Is the title of a new movie that I am shooting right now. Up On The Roof. Good title. Good film. It's what people call a low budget film. It is directed by up and comer Ben Hecking who is now on his fifth feature. Film is obviously in his blood, which is always an exciting element in a director. he's not just trying his hand at it, or flying by the ol' seat o' th' pants, he is in it for the long game. And he comes at it from a cameraman's angle. That's his training, altho' at that helm we have Simona Susnea who has previously only shot shorts and docs, but seems really capable. How refreshing to say that the last two jobs I have worked on, Hunting Bears and this, have both been shot by female DoPs. Shouldn't really have to mention it, but it hasn't been the case for me before and it is a relief. I have known many female DoPs and generally the only difference between male and female is the age! Meaning that they have never been given the chance, and now they are; long may it continue.
I don't mean to be exclusively talking about DoPs, there are many other departments that have been pretty much exclusively male that women are rightly making inroads into. Obviously costume and make up and art department, and indeed the production side of it, have long been the most frequent places for women to appear on set or behind the scenes, but actually if you look back forty/fifty years you are looking at the pioneers. So hopefully the Simonas and the Suzannes (Hunting Bears) are the pioneers and from here on there will be no need to comment on it. I probably will though, because I want to celebrate their presence and, of course, the levels of cultural diversity are also to be acknowledged and celebrated. It does all take time and sensitivity and I hope, ultimately, "Egality et Fraternity" to steal a word from our European brethren! Cheeky.
So that's fun. As are the other actors in it. Piotr Adamczyk, Natalia Tena, Lucy Black, Enyi Okoronkwo, Waj Ali and the marvellous Deborah Findlay. I'll be honest, I hadn't heard of the "creatives" much before but I googled them. I liked the script and then I saw the cast and Deborah particularly was the icing on the cake, because I have known her for a long time but never worked with her. Yippee, now is my chance.
On a different note, I should just should add that I have been asked to be an Ambassador for the Oscar Foundation in India. As you know I have been a part of it for some years, and to be recognised like this, particularly when they are working around the clock through the unimaginable horror playing out in the Mumbai slum communities and elsewhere makes me immensely proud and I will do my very best to represent them in whatever way I can.
Also been doing some publicity for the Beast Must Die. Wow, that's going well. People seem very excited. I certainly am. I am going to be joining Britbox and watching it with everyone else. The finished versions are powerful. The main five perfs, Jared, Cush, Billy, Maeve and Geraldine are FAN-BLOODY-TASTIC. That's not to say the others aren't too. Mia and Barney and Douggie, Manjinda and Aasiya are all bloody marvellous too. There don't seem to be any weak links. Really excited. May 27th it launches with the first 2 episodes and then weekly for the next 3 weeks. Nail bitingly nervous. I mean / think it's great, but .....
And looking forward to reading some more Mydworth and Bunburries very soon! Onwards and upwards out of the weirdness of the last year and change.
Stay safe xxx