Home' Special Magazines : Suburbanite Issue 5 Contents 11
With a comedy it's all about that good feeling you get
when everyone laughs at the same stuff, and that's
why the efforts of the filmmakers are so impressive --
audiences either get the funny bits or they don't, and
it's a fine line to tread. But the risky decisions always
yield the best rewards.
When I saw the film, guffaws, clapping, exclamations
and people doubled over with laughter were abun-
dant, and it really did feel like every person in that
theatre was sharing an experience. And that's exactly
what the filmmakers were going for.
The Film Commission and other sponsors were pretty
hands-off, according to Richard. I suggest that must
have been great for a team making a movie about
"They were like, 'here's your prize, go off and do it,
hope it turns out okay'... It meant that we got direct
communication with Ant as executive producer, and
he was the voice of concern when we needed it."
I asked Richard what the audience is supposed to
think, watching the stalking unfold in front of them,
seeing Toby change from a nice guy to a bit of a weir-
do, back to nice again and then maybe finishing up
"It was probably quite a gamble, but the idea was that
we'd create a character that the audience warms to
and then make the audience suddenly at some point
go 'whoa, hang on'. I think one of the underlying ideas
is that you think of stalkers as these unfathomable
people, but in the world of Facebook and Twitter you
can imagine yourself falling into that, you know?"
Ruth explains that co-writer Dean Hewison loves
Dexter, a TV show in which the protagonist is a se-
rial killer. "He really loves those characters that maybe
do things that are beyond what you think is okay, but
also challenge how you think about things that you
consider to be okay."
There's a slice-of-life aesthetic to HTMGFAD that
seems to have come about from Traces Of Nuts' pre-
vious filmmaking work. Apart from a few years' of 48-
Hours experience, most of them come from a docu-
mentary film and educational video background.
"With the speed that we did the shoot at, stylistically
there wasn't the opportunity to do anything that com-
plicated," says Ruth.
"It was more that we had the ability to move really
quickly and make decisions, and go, 'shit, we're run-
ning out of time and we've got to shoot these five
shots in one shot'."
"Or these five shots in one shot and one take," Rich-
ard adds, smiling. "We were forced to use a pragmatic
visual style, but I think that allows a focus on the story
and what's going on with the characters. But with that
said, I couldn't be happier with how [the film] looks.
Some of the stuff that's going on in the background,
there's sort of a second to third viewing needed for
that stuff, which is quite cool."
"In terms of budget, shooting in the city you know,
using your friends' houses, it was the only way we
could do it. In the film, Emma's house is our house,"
The working-bee sensibility that Ruth and Richard tell
me about prompts me to ask what they learned from
this whole process. Surely the amount of contribu-
tors to the filmmaking would make them think twice
about attempting a similar project? That this would
be a cautionary tale to others? I'm expecting an an-
swer along the lines of 'Make sure you have a timeline
planned in advance', or 'Have an accountant handy
for budgeting advice'.
Ruth's answer warms my heart: "We realised how
much people will help if you just ask them. I think from
that we learned that we should just always be nice
to everybody. If you're going to do a project like this
you're going to need help, and even up until the last
couple of days of production, we'd put a call out on
Facebook and people would just show up and say
'Sure, what do you need?'."
"When Ruth and I were up to our eyes in post-pro-
duction and hadn't slept for a couple of days, some-
body who had been working in the art department
just came over to clean our lounge. It just lightens the
load, you know."
Yes, you lucky people. I do know.
To read Rebekah's film review click here.
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