Smith and Joseph Monahan
Audio Mixed by
Paul Dennis – The 1 Gallery – Jenko – Barbara Smith – Holly Dosdale – Ed McMahon
“Acting deals with very delicate emotions. It is not putting up a mask. Each time an actor acts he does not hide; he exposes himself” – Jeanne Moreau
We at the Berry love actors – at the end of the day, a film cannot be a film without them! I should actually rephrase that. We love GOOD actors. Or maybe even, we love love actors who strive to be better. Everyone should strive to be better. We try and be better with every film we make. And what is one of the key essentials to our films being better? Better actors!
Over the years we’ve begun to build up a collection of actors and actresses local to us who are really very good at what they do. That sounds like we’re some weird collectors who are collecting people. This is not actually too far from the the truth. We don’t, of course, box them up and keep them hidden in a locked cupboard, only bringing them out when we need them. We’d like to, but it’s not really very practical and I’ve never heard of an actor giving their best performances under that situation.
In our earlier post, Actors in The Field, in which we’ve introduced you to the brilliant people in our latest short film ‘The Field’, currently in post-production. This post isn’t about them. Forget them for now, they’re getting too much exposure as it is! This is about the other brilliant actors we have worked with in the past and will be again!
Kev is a great actor from Driffield, who I used to work with a few years ago. He is a very funny, talkative guy who can play a wide variety of characters. He played the long suffering husband, Henry, in ‘The Wife and I…‘ and played the character of the father in the music video for Just Just Jimmy ‘You Should Know‘. Kev is also set to star in one of our upcoming short films, hopefully made towards the end of Summer (hopefully!)
We met Steve at Hull College in 2005 and he has been a great friend ever since. Steve is a dab hand at all sorts. He writes and produces music tracks and is a singer. We worked with Steve on his track ‘Diary of a Pregnant Dad‘, written for when he became a first-time father. Steve has recently worked with us on a short film ‘Monster and Me.’ Admittedly, ‘Monster’ has fallen a little behind but it will be completed if it kills us! Steve has great comic timing and plays the ‘lost’ character perfectly!
Jess is an excellent stage performer, recently working on stage in London. She worked with us on ‘Monster and Me’, her first on-camera acting. She is a brilliant actress, very natural and great to work with. Although abandoning us to the lights of our nations capital, Jess returns ‘up north’ often and we’d love to work with her again in the future! Stay tuned for ‘Monster and Me’ and you’ll see for yourself how great she is!
Ruby is my (Joe Monahan, hello) little girl. The great thing about Ruby is that she is very natural on camera and, being quite a bright spark, can pull off most challenges. I got her into acting when she was just 6 years old when we made ‘Molby‘. For a 6 year-old, acting on camera is great fun, but, unlike most 6 year-olds, Ruby was very professional with it, being a bit of a perfectionist! She also starred in ‘Yesterday‘ and has a cameo in our upcoming film ‘The Field!’
The mother-in-law who played the wife from hell in ‘The Wife and I…‘ Jane is brilliant! Not actually an actress, we sort-of roped her into the role, but she got into the character and went for it! Turns out, she was pretty good – and pretty scary as the domineering wife! We’d be happy for Jane to play a part in a future production, if she’d have us! She’s still trying to shake the reputation she’s gained from ‘Wife and I!’
Me. Shouldn’t really be writing my own piece, but as I’m the only one here by this computer I guess I have to! I’ve starred in a couple of our films, ‘You, Clown‘, ‘A Deity at the Office‘ and ‘Wastelanders‘. I enjoy acting and always have. I’d like to tackle a more serious, realistic role. Perhaps I will in a future production – we’ll just have to see what comes up!
As always, all of our actors are probably available and willing for more work and further experience. If you’re a filmmaker and are interested in casting them, please get in touch with us and we’ll hook you up!
So there they are, some of the others actors we’ve used and will continue to use! Do we have the next Johnny Depp or Helen Mirren in our midst? Maybe. Who knows what the future will bring?
Live long, keep on acting! x
‘The Field’ is our latest short film, currently rocking in at 45 mins!
There are a number of things that make a film great. Great writing, great direction, great sound and great editing are four of the most important. Without those four brilliant combinations, all working together, you’re going to get a distinctly average, or sadly, quite dire film. Too many times have I seen, what could potentially be a good film, ruined by just one of those things being poorly executed.
