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The Adventure begins
They won the votes.
The cash is (almost) in the bank.
A film needs to be made.
THIS DIARY FOLLOWS BEN & ALFIE'S JOURNEY OF MAKING THEIR WINNING PROJECT COME TO LIFE.
Hop on board!
Ben here with an update from the CRUSTS production team! We've been busy since GET IT MADE UK, tweaking our script, crewing up and as of recently locking in our location and cast. After a few editorial sessions together with the director Alfie, we felt the script was in a really good place for us to start reaching out to crew and get things moving in earnest!
The response from crew has been overwhelming, with the calibre of individuals interested in coming on board leaving us truly humbled. From Emmy and Sundance winners to BIFA nominees, we've had the opportunity to meet so many talented people who are really passionate about CRUSTS. Many had their own experiences dealing with suicide and it has been deeply moving to hear how much the script meant to them. Alongside these amazing people. we have also brought on board award-winning production company Grey Moth Films to back the project. Working with them has been a delight and we are in awe of the experience they bring to the table. We couldn't be happier with out team so far and look forward to working with them more closely to bring CRUSTS to life!
So finally after all that prep, Alfie and I got the chance to jet off to the Emerald Isle for an intensive recce and to kick off our auditions process. It was straight off the plane and into the car to begin a 250+ mile journey over 2 days across Northern Ireland to find our perfect location. We made our way to the beautiful walled city of Derry first, followed by a scenic road trip along the North Coast of Antrim to take us through Ballycastle, Glenariff, and Ballymena (though travelling at 60 mph on twisting and narrow country roads does tend to result in pretty severe car sickness!).
While we saw what are probably some of the most beautiful churches and cemeteries in Ireland, in the end we completely fell in love with a stunning chapel in Ballintoy. With Rathlin Island and the Irish Sea as its backdrop we knew almost immediately that we had stumbled upon something truly special and are delighted to say that after discussing the film with the local clergy that we have now secured it as our location!
Squeezed in the middle of our 2 day recce was a full day of auditions with our absolutely amazing Casting Director Amy Blair. The whole process ran like clockwork and Amy did a stellar job finding some of the most exciting talent that Northern Ireland has to offer to come in and read for us. Seeing words that I had written on a page performed back to me was a pretty surreal moment but it was definitely the one of the most enjoyable casting experiences that I've had the pleasure of being involved in, not least thanks to my own mother who insisted on bringing homemade baked goods despite my embarrassment (but to the delight of the actors!).
I knew that for CRUSTS, with such crucial scenes resting on the shoulders of younger talent, that we needed a director with that experience to really make the film sing. While pitching for GET IT MADE UK, one of the reasons I was so drawn to Alfie's work was that I had seen the wonderful performances he had gotten from very young talent in his last short film MY BROTHER IS A MERMAID. He didn't disappoint during the auditions and did such a wonderful job working with the young actors who came in ensuring that they all felt confident, comfortable, and above all had fun. In the end, they all gave really brilliant performances and were duly rewarded with a slice of my mother's cake!
It was really tough deciding between so many talented individuals but after a lot of debate we landed on 4 really special people to take on the roles of Fergal, Kathleen, Sorcha, and Deidre and we couldn't be more excited to work with them! The next couple of weeks will be meeting-heavy as we work with our fantastic heads of department across production design and costume to really make sure CRUSTS pops visually while also working with our DOP to really fine tune the visual language of the film. Onwards and upwards!
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