What’s your Persona??..

4 Oct

Hmmm an interesting question… We all have many personas that we let the outside world see – different personas to deal with different situations. Some people even live their entire lives showing the world a persona of someone who they think they should be or who they want to be, rather than the real person inside. For some it’s a way to deal with what life throws at them, appear strong and that you can deal with anything and then eventually it will become true..

The internet makes it very easy for us to have an ‘online persona’ whether it is on one of the many social networking sites or on an internet dating site. We can be ‘someone else’ on the internet. We can spend hours composing witty emails that make us sound intelligent, fun and interesting when in real life we would have no idea what to say let alone be able to give a witty response!

This idea that our ‘online persona’ can be totally different to our real life persona and that we may be deceived by people we ‘meet’ online, or we might be the deceiver (intentionally or not) is the basic idea behind  ‘PERSONA’ – a project I have been involved with recently…

‘PERSONA’ is a soap created specifically to be viewed on a smartphone. It is downloaded as an app and then every day a new ‘appisode’ will be delivered directly to your phone.

‘PERSONA’ is the first production by App Media and I have worked on it as a Producer and Director. The app launched last week – it is now available from the app store and the android market – just search ‘Persona Drama’ and the first 1000 downloads are free…

Making ‘PERSONA’ was a great experience for me. I had the opportunity to work with some amazing cast and crew many of whom I will definitely be collaborating with on projects in the future – some I already am!

So far we have made seasons 1 and 2 of ‘PERSONA’ with a very small budget, and we are currently trying to raise funds to shoot season 3. Season 1 and 2 were made with a lot of love and goodwill from everyone involved. Cast, crew and writers all believed in the project wholeheartedly and wanted to see it succeed. Without this passion seasons 1 and 2 would not have been possible in the way that they were.

We shot ‘PERSONA’ on location mainly around South London – Clapham and Wandsworth. Both season 1 and 2 were 7 day shoots each. And the actual amount of footage we shot was the equivalent to half a feature film each season. That was a LOT of footage to shoot in such a short amount of time! On the sets everyone worked incredibly hard, we had a lot of locations to get around and the pace of work was relentless… However we always found time to have a laugh during the shoot days, so although they were gruelling shoots they were brilliant.

In season 1 I directed two stories. The first one was Jane’s story…

Jane has met Richard on the internet dating site i-heart-u. In real life though he is not what she expected, but somehow she ends up dating him anyway. Whilst trying to dump Richard, Jane meets the wonderful Lee who ticks all her boxes, but before she can date Lee she needs to dump Richard once and for all..

Shooting Jane’s story was great fun because the script was very funny. Jane gets herself into some real predicaments trying to ditch Richard. Jane’s story was also shot in a number of different locations so we had the opportunity to shoot some great outdoor scenes; Filming on Northcote Road near Clapham Junction as Jane and Lucy work as ‘chuggers’, some really cute bench scenes where Jane and Lee meet and fall in love and a beautiful moonlit scene where Jane tries to dump Richard… Again…  All of these scenes were actually shot on the same day, so this was easily my favourite shoot date for season 1.

The second story I directed was Jamie’s story…

Jamie is a struggling actor who lives with his two best mates Ciara and Noodle. Jamie is trying to make himself feel better about his failing career by using i-heart-u to meet and date attractive women, ignoring the advice that his good friends keep giving him.

Jamie’s story was more of a challenge to shoot because nearly the whole thing was all set in the same house.  It meant we had to get creative with how to shoot those scenes. We shot all of these house scenes in one day and luckily for me, that day I had not one but two amazing DOP’s working with me – John Livesey and Fabio Guglielmelli – a real luxury! Also the character of Noodle is an artist so there were lots of fun props and set dressing for these scenes; easels, paint brushes, willow lanterns etc.

I also had a brilliant opportunity to work with Vaughan Bailey – Mr England 2010, in Jamie’s story…

Also I make a cheeky cameo in Jamie’s story… See if you can spot me : )

‘PERSONA’ is available to download as an app NOW!!  If you have a smartphone PLEASE download it now and support all the very talented cast, crew and writers who made season 1 and 2 possible… Thank you! : )

Check us out on facebook and twitter as well.

Mucho love x

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