Cola’s home where we spent 1.5 days filming. The first day was cut short because of torrential downpours meaning we had a lot of pressure to get it all done on day 2. We finished just as the sun disappeared.
A friend of ours owns a few acres of Sherwood Forest where they host parties and weddings. We wrote the scene around this location because we could use it for free. We also go there once a year for a terrible festival called Poing Fest.
This is Olivia. I met her in a coffee shop and she has a dog named Bunty. My dog hates her and likes to hang off her beard with her teeth. Bunty’s beard, not Olivia’s. Hers remains intact.
This is Michael. He played Franklin in SPOOKY CLUB. We’re lucky that he wanted to work with us again after that.
Our budget meant that our crew often just consisted of just Lloyd and I. The most expensive bit of gear we used were the LED lights which we borrowed from our brother’s workplace, Derby County Football Club.
This is Rowan, the middle brother in our family. He did all the drone shots on our film. When he couldn’t make one shooting day I tried to use the drone and crashed it into a mountain side. I haven’t told him that yet though. Rowan, if you’re reading this, it was Lloyd’s fault.
This Digital Bolex camera is awkward to use, weighs a ton, often breaks down and runs out of battery in about ten minutes. It’s the worst camera I’ve ever had the misfortune of using. The footage looks good though.
Our eldest brother Tom played Grayton. We bought a mask for this character but couldn’t use it because it caused suffocation. Lloyd almost died when he tried it on and got stuck.
If you ever wondered what a director’s job was, this it it.
Jade did all the makeup on our short. She used to do it professionally until she married our brother, Rowan. She then decided to get a job that offered more stability and now works as an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon.
This is Helen, who we roped in to play a Japanese ghost. She’s from Portsmouth and has no Japanese heritage so I guess this is the first time we can be accused of whitewashing.
We couldn’t bring ourselves to tip away all the Coca Cola to get the ‘empty can’ props, so 90% are unopened with black Sharpie on the top to make it look like they’ve been drank. You can’t even see them in the film. Complete waste of time.
Our friend Tom has recorded the sound on a few of our shorts. He got the job because he was free, had some equipment and once impressed us by talking about audio bitrates. I still don’t think he knows what he’s doing.
The last ever bottle of Raygun Cola. A fictional Cola brand from the 1950s.
Olivia resting between takes. The first of many occasions where she spent time lying on the ground, crying.
Anyone else hate Grayton?
Can’t stand him.
I’m really glad we killed him off.
This cave was about 45 minutes drive from our home. I think it’s the only one near us. It’s not a very good cave but we managed to get the local council to let us use it for free. We had to shoot it from various angles that don’t make sense geographically because it was so small.
This heart was a cheap plastic one that we fed a plastic pipe into that was attached to a small hand pump (that we usually use for cleaning air off our lenses). It wasn’t very air tight so we had to use a ton of glue to seal it. I think we forgot to clean up the blood afterwards. Oops.
Add some white face paint to black hair and you get grey hair. We decided that Micheal was a lot more sexy rocking this look. He’ll be the belle of the ball at the pensioners coffee morning in forty years time.
This is Ben. I think he’s been in every one of our films. We cast him because he owns a small van that we can use it to transport gear. Good old Ben. Only joking, of course. He’s obsessed with Ghostbusters and is one of our oldest pals.
We re-used these same nails for the Japanese ghost character. We meant to use them for Grayton, too, but forgot. He didn’t deserve them anyway.
Our catering for the shoot mostly consisted of sandwiches, crisps and biscuits. We worked out that we could feed ten people for about £1.50 a head if we bought the supplies at LIDL (a budget store). Most of the food went uneaten and it was a waste of money.
Really not sure what’s happening here. I think Michael is stealing Olivia’s magic beans? You’ll have to ask Michael though. You’ll find him up a massive beanstalk somewhere.
Here you can see how shitty Bone-Bone’s mask was. It’s one that we had for SPOOKY CLUB that was only used in one shot. We had to make sure we didn’t light it much and then we darkened it further in the edit.
We do a lot of location scouting on Google image search. We found this mini castle and hunted down the owner who was kind enough to let us use it for free. We had to sign various waivers though because it’s an old quarry that’s apparently quite dangerous, This building used to house a pump that got rid of the water from behind it.
