STALKED: The Making of

STALKED is the first short film that I wrote, produced, directed and edited. It was made in my HNC year of college, I wrote two scripts and after a long deliberation with myself, I opted for STALKED. 

Being responsible for the whole project was nerve wracking, sure I've done it in groups but creating my very own felt like a foreign concept. From the moment I chose this script to develop for my graded unit, I poured my heart into every part of the project and it must have paid off because I went on to win best HNC Graded unit. When ever I take on a project, I like to treat it like it's the most important aspect of my life (within reason) but it's one of my traits as a person, I've always liked to throw myself into my work. 

The pre-production stage felt like it lasted forever, making sure all relevant paperwork was completed so that I could move onto the production state. I don't mind paperwork if I'm honest, that's one of my strengths but I was itching to get filmed. In the pre-production stage I made sure to be thoroughly organised, being on top of everything gives me a sense of comfort and going into the product stage, that's what I needed. 

Production seemed to fly in, I shot STALKED over 3 days and what a whirlwind those three days were. I can hand on heart say, if it wasn't for my amazing crew, I wouldn't have gotten through this stage. 

My crew consisted of:
Linda .D
Andrew .D
Donald .R
Michael .D
Holly .M

All of my crew were fantastic, on the first day of shooting I was sick with nerves, I was having a bad flare up with my chronic illness and I wasn't sure I was ready, I spent so long dreaming of getting to this stage but when it was here, I felt like a fish out of water. 

On the first day 

We started early, I had a call time of 9am for crew to allow us time to set up and a call time of 9:30am for cast but I severely underestimated how long it would take to get set up, especially since we were working outside in the cold. All my crew turned up which was a nice surprise as one of them wasn't getting back to me but they all showed up for me and they were amazing.

We began shooting around 10am which put us half an hour behind schedule at that point so the need to get the car scenes filmed was intense as there was quite a bit of foot traffic. Once we got going though it began to run smoothly, apart from the wind nearly blowing me off my car as I held up a reflector whilst standing on the hood of my car... not my brightest idea. 

Once we gained momentum and we were sticking to time calls, I found myself being ahead by 40 minutes come lunch time so we allowed for an extra 20 minutes at lunch although I'm not sure that was the best idea as we ran over time by half an hour at the end. 

The outside scenes were probably the hardest to get through because of the cold and wind but we pulled through and it was fun on set which I think helped to keep moral up. 

On the Second day

The radio room scenes were all grouped together on the same day to make the production run a little smoother, I tried to categorise the scenes by location so instead of filming in chronological order, I mixed it up a bit, I found this worked really well and helped with the production time.

So, as we were in the radio room at college for the whole day and it was great that were able to set up and not have to worry about carrying kit around. We made one of the rooms our base where we would make tea and coffee when needed and the rest of the space was used for filming. 

We kept good time on this day, everything ran smoothly which helped when it came to being a little more creative with each shot. This was the best day of production as all actors were together and we all had a good laugh getting to know each other whilst getting to be creative.

On the Third day 

The third day saw us with another early start, I was shooting in my house but had a call time of 9am again although I did change this on the day to 9:30am as it was purely the house scenes being filmed on this day and one small scene at the college 

Set up seemed to take forever on the second day, I think we were all exhausted from the two days before because we did put a lot of work in. Once we got the momentum going though, we managed to get through the house scene before lunch which was good. 

The atmosphere on this day was a lot more relaxed, we kind of went at our own pace, trying out different shots and seeing what worked. After the house part was done and dusted, it was time to head to the college for the staff room scene. Once we arrived st the college we grabbed some lunch before heading to a room we booked out to film in. The set up was fairly quick, some props like posted and leaflets were put on the walls and we made it too as much like a staff room as possible, even the sound operator played a small part at this point which helped in creating the staff room atmosphere.

Overall it was a really good experience, I loved being a director and seeing my creation come to life was great. Andy who was part of the crew put together a little behind the scenes video for me that shows some of the actors and crew talking about how the production went, I can't thank him enough for doing that. 

You can watch it here -


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