Stakeout (2011)

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A Girl and a gun: The Making Of Stakeout


After making Why I Fight!, Benjamin Green wanted to make another short. He quickly wrote a story about John, an American cop, who is a staking out a criminal, but who in fact is waiting in a trap. Benjamin was going to play the lead (naturally) and Catherine Adams, from Moving Foward, on board to play his partner, Claire. We were going to film at Benjamin's place for the day, and I was able to borrow the Canon 7D off Stafford again.


The thing I liked about Benjamin's script is that it used that idea by Jean-Luc Goddard about "all you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun". Up to this point I wanted to try this out. I was thinking more of a feature, but never came up with an idea that I wanted to write. So when Benjamin came up with this script, I really wanted to do it.


We shot Stakeout the first Bank Holiday in May. I was going to film this and a showreel piece back-to-back. The showreel piece I shot on the Sunday and then Monday I shot Stakeout.


Shooting the showreel piece had been tough, so it was a great way to let off steam making Stakeout. Benjamin and Catherien was such a joy to work with. We would laugh alot in between takes. All of us coming up with ideas for blocking and how the scenes should play out. Then when we would do a take, they would both get into character, and then when I called cut, they would be joking and laughing. It was a good time.


That's the one thing about filmmaking that people don't tell you; it can be the best of times or the worse of times. It's never inbetween. Being on set is great. You are working with a bunch of like minded people, who love film, so you are always going to have fun. But it can take one person to make a bad experience. It could be anybody and it makes it tough. I never find the work itself bad, but how people can treat you on set. But still it's a hundred times better than working in an office.


While I was editing the film, I started to play around with the colour of the film. I wanted to give a steely look. Like detective films I have seen from the eighties. I played around with the image in Apple Color and I couldn't get the look I wanted. So I tried using Magic Bullet and found the look I was after in there. It fitted the film perfectly.


I was able to finish the film very quickly and we were able to get it screened at a lot of places. It was around this time that I started to have films shown at the Braine Hownd Film Night and Feast On Film. Why I Fight! had been shown at both and they were happy enough to show more of my work there. Not bad for a film that had no budget and shot in a day.