Making a film of any budget is filled with high's and lows. Spencer Hawken is making an independent zero budget movie in Romford, Essex, and he has found this to be only too true.
"Things behind the scenes were going wonderfully well, but like any dream it's got an underlying horror." Says Spencer "We were doing too well really, we had all the crew ready and waiting, when suddenly we hit pitfalls. The good thing however is that you learn from your pitfalls, and you put better practises in place."
Death Walks has had some great coups firstly it landed The Mercury Shopping Centre as a filming location, then it was able to lure actors Lucinda Rhodes, Scott Mullins, and Daniel Smales to be part of the action. Now Spencer Hawken is in discussion with an Oscar nominated actress to appear in the film, someone who has been away from the limelight for 7 years.
But this week elation went to misery "The movie industry locally is small, when someone tried to try to essentially take over the project, and I said no! This person managed to pull all levels of talent from the project. It was a scary time for a moment. We had just two weeks left and all sorts of people either dropped out, or stopped making contact."
"What you have to do however is grab the bull by the horns, the minute I suspected something was wrong I reached out to my talent and we found replacements very easily, where we had people with a bit of experience, they were replaced with people who have a lot of experience. The reality is, despite someone's attempts to scupper what we had, we ended up by getting a much better team together."
Death Walks shoots on 15th of June, the project, a feature film is being shot across just one night. The cast and crew involved is well in excess of 200 people. People are travelling from as far as Cornwall to be part of the project, and everyone of them is giving their time free of charge. It's a combination of local talent, and established actors.
Spencer is hoping that the film will generate enough income to create a film fund, set up in the name of The Mercury (the location sponsors), that will get local unseen talent to the media attention, by allowing their dreams to become a reality.
"This is a zero budget movie, with some great twists, and an incredible back story of overcoming obstacles. My Film-making experience is limited, but if we pull this off and people actively start talking about it. Then whole generations of film-makers could see their dreams become a reality".
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