This is a film that has essentially been two years in the making. Ever since 2009 when myself and Co-Director J.A. Taylor had the idea to create a dance film. We both came up with separate ideas and both made our own 2-3 minute dance video, with a bit of help from each other on the way. We really loved the experience we had working on these dance films but they were both a bit rubbish so we wanted to up our game if we were to do it again. We then spent the summer working together on the script for a film we wanted to make, when we started university again in September 2010. Unfortunately our film was not chosen to get made, but we still had such great fun writing together that we wanted to work together in the future, which is when we were approached by Paul Healey who wanted a DVD making, that would teach salsa dance to beginners. He created a lesson plan and we filmed the whole thing using an infinity wall exactly as requested. We were then approached again by another dancer, this time to film a short ballet. And this is what we came up with.
Whilst we were making this film we came up with the idea for The Ferryman, and this time we managed to get our film picked. We were really pleased that we’d finally get the chance to direct our own narrative short film and we really pushed ourselves with this one because we knew we would have no second chances. We drew on all of the things we had learnt from working with dancers and how to film them on our past projects, and felt quite confident we could achieve what we wanted. We by no means expected the film to get the response it has though. We were expecting it to be quite a niche market/marmite sort of film that you either love it or you hate it. And so we were really surprised when people that said they don’t normally watch or even like dance films said they felt quite captivated and even moved by it.
It’s been a really incredible experience over the last 4 months working on the film. The first month was spent in pre-production; the second in rehearsals, filming, and editing; the fourth month continuing editing and the third month we had off due to the easter break. The Ferryman is definitely the best film that I’ve ever made and to share that experience with J.A. Taylor was amazing, I definitely couldn’t have done it on my own (although I’m sure she could have ;)) and I’ve loved every minute of it. It was also really nice to end the project with watching it on the big screen at Cineworld in Cheltenham, where we watched all of the films that everyone from our course had made over the last year. And we managed to get a very close 2nd place for the best film award which was chosen by the Cheltenham Film Society. So we’re both really pleased with the film and just hope that we will manage to have some success with it on the festival circuit.
If you want to know a bit more about the film including cast and crew bios and a short behind the scenes doc you can view all that here.