An afterthought about that showing of “Old Age Pillagers” that I went to.
I’ve been discovering over the past couple of months that when acting for the camera, rather than on the stage, less is more. With “OAP” I had the extra challenge that, although my character was fairly central, he didn’t say much. I’m not used to that, so I found it hard. Luckily I got lots of tips from the director (Violet Ryder; watch out for her) and from the guy I was playing against, Barrie Palmer. Barrie is a vastly more experienced actor than I; he passed on a tip from Anthony Hopkins, one of my favourite actors. If I remember it correctly, the advice was something like: “don’t act, just be, just think; the audience will see it in your eyes.” Nice work if you can do it; I’ve discovered it’s not as easy as he makes out. I’m studying Hopkins.
That student film “Old Age Pillagers” has now been finished and a week ago I went to a screening of all the graduate films of International Film School Wales. It was pretty scary seeing oneself on the big screen (in HD too) at Cineworld in Newport, but I thought that the team had put together a rather professional production.
Since then I’ve done another student film for a UWE project. Tomorrow I’ll be having my first viewing of the finished product “Warm fuzzies, cold pricklies”, which is being shown as an installation; also “One More Kiss Darling”, which we shot in March: both as part of graduate week of the film studies department, at the Bower Ashton campus of UWE.
That’s the name of the student film I’ve been cast in. It was inspired by the real-life story of two Scottish pensioners who entered into a life of petty crime, apparently just for fun. Move the action to Porthcawl on the Welsh coast and the result will be a 10-minute short, which is a final-year project for students at the International Film School Wales, part of the University of Wales. We started rehearsals last Friday and shooting begins on 22 March. I have been impressed with the professionalism of the production; the whole project has already been running for several months. Details in www.oldagepillagers.webs.com
Having taken part in the world-famous – well, Bristol-famous – Hotwells Panto in March last year has reawakened an interest in acting. Thanks to that entirely positive experience, I was inspired to audition for, and was lucky to get a part in, Theatre Raconteurs’ production of Richard III just before Xmas. Directed by the visionary Tristan Darby – watch out for the name, folks – that was the most professional production I’ve ever been involved in, by a country mile. Meeting and working with so many really talented and in most cases very experienced actors could not fail to be a learning experience, so I decided to audition for a couple of short (10-minute) student films. I’ve been lucky enough to be cast in both of them, moreover. “One More Kiss, Darling” is being shot in Bristol in mid-March; the title comes from a Van Halen record in the 70s, used in the soundtrack of a famous film whose identity I have forgotten. And “Old Age Pillagers” is being shot just afterwards, in Porthcawl on the Welsh coast.