Sunday, 14 November 2010

Day in Leeds

After four hours sleep, i set off to Leeds for my Heretic audition. It was a great audition set up, we spent the morning improvising scenes - mine being a vampire hunter and his young apprentice trying to kill a hoard of vampires, but they soon realise the vampires know they're there! And we got many laughs and applause - we then each performed a monologue for the producer, the director and the casting agent, and mine actually went well! I think?

We then were given a script to go over, which would then be read in front of the same panel, and this is where it all went wrong! Practicing it went fine, but i had staged it in my head, as the scene was set walking around a church. When i got in there the guy reading just stood there, and i could hear the words coming out my mouth and they sounded terrible! Absolutely no emotion.

But after the next person read, i was called back in and asked to read a different part, that of the main spirit in the film, the girl who committed suicide and had a broken neck.
I wandered around the room, head cricked to one side, jerking my limbs slightly, and i think that read through went so much better!

Once back at the station, i received a phone call reminding me that the Leeds Film Festival was still on, and a good zombie film was due to be shown.
Unfortunately, James and Laura couldn't make it, but John could, so we went to watch The Dead.

Before it was a very creepy short film which had me jumping all over the place called Through The Night produced by Rank Outsider, and you never knew what was actually happening, but it had some amazing effects, for example, the face on a painted portrait melting in the frame, or a glass shattering on it's own. It also had a particularly terrifying end shot.

The Dead was a really cool film from the Ford Brothers, Howard and Jon. It is set in West Africa, and in the middle of a full on zombie attack. The amount of times i jumped was ridiculous!
Even though the zombies moved very slowly, they were always there, just moving towards the uninfected. It was almost like in a video game when the "things" always know where you are, or just follow you.

But the film itself was beautiful! Amazing cinematography, featuring African sunsets, pure white beaches and breath-taking rock/mountain formations, all with the constant drone of the African bush. (I really want to go back!)

We were apparently only the second audience to view this film, so definitely look out for it. This film is not without a sense of doom, (but aren't all zombie films?) and it's probably due to the ending. But this might also have been influences by  the traumatic time they had in Ghana, from near-death attacks of malaria, to being held at gun point multiple times by AK-47 toting policemen! All the while trying to lug canisters of 35mm film, cameras, dead bodies/body parts and everything else you need to make an apocalyptic zombie film. All in all, very impressive!
Check out the official website.

There was a very interesting Q&A with both Ford Brothers, and lead actor Rob Freeman, and we were told more about the various problems they encountered.
We also found out that all the zombie extras were people from the local villages, and they were more confused with the fact they'd brought so much stuff and lighting with them, than they were with the concept of pretending to be dead and eat people!

On the way out of the enormous theatre, John suddenly said, "Is that Marc Price?". We both started shouting, "Marc Price, Marc Price!" And it turned out to be him, looking very excited someone knew him, then realised it was us, but we got hugged all the same!

It was then i realised that this was the Film Festival event Marc had invited me to weeks ago, but i thought i wouldn't make it, and i had actually thought it was last week!

He introduced us to the lady organising the event, a fellow judge and film maker, and his friend who is financing Marc's current film, and just so happened to be actor Dominic Brunt from Emmerdale.

After lots of catching up, we were invited to the pub by the lady in charge, so we all headed off in that direction, listening to the judges slagging off various films.

Once in O'Neil's, a really nice Victorian pub, we bought beer and turned round from the bar to find the Ford Brothers and Rob Freeman.
We quickly introduced ourselves, initiated schmooze mode and had business cards at the ready. 
They turned out to be really cool guys, Howard being very enthusiastic about me creating a show reel, and thought i could do much more than the broken neck dead girl in heretic, that i should have a speaking part. We talked lots about the film and the industry, and about my evil agent, and then about Africa, and what an amazing country it is!

Rob Freeman introduced himself, and told us he'd noticed us during the Q&A from the stage, and we looked like we were listening intently.
He seemed to be non-stop taking the piss out of everyone, but with a completely straight face, but he was a lovely guy. 
It turned out that he's done all sorts of crazy things such as cycled from Vancouver to LA, or in-line skated across Europe.
He has a blog about the whole Africa experience,

After much more chatting and schmoozing, we all decided to move onto the next bar as this one had stopped serving. The lady in charge said she would take us to one called Sela Bar, not very far away, so we tried moving towards the door with a large group, which never works. We even found ourselves stood talking to The Dead's musician instead of heading to the door. Once outside, we realised Marc Price was still inside, so me, John, Howard Ford, Jon Ford, Rob Freeman and more started to plan a sort of fireman's line-thing where one person would always be insight of another, and sure enough, once i'd found Marc i looked across to see Howard and Rob Waiting for us in the distance, and this system worked all the way, (with the promise of Howard calling me if we didn't surface). Very lovely bunch of people!

Sela Bar happened to be in a cellar, and it was noisy, but we were slightly drunk so we just shouted.
I discussed the second actor in the Dead, a guy called Prince who reminded me of the guy in Blood Diamond (i'm being sent a link to his original casting tape), and how he's already doing well in LA.

In a corner we plotted with Marc how i could turn up in Cornwall to get my part in the next Price film.
At the end of the evening, Howard came over to say bye, and i got another hug, and a very sincere, "good luck, i really hope you do well..." and so on. I followed him towards Rob where i  took part in a very cosmopolitan kiss, kiss on the cheeks, and more chatting.

So the night/morning was a success, i like people telling me i'm sure to make it, as anyone does, and more comments about me having a film/TV face. I went to sleep very happy that night.

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