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The making of Endings

Richard and I first had the idea for ‘Endings’ in 1991, shortly after we had completed ‘Anniversary’, the second of our 16mm films. We wrote a rough screenplay with the intention of shooting on 16mm film, as previously.

However, 1991 was also the year that the Guernsey Lily Film Festival was conceived and planned and this came to fruition in the Spring of 1992.

So much work was involved in organising the ‘Lily’ that all our free time seemed to be taken up with it and so ‘Endings’ was shelved – for a further eleven years, as it turned out!

In the early nineties, Richard and I had become familiar with the diverse video formats that were now on the market. However, we were not impressed with the quality of VHS, Video8 etc at this time and so film still seemed to be the format of choice for serious film making.

Then the ‘high band’ versions (S-VHS, Hi8 etc) appeared and we became aware of a great deal of improvement, but the video projection still left a lot to be desired and even then could not compete with 16mm film.

However, when digital hit the market, coupled with 3CCD cameras, we sat up and took notice! At the same time, the data/video projectors had improved dramatically and we realised that picture quality on a big screen was possible at last with video.

Richard and I then purchased our 3CCD cameras and dusted off the screenplay for ‘Endings’. Fortuitously, my daughter, Andrea and her fiancé, Chris, were now just the right age to play the lead roles. Andrea was an old hand at performing, having had small parts in two of our previous films – initially at the age of ten months!

Shooting began in the Summer of 2003 but technical problems ensued. Firstly, footage from my Sony VX2000 camera suddenly developed a green cast and the camera had to be sent away for treatment! Then Richard’s editing PC, which we were using at that time, also decided to be uncooperative, so the film was not completed until June 2004!

After watching hundreds of amateur movies in the ‘Guernsey Lily’, it was great to be actually making movies again and when we eventually saw the completed film on the ‘big screen’, we acknowledged that video is the answer for serious amateurs who want to enter festivals and show their work to a large audience.

‘Endings’ has been very successful so far, winning awards in the USA, Norway, Estonia, the Sussex Festival, BIAFF and also our local Eisteddfod.

I must give special thanks to my daughter, Andrea, for her dedication to her craft during the making of the film – particularly in the harrowing bathroom sequences! When my wife, Mary, saw the out-takes, she accused us of trying to drown her daughter! Andrea and Chris were married in October 2003 in Las Vegas and the brief flashbacks in ‘Endings’ of the happy couple are taken from genuine footage of their wedding video. I am pleased to say that Andrea and Chris will be appearing in our latest film which will be shot this Summer.

Naturally, Richard and I feel extremely honoured to have ‘Endings’ chosen as one of the films to represent Great Britain at UNICA this year and especially in such illustrious company!

Dave Watterson has advised us that a large UK contingent will be descending on Blankenberge this year and we are looking forward very much to this most special event.

To conclude, we thank the panel responsible for selecting our film. This really is very exciting for us and we are eagerly awaiting our visit to Blankenberge.

- Peter Rouillard  FACI   July 2005

Endings was one of the UK offical entries to UNICA 2005, Belgium.
Click here to read more about UNICA 2005 and other UK entries.

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