Hunting Rabbits

Our latest Action On The Side short film has been made and released, and it’s one that I wrote.

We’re now in the ‘get as many people as possible to watch and complete the feedback form’ mode

Watch the film here:

Hunting Rabbits from Patricia Hetherington on Vimeo.

 

Once you’ve watched the film, please complete our feedback form at this link.

Completed the feedback? Yes? Want to find out more about the script and how it was selected? Then click “read more”…


Back in 2014, I entered the NYC Midnight Short Screenplay Challenge. In 48 hours I had to write a six-page script that 1) was a ghost story; 2) had a barn as a key location; and 3) had a padlock. The screenplay I wrote was this story. I had set it in the American Mid-West (seeing as it is an American competition).

When I ran regular script development sessions, I developed the script further. One of our regulars suggested I change the title to something more interesting — previously it had been called SALLY. He suggested HUNTING RABBITS, which I stole (with his blessing — he got a Thank You in the credits).

Since 2014 I have pitched Hunting Rabbits for the Action On The Side project, as a way to show how pitching works. I knew full well it would never be selected: it’s too difficult to shoot in a month, unless you have a barn. Whenever I pitched it, people couldn’t imagine this American story being shot in London.

Another AOTS regular pointed out he had potential access to a barn.

I continued to use the script for script breakdown and producing exercises in my teaching.

I rewrote the script to make it British.

For the November 2018 project, with a dearth of scripts being pitched, I shared four scripts — more than I ever do — just to get the ball rolling for participants to feel comfortable to pitch their own ideas. As per usual, this included Hunting Rabbits, but the updated version.

On day 1, I pitched three of the ideas. We broke for lunch. After lunch, someone asked why I hadn’t pitched Hunting Rabbits.

I had forgotten, so I pitched it.

We shortened our long list, and discussed the pros and cons of each film idea.

I decided to pull Hunting Rabbits — there’s no way we could shoot it in a week without a barn (the aforementioned regular who said he had access to a barn, didn’t). But people argued. Hmmm, strange. Okay, it can stay.

Long story short, for whatever reason, the group decided this ghost story set in a barn would be a doable short, and voted for it.

AND four of our participants (all women) pitched to direct the film. FOUR!

Within six days, we sourced a barn location, just outside London; cast; additional crew; costume and props; and got everyone together to shoot.

We have one week to get all the feedback we can to see what the anonymous masses think of the film. It’s nice to get another writing credit, and to see our work on-screen.

Now I’ve got to write another default script to pitch each month…

The Last Postcard Screening

On Saturday we have the premiere of our 21st short film made with Action On The Side, The Last Postcard.

AOTS short film screening

Saturday 7 April
3.30pm
at Raindance (Craven Street, WC2N)

Free event, but register at Eventbrite

THE LAST POSTCARD

written & directed by Cristina Mindroiu
(11 mins)

The life of a woman with dementia is turned upside down when she receives the latest postcard from her travelling partner. A drama about family.

Here are two of the posters I mocked up.

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The images are from our behind the scenes photographer Chris Bourton (d0vzhenko). The posters were created in Canva.com using the same process I outlined in my post on creating an IMDb page. Once I have the finished cut of the film (it’s with the editor until Saturday), I’ll screencap a different shot for the poster.

If you’re in London, see you at the screening!

How to create an IMDb page

I created a resource for my students recently, that shows the steps for creating an IMDb page. I share this here with you…

 

Down Below poster

and here is the page

Review

  • Check with your cast and crew whether they have an IMDb page first.
  • A spreadsheet will help you. So will having your film open in a tab with the credits.
  • You have to have an official website for your film.
  • You should already have your film online.
  • Anyone can submit to IMDb, but having IMDbPro and Contributor Status helps get your films approved quicker and easier.

Another few points (that I don’t think I made in the video)

  •  don’t create an IMDb page until you have shot your film. Even though you can create an ‘in development’ page, it is really hard to remove a credit from IMDb if someone drops off the project last minute. If you wait until your film is finished, the credits will be correct.
  • Have a portrait poster image.
    • Adding a thumbnail poster to your IMDb page makes the film look 100%* better for everyone involved.
    • IMDb thumbails are portrait (rather than landscape), so make sure your film title works portrait.
    • Because it’s a thumbnail, it is going to be very small. So you don’t need the credit block or lots of writing on your poster.

With AOTS, we have started creating poster thumbnails specifically for IMDb. Below we have two versions of the poster from our June 2017 Action On The Side project, ‘Exposure

Now, check the IMDb page for Exposure here. Click the pages for some of the Cast and Crew: doesn’t it look better on their page? The thumbnail really adds to their pages.

Recently I even went back and created thumbnails for some of my earlier films, using Canva.com.

Creating a poster is vital for your films. (I’ll write another blog post on this soon.)

Good luck creating IMDb pages for your film!


*or 150% or 200% or 1000% — I hate hyperbole when it comes to percentages. Also, that’s a made up number. Just — it makes your film look more professional and way better.

The Last Postcard

It’s been a long time since I updated my blog. I’m on set for our March 2018 Action On The Side short film, The Last Postcard. As Producer, I’ve organised everyone to be here: the cast, the crew, the location, the budget. As on-set DIT, I receive the footage and sound files and save it onto three different hard drives. As the Organiser, I’m in charge of the skills development of the project. People taking part benefit from my teaching on film production techniques, so they can become better filmmakers (part of the AOTS USP).

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Here’s me showing Adriana some script supervision techniques. Photo by Stine Olsen.

I learn something new on every film shoot. So far I’ve learnt that there’s no way of knowing when the building will hire someone to steam clean the carpets (on a weekend no less!). Every AOTS iteration I invest in something to make life easier in future: for this month, we have lids on our cups (sustainable and safe); I’ve developed more resources (like a Director’s checklist, a location recce checklist, and a chain of title checklist); and now we have three AOTS External Hard-drives.

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We’re shooting in a beautiful flat in Holland Park. Gavin, the DP, is shooting on a BMCC, with an external monitor.

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Isabella Stevenson-Olds on the monitor

Overall the shoot is going well. I’m looking forward to see the finished film in two weeks’ time.

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Be sure to check out our @actionontheside Instagram and the #actionontheside Facebook page for behind the scenes posts.

 

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Me talking to Jabari on set. Photo by Leyla Alizada.

 

Check out this https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FActionOnTheSideLondon%2Fvideos%2F769011923287302%2F&show_text=1&width=560“>Facebook Live post from today’s shoot

Now to return to DIT work and lesson planning.

The vlogging journey

I’ve been all ‘heads-down, tails-up’ with my master’s studies, working 4 days a week, running the March 2016 AOTS project, running the business and doing general filmmaking stuff.  In the lead-up to the June 2016 AOTS project — two weeks away! — I’ve started vlogging.

Check out the first one below:

In one of my master’s modules (not this one, but the next one), I’m going to be developing my mentoring and training skills through vlogging. I’m starting now with promoting Action On The Side. Expect more to come.

And, click the Closed Captions button — isn’t that nifty?