We originally planned on having someone go in the water behind the castle until we received the following in an email from the owner: “I would point out that the water is over 90 feet deep and very cold, so that any activity near it is potentially dangerous, indeed lethal. The sides of the slate pit are loose, and there is a long drop into the water if you slip.” We couldn’t persuade anyone.
The magic rock is supposed to sparkle in the final film. We don’t know how to do VFX and Lloyd’s laptop is 6 years old and awful. So this was one of many VFX shots that fell by the wayside.
Couldn’t think of anything to write about this so I asked Lloyd. His response was “I thought it was Stephen Hawking when i first saw it”, so I’ll leave it at that.
Far too much time went into picking and placing red leaves around Olivia’s head. Worse still that we had to reshoot the close up here because the camera was out of focus.
This character was based on ghosts from Japanese folklore called Yūrei. You can read about them HERE. The name Oyuki came from a famous painting that features one of these ghosts.
I think I’ve ran out of semi-interesting things to say. Lloyd’s advice was “Just put some bullshit and be done with it” and then suggested writing “Michael is captivating here”.
Can’t think of anything to say about this either. Would have been boring anyway.
Nor this. Skull head. That’ll do.
This was our attempt at parodying the Lord of the Rings poster. One Magic Rock To Rule Them All.
The sun had pretty much disappeared by the time we finished shooting. By ‘finished shooting’ I mean ‘were forced to finish shooting’. We still had one small part featuring the Keeper of the Gate to film, but it was too dark to do it. Also, we were tired and had lost the will to live.
Awesome forces unite. After this shoot we went to a local pub to get pizza.
This was Day 4 of filming. All of our epic drone shots went to shit because it was too windy and rainy. We ended up spending the afternoon in a Tea Room whilst Lloyd had a nervous breakdown.
We did actually manage to get a couple of shots when the sun came out for an hour at the end of the day. This is the location where Wesley rolled down the hill in the film A Princess Bride.
Lloyd really didn’t want to be in this photo. He said it looked like the kind of picture that teenagers would take at the end of their holiday on a beach. It’s funny because it’s true. Also he has a forehead like a Klingon.
Early morning on Day 5. Rowan only joined us for a few hours as he had to go to work in the afternoon. He got some drone footage and was really grumpy because he had to wake up early. He was then late for work.
This was really awful. We had to hike miles up a hill to our location with all our equipment. Michael didn’t help with anything and still lagged behind. He looks quite fit and healthy so I’ll put it down to laziness.
We got Michael’s costume from a cosplay guy called Geoff who lives in Leicester. We saw him dressed as a wizard on Instagram and he was kind enough to loan it out to us. After we begged him for weeks.
Lloyd played The Keeper of the Gate because we had nobody else to do it. He had to stand on the edge of the mountain, in the wind, wearing a mask that you couldn’t see through and stilts that were so broken that you couldn’t stand up in them. He didn’t die though so our health and safety record is still at 100%.
The Keeper of the Gate is supposed to be a robot. I’m not sure why he wears a USA flag and a Nike jacket. Or why he holds a silver painted gardening hoe. You have to get ‘creative’ on a budget.
Olivia lying on the ground part 8. We made her run up and down hills and along cliff edges. Apparently the Doc Martins hurt her feet. Not that she moaned or anything.
Celebratory last shoot day meal. Have you ever seen that Red Dwarf episode with Duane Dibley in it? If you need reminding what he looks like, either look at Michael or click HERE.
Day 6. Tom and I went to Bone Bone’s castle to get the shots of The Keeper of the Gate to put in the end scene. At this point I was well and truly sick of filming. Luckily it was the last thing we had to film for the short.
No matter how much I tried I couldn’t convince anyone to come and help me film this shot. Perhaps that’s an indication of how fun this short was to film.
If you made it this far, congratulations. Most didn’t. In fact, I’d be surprised if anyone did. As a reward I grant you these words of wisdom: Goodbye.
Thanks to Tom Crabb, Rowan and whoever else donated pictures and picked up the camera to film some junk.