Tag Archives: Stephen Coltrane

The Ditch is finished!!

14 Jul

The DitchStephen (Producer), Sheena (Director), Lucy (Nina), Henry (Producer)

Yes! You read correctly! My short film The Ditch is finally finished! Look at those smiles! We are all so happy with that news!

Stephen and Henry arranged a lovely cast and crew screening for us at Odeon Covent Garden and it was incredible to watch the film on the big screen! Actually it was a bit emotional…

The Ditch

The Ditch

Stephen said a few words about the long and bumpy road we have been on while making The Ditch. Can you believe that in the end it took us 3 years to make?!

It was a long, long journey for all involved and the film has not ended up as we thought it would in the beginning, but as I said to Stephen the other day; I would not change a thing about the film! We have all put our heart and soul into it and I am so, so proud of everyone and of the finished product.

The DitchPhoto by Lee Guilliland

We are now submitting The Ditch to film festivals worldwide… It’s a nerve-racking time!! Please keep your fingers crossed for us!

Sheena x

Odeon Covent Garden

Photo by Lee Guilliland


G u t t e d

13 Sep


I was supposed to be shooting my horror film The Ditch this weekend…

But we have had to postpone the shoot because of bad weather…

The Ditch is set in a forest and therefore very dependant on the weather. We were so lucky last year, but unfortunately this year it was not to be.

We had a really tough decision to make  this week. Postponing the shoot was the most sensible thing to do to. I know weather forecasts can be wrong, but as it stands the weather looks terrible in Dorking this weekend. Not just wet and miserable but also unsafe to be in a forest because of the winds.

We are indie filmmakers making a low-budget film. We have enough money for two days of shooting at the location. We can’t afford another trip back there. If we did go this weekend that would be it – our only chance. If we went and it rained and we couldn’t shoot then we would have spent all of our money  that would be it – no film. Well, half a film.  So it is sensible to postpone and replan the shoot. Plus it means that I get some much needed days off this weekend. That is a bonus.

Charlie Brown


I am SO disappointed that im not making a film this weekend!! Making films is my favourite thing ever and so much of filmmaking is pre-production and post-production and logistics and planning… but actually being on set; actual production is AWESOME!! And it makes all the other stuff worth it! Team ‘On The Train Productions’ have been working SO HARD for so long – all with the goal of shooting The Ditch this weekend… And now were not shooting! Waaaaahhh! And I don’t know what to do with myself!

What makes it worse is that we have had such an overwhleming amount of support for Th Ditch – Stephen gave away his summer and ran an amazing crowdfunding campaign to fund this shoot. We reached our target because of all you lovely people who donated and it’s a massive kick in the teeth to not be able to thank you all with a pretty much finished film at the end of this weekend…

But anyway, it’s not the end of the world. We WILL finish this film. It’s just a case of more scheduling, more planning and more logistics now to work out when we can move this postponed shoot to…

I will leave you with my favourite pic of me from the 2012 shoot…

Mucho love xxx

Sheena Holliday, Director

Drink! Shoot! Collaborate!

19 Mar

Photo by Adam Greenwood

'The Ditch' cast and crew

Sheena Holliday, Director

Last September my film company Crestfallen Productions teamed up with On The Train Productions to shoot a short horror film ‘The Ditch’ which I directed. Shooting this film was a MASSIVE deal for me as I talked about here. The shoot itself was a gruelling but brilliant experience. We were in a forest for the weekend, luckily the weather behaved itself but I’m not going to lie to you; there were some really difficult moments during that weekend. One in particular was when we realised we had been overly ambitious with our shot list and there was NO WAY we were  going to shoot everything we had planned to…

Directing the fight scene

Sheena Holliday

However there were some truly amazing moments that weekend too. And one of them was having the absolute pleasure of working with the beautiful (in both senses) and talented cast –  Katie Pattinson (Donna) and Lucy Wilkins (Nina) and a wonderful and supportive core team of crew members. I am uber excited about the footage we have shot – I just can’t wait to finish shooting it and get the film out there!!

Last week we had a small meet up to chat about how things have been going and what is happening next. Unfortunately not everyone could make it (a lot live outside of London – Lucy is a Yorkshire lass and lovely Ashley (sound) lives on the south coast..) But it was great to catch up with those who could make it.

Stephen Coltrane

Katie and Henry

Katie and Henry

During the evening the subject of ‘collaboration’ came up. Of course it did. Bottom line: doing creative work such as making a film has to be a collaboration with equally passionate people because none of you are doing it for the money (Ha! What money?) So it is essential to find people who you can work well with but who most importantly you can trust. I am lucky enough to have found some of these wonderful people to collaborate with and believe me I will be clinging on to them for dear life.

Sheena Holliday

Stephen Coltrane

Henry Coleman

Anna Haffers

The plan is to shoot the rest of ‘The Ditch’ next summer (basically when the trees match!) We have a lot of planning and organising to do before then, but that is fine, I am looking forward to working closely with all these people again. Believe me, it takes a lot of passion for a project to keep it going this long! But luckily everyone involved in ‘The Ditch’ believes in the film and is being very patient and understanding. Watch this space for more updates… : )

Anna and Katie


Much love xxx

As one dream shatters… Another one comes true…

14 Sep

So 2012 has been a really sucky year for me!! 2012 has well and truly battered me emotionally. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse… it did! It’s been that kind of a year. I’ve spent most of the summer feeling very disillusioned (among other things…)

I’m writing this because I just want to comment on how ironic life is… So, things are not great in my life right now – things are hard; I’m generally feeling very sad. And yet things in my working life are going really well! I am seriously lucky right now because I have so many amazing opportunities in front of me and I’ve met some wonderful people who I have the chance to work with and learn from. This, right now, is the reason that I moved to London 2 years ago. To be involved in these kinds of projects. But I can’t get over the fact that it is all happening right now! When one section of my life is a wasteland and I’m feeling like I have to claw my way through each day. But then maybe this is the perfect time for all of this to happen. Maybe it’s because I need it the most.

