My first audition (weirdly) was at a cinema in Bradford back in 2000. The BBC created a talent search called Talent Boost and were looking for new actors. It was the original version of The X Factor. I saw a tiny flyer in the post office. I can still remember it…
I was invited by Iyare Igiehon of Screening Our Unseen Lives (SOUL) to work with a group of young filmmakers at the BFI for their monthly Raw Shorts Workshops at the Future Film Club. The workshops have a different theme every month and are designed to give young people practical advice on how to create their own content. Our theme was Love. Our team was myself, Director and Filmmaker Kwame Lestrade, the brilliant actor Michael Geary and of course the young filmmakers.
We opened with a Q&A about of careers and experiences, hoping we could impart some useful knowledge to the next generation. As the theme was love we chose a short scene from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream between Helena and Demetrius (Act 2 Scene 1). To help with time constraints and to help the filmmakers get into the scene quickly we modernised and edited the text. Choosing to set the piece in a Tube carriage, the young people became supporting artists, Camera Operators, Sound Operators, Lighting etc.
We went through the whole process of film production there on the stage in front of the audience so they could see exactly what it all entails. The rushes were then edited down and the short screened. It was important for the young filmmakers to see that with a royalty FREE text and minimal equipment, amazing things can be created, they just have to get out there and do!
After just a couple of hours, here’s what we came up with