The world of non-commercial film and A-V
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I wanted to make a sort of surreal film where dialogue would be less important than visuals. Being a relative newcomer who has transferred from a life of stills photography I realise that sound recording is an entirely different discipline and as a beginner took the easy option of showing and not telling the story.
The film concerns an unexpected happening when a business man in a pinstripe suit arrives at a deserted railway station. The sudden appearance of stranger makes the business man fear for his safety, and his briefcase, but he loses more than his briefcase.
I looked for a railway station with a run down desolate look, like a rural railway station in the South of France or a remote part of Spain. I marked off probable stations on the map and drove around to examine their potential. I had hoped to find one suitable close by but I had to look farther afield. I extended my radius from 10 miles to 15, to 20, to 25 and finally at 30 miles I found the ‘perfect’ platform. Ladybank railway station in Fife was exactly what I wanted with long straight railway tracks, an underpass and rather neglected looking buildings.
A bright but cold and windy Sunday in February was chosen as our filming day. No trains were running due to track maintenance being carried out beyond the station. This was an obvious asset to the health and safety of both cast and crew.
We started filming about 11 o’clock and finished around 4.30. The main problem was the biting wind, especially for Paul who at one point had to strip off and lie on the cold concrete!
I had asked Paul to wear a bright tie that the audience might remember and when you see Alison at the end of the film wearing a tie you just wonder if it’s the same one.
Where I stay there a ppears to be a shortage of actors. Amateur dramatics is not all that big here and those with an interest in acting will already be committed to their own theatre group and obviously reluctant to give up their remaining leisure time to appear in some unknown film maker’s project. Let me say here that I have the greatest respect and admiration for those people who can stand up in front of a camera.
Consequently the two stars of the film are non-actors but both did a magnificent job on the day.
The crew consisted of me and my girl friend, Katrina. I had storyboarded the film and Katrina marked off the shot list when each one was completed. Refreshments were provided by the local pub but only when filming was complete. Total budget was under £20 - petrol, a miniDV tape, 4 half pints of lager and some crisps.
The film was shot using a Sony TRV30 mini DV camera. The editing programme was Premiere 6.5. The music was created using Sonic Foundry Loops and Acid Music. Katrina, an accomplished singer and musician, assisted with the music and I edited the film in about 6 hours.
Alison Ogilvie (Katrina’s sister)
We all hope you enjoy the film.
Pinstripe was one of the UK offical entries to UNICA 2005, Belgium.
Click here to read more about UNICA 2005 and other UK entries.