I have three big projects that I am really excited about at the moment. I’m just going to talk about one of them because this particular one is very current.

So, this weekend I am directing a horror film. Wow. This is literally A DREAM COME TRUE for me! Anyone who knows me in real life will know this – I go on, and on, and on about horror films whenever I am given the opportunity (and a lot of the time when I’m not…). I am very vocal about what I do and don’t like in horror. If I was ever asked what my life’s dream was – it was to direct a horror film. And I am doing it this weekend!!!

Making an independent film is hard work. The budget is tight/non-existent and it is certainly not something you work on to pay the bills – it is something that you do because you love filmmaking. On The Train Productions and Crestfallen Productions have been planning this film for about a year and everyone on the team has put endless hours of work into all of the pre-production. We have visited and revisited the location, we have drafted and redrafted the script, we have planned the shot list, adjusted the shot list, re-planned the shot list, then adjusted the shot list again. We have talked and talked about make-up, head wounds and car crashes. We have debated cigarettes vs alcohol and coat vs dress. I wake up every morning at 5.40am – wide awake and stressed about something that I can’t put my finger on. I don’t think Stephen has slept properly at all this summer. On the shoot this weekend we are going to be working 12+ hour days. In a forest. With very basic amenities. There will be no phone signal, internet or contact with the outside world. Things will get stressful on set as we start to fall behind our meticulously planned schedule, or we start to lose the light, and of course the weather is a massive factor – if it rains we are quite screwed… BUT I AM LOVING EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF IT!! I GET TO DIRECT A HORROR FILM!!

I don’t honestly know what I am going to do with myself once we’ve shot this film… Oh wait! I do – we start on ‘post-production’…

Seriously though, I feel so very lucky to have all of the opportunities that I currently do, and I feel seriously blessed to have such amazing friends and colleagues surrounding me who have all helped me through this summer in different ways. I am so grateful to you all.

I suppose the point of this post is just what the title says, remember that ‘As one dream shatters another one comes true…’. I am living proof of that right now. And I just wanted to share that…

Mucho love x

The last few days in pictures… And words!

11 Sep

My life is crazy busy right now – so much is going on! It’s all great stuff though, and all mega exciting! As well as all my other work I am directing a short horror film ‘The Ditch’ this coming weekend… Last week I had my first rehearsal with Katie Pattinson who will be playing Donna. We met up for coffee and had a really good discussion about the script and Donnas role in it. ‘The Ditch’ is all about Donnas decisions and their consequences, so it is really important that Katie and I both totally understand how and why Donna makes each of her decisions. Katie brought so much to that first rehearsal, so many ideas and reasons, it was brilliant! I thought I knew Donna inside out but Katie opened up some amazing new ideas for me, and gave me lots to think about…

On Saturday I was back on location in Dorking for a final tech rehearsal for ‘The Ditch’. We went through the shot list for next weekend and planned exactly where the camera would go. Our fabulous DP Mat took a still for each camera position so we will end up with a super snazzy storyboard that everyone on set will be able to follow.

The only thing that I am not loving about this storyboard is that all of the images are of me… I stood in as Donna for the tech rehearsal, which was really useful because now that I have physically done all of the movements myself it will be much easier to translate this to Katie.

I am just getting so excited for the shoot this coming weekend! While we were at the location – even though it was stressful trying to work everything out it was still a totally brilliant day and I kept just feeling overwhelmingly happy and excited! It’s a good feeling!!

Then Sunday saw me all snazzed up, suited and booted –  because it was a super special and exciting day – it was the  Studio Film School annual red carpet premiere! I have been working for SFS for the past year – running filmmaking workshops with groups of young people, and Sunday was the day when we all came together and watched the films on the big screen and celebrated how hard everyone has worked all year! Awesome!

It was such a lovely day, all the young people were dressed up and there was a red carpet outside the cinema and we had ‘paparazzi’ –  it was brilliant! The films that were screened were ace and it was so inspiring to see so much young talent in one room. I’m really looking forward to starting back at the SFS Saturday film shoots in a couple of weeks.

Mucho love x

Ditched, Savaged and Avenged…

22 Aug

This summer has been totally fantastically insane for me workwise!  I have been lucky enough to work on some really interesting projects in a few really unusual locations! I LOVE being freelance!!

One of the projects that I have been working on is really gathering speed now and it’s getting incredibly exciting!! Late last year Stephen and I started working on a short horror film story which after months of hard work, has turned into ‘The Ditch’ and we are shooting in less than a month!!

The Ditch tells the story of Donna, a pregnant woman speeding away from a violent relationship. In the middle of nowhere she runs someone over and after that things just get worse for Donna as she makes bad decision after bad decision. The Ditch will be a tense and gripping short film which constantly asks the audience ‘what would you do?’

We held an audition day last Saturday in central London, it was a great day and we saw some really talented, lovely people! We have to make our casting decision this week – it’s going to be hard!!

On Monday we headed back to our location – a forest in Dorking  – and met up with our DP and AD to go through the logistics of the shoot. It was a brilliant day!! As we were walking through all the shots it was like I could see the film right in front of me. An awesome feeling!!

Mucho Love x