The other vital ingredient to this mix is, of course, great acting. Without great acting your amazing script, award winning director, incredible sound and slick editing is all for nothing. One of my pet hates is watching an indie film that has clearly cast the writer/directors friends as main roles. Let’s be honest, in most cases, your friends can’t act. Friends and family members are fine for extras, or the occasional one-liner, but if you want a professional film that is going to impress everyone other than your friends and family, then we need to be working with great actors!
We have found some excellent actors for ‘The Field’, from the young to the old and everywhere in-between. The main characters in ‘The Field’ are Max, Sarah and Jacob, three young friends, so we needed not only good actors, but good child actors. We also needed a great supporting cast as they meet a number of different people in the films journey.
Let me introduce you to our cast and the characters they play in ‘The Field’…
Max is the leader of his little gang of friends. He desperately wants to be popular and ‘cool’ like some of the other children in his school. A bit of bully towards Jacob, the youngest of the group, Max wants to take part in the challenge at Old Joe’s Field, to prove to everyone how brave he can be!
Max is played by Matthew Duncan (12). Matthew is a brilliant young actor who is gaining a keen understanding of filmmaking. It wouldn’t surprise us if Matt decided to work behind the camera when he’s older. One of the nicest boys you’ll ever meet, which just shows how good an actor he is as he plays the bully, cocky Max perfectly!
Jade Thrustle as Sarah
Sarah is the sceptic in the group. She doesn’t believe that there is anything strange in that field, but is interested to find out if she could be convinced. She is probably the strongest of her group, not afraid to stick up for Jacob and put Max in his place!
Sarah is played by Jade Thrustle (12). Jade is a natural performer – she is great at acting, dancing and singing. She understands how to act on camera or to an audience so they get the best out of the performance. She also isn’t afraid to bring her own personality to a character – putting her own unique spin on things and bringing a fresh perspective!
Jacob is the youngest of the group and a little insecure. Picked on by Max and mothered slightly by Sarah, he is constantly reminded that he is young. He is also terrified of the challenge at Old Joe’s Field and does not want to take part.
Jacob is played by Kane Meakes (9). Kane is a breath of fresh air to work with. Youthful, very talkative and enthusiastic, yet brilliant in his performance. Kane is a great storyteller and I believe this is something that will grow as he gets older. He loves to perform and you can tell this by the unique charisma he brings to his character.
An mature man working a the village sweetshop, the shopkeeper sees a lot of children come and go. His interest in our three main characters is sparked when he hears them talking about the challenge – the challenge he also did as a child!
The Shopkeeper is played by David Aston, a seasoned actor who has appeared in a number of films over the years. He has a strong, authoritative presence, probably due to spending most of his life in the police force. David is an actor who nails every line and his voice, deep and full of bass, sends shivers down your spine!
People in the village say that Maddy is a witch. The three children meet her during their adventure and are lured into her house by the promise of fresh lemonade and information on the challenge at Old Joe’s Field!
‘Mad’ Maddy is played by Jo Gallagher. Jo auditioned for the role, returning after a gap in her acting career. We instantly knew she was right for the role. Jo plays the character of Maddy differently and far better than we had originally planned, making her character much more believable. She has a seductive tone to her voice and an intensity to her acting that draws you in, keeping you engrossed in her character!
Eddy is a cocky, young man, who works at the local pub. Eddy holds the record for the challenge at Old Joe’s Field, a reputation that has stayed with him ever since.
Callum not only acts in the film, but is co-director along with Joseph Monahan. Callum is a perfectionist who won’t stop until he has got his performance right. A lead guitarist in a band, he is used to being in the spotlight, which helps him to perfect the cocky character of Eddy Jenkins!
As an overworked, underpaid, single mother, Jacob’s mum just wants the best for her son. She cares for him greatly and is deeply concerned to hear that he has been playing near Old Joe’s Field.
Katy is very natural in her performances and her maternal nature shines through in this role. She has the ability to show a sadness in her performance that makes the audience instantly care, yet her warmth still captivates allowing the audience to connect with her.
So now you know the main players of the film – the actors and the characters they portray! Hopefully this little taster has intrigued you enough to want to know more. If you are a filmmaker and are interested in using these brilliant actors for your own, potentially brilliant film, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us and we’ll hook you up!
- Production for ‘The Field’ (josephmonahan.wordpress.com)