This year I had wanted to do produce my first short film. When I say ‘my’ I mean write it, produce it, and star in it. Acting in someone’s else work is terrific, but I really wanted to get on the other side of the lens myself. I love to write, and have been since I was 14, and have wrote a bunch of short film scripts, but have not yet been produced. This year however I was working on a short script with a friend, and we were planning that to be made this summer, and still will be. That short film was meant to be my welcome to the screen writing and film producing world. However, as life likes to, a twist came my way.
It was early on the year, and the echo of COVID was hovering towards Britain. I felt a storyline coming.
I remember the day clearly, I was on the tube heading to meet a friend for a coffee in central London. This friend, Al, happens to be a film director and writer himself. Whilst on the tube, this idea of LOVEBUG just came to me. BOOM, like that! So, when I met Al, I was bubbling with slight insanity, as I become all consumed with an idea until I get it created. I spilled the idea to Al, and he jokingly said to me, if you can get a cast and crew and think you can get this shot in the next 5 days, then I will help you direct it. Poor Al, did not know that I was serious, and would indeed do exactly that. So, when I met him two days later for another round of coffee, his face was quite dumbfounded that I had indeed managed to get everything he asked for. I felt quite bad that he now was forced to direct it to keep his promise, but hey ho!
The stress levels I have to say producing is incredibly similar to being a doctor. You have to organise everything to the discrete level of perfection. Everything that goes wrong, does go wrong, and you have to lead and strategize to the next plan. I certainly learnt a lot from the experience, and I think the film LOVEBUG having been shot less than a week worked very well with me. I am someone that likes to get work done efficiently and quickly, similar to my role as a doctor. Patience is something I struggle with, as frankly there is no time for it in the NHS.
We shot everything in one day, the entire film. I did at times feel the pressure in having to the crew and cast on the same day, but I remember Al saying one thing to me: you will feel such pride once it’s made, because it’s yours. And he was right. Acting is fantastic, I love it, but you get a different sense of glory when you watch something because you know you put your hard work on the crew side of it, when you actually made. No one can take that away from you. Only filmmakers understand the love you put into your creation. The audience will never understand, as they focus on the actors. The crew I truly believe is the heart to all films.
LOVEBUG, I feel is my baby, my soul on screen. It came together from a seed of an idea, and I was lucky that I found cast and crew in a short time that believed in the idea to get it done. I am lucky in a sense that this was actually instead my first on screen producing and writing role, because it was such a unique project in such a bizarre time frame in the midst of what is happening, that I will never experience it again.
LOVEBUG, for those that have not yet watched, is a short romcom about finding love whilst self isolating during the coronavirus (COVID) pandemic. It has given my colleagues at work, my family and friends, and those suffering around the world, something to watch and actually laugh about. I think finding a bit of happiness and warmth in this actual pandemic is a fantastic gift, and I am proud that I was part of making someone else feel good for a brief moment while they watch it.
It is my little LOVEBUG.