From Goole to Tooting…

11 Apr

Hi,

 

My name is Sheena. I like drinking real ale, walking on beaches, the colour pink and making films.

 

One year ago today I made the monumental move from my Northern home town of Goole (Europe’s largest inland port..) to the gold-paved streets of ‘that’ London to follow my filmmaking dreams…

It has been one heck of a year!!  And I thought that a good way to mark the occasion would be to start a blog about my filmmaking and Yorkshire-girl-in-London tales…

So here goes..

 

Back in Yorkshire I started a small film production company ‘Crestfallen Productions’ with one of my best friends from university; Adam Greenwood. As ‘Crestfallen..’ we have made four short films; ‘Like a Charm’ which brought us together as part of a university project, ‘A Plaster, a Paper and a Cheese & Pickle Sandwich’ which was our first ‘proper’ film (and screened at film festivals worldwide) ‘0800-FINALGIRL’ which was made specifically for a Fright Fest competition (and has screened at film festivals nationwide) and ‘Roseberry Road’ which is in the final stages of pre-production and will be released this year. We are currently writing and planning a number of other projects and working on four feature film scripts.

As ‘Crestfallen..’ we have been fortunate enough to have the love, support and mentoring of the wonderful Steve Piper and ‘Coffee Films’. They executively produced ‘A Plaster..’ and helped us through the whole process of making the film, giving constructive feedback and ideas throughout. Steve has continued to support us through all of our filmmaking projects, and this support has been invaluable.

Adam and I also formed another production company ‘Special Day Films’ with another partner Frank Grosvenor. As ‘Special Day..’ we make films of peoples weddings and other events and also shoot corporate videos. Our claim to fame so far is that we shot both of Camilla Parker Bowles’ children’s weddings. We didn’t get the upcoming Royal Wedding gig though..

In Yorkshire I worked mainly as a community drama and film artist. Basically facilitating drama and film workshops for young people in many different community settings. Many of these projects were short, one off workshops but I did work on a few that were long running. I was the youth theatre leader of my hometown Goole’s ‘Electric Youth Theatre’ for 3 years (plus the volunteer for the 3 years before that). Each term we worked towards a performance that was devised by the young people. ‘Electric’ also performed in a theatre festival in Poland twice and a youth arts festival in Northallerton.

As a community film artist I also had an amazing opportunity to deliver monthly filmmaking sessions at a young offenders institute. I worked with about 10 young people and over the course of 4 ½ days we would set up a production company, assign production roles, develop a short film idea, rehearse, shoot and edit the film. It was always a really intense few days!  I worked on this project for about four years and every month was different and posed a brand new challenge and I learnt so much from it.

All of the work I was doing in Yorkshire was eventful, inspiring, unpredictable, amazing..  But I felt that I had gone as far as I could and needed to try something different…

London was always ‘The Dream’ for me. Any of my friends back home will testify that I was always talking about ‘When I move to London..’ Admittedly it took me a bit longer to actually make the move than I ever thought it would. But I finally got here – better late than never!

During this year in London my aim has been to work on lots of different film projects, get to see how other people work and make as many contacts as possible. I have attended film festivals, networking events, worked on short films, feature films and most recently ‘Persona’ a daily soap created specifically for the Smartphone.

It has been a great year but a hard year. Going from living in a small town where I knew a lot of people and had a support system around me to essentially living alone, and not really knowing anyone and trying to find work and make contacts was really, really tough. People have told me over and over that London is a lonely place and they are right – sometimes it is.

But on the other side of the coin, London is full of so many opportunities and interesting places and wonderful people. I have experienced so much this year that I didn’t really even think was possible. In terms of my filmmaking I have worked on some amazing projects and met some really talented people who I want to continue working with in the future. And most importantly I have been inspired by London and all the places I have been, and the people I have met and the experiences that I have had (and the drinks I have drank..)

My ultimate, ultimate goal is to write and direct my own feature film. This is what I am really working towards. (A horror film ideally, but that’s another story..)

I intend to use this blog as a space to talk about some of the projects that I am working on and the experiences that I have. And I am massively looking forward to what this 2nd year in London holds for me!

Thank you for reading,

Much love,

Sheena x

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3 Responses to “From Goole to Tooting…”

  1. ali April 11, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    heh sheena, a great idea and lovely to be able to see what you’re up to. i look forward to reading it x x x

  2. Roy Kibbler April 11, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    Hi Sheena
    Thats the sound of northern clapping…………
    great to know that its going so well…………
    I’ll follow chapter by chapter. You probably heard that Junction got its grant doubled!!

  3. Julian Shaw June 7, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Hey, Sheena! this blog is amazing. can’t wait to work with you again.

    lots of love, Julian Shaw x

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