London Premiere Set!

The London Premiere of Do Something, Jake is now set for 15 November 2018 at the Courthouse Hotel, London. Do Join us for this fantastic evening in one of London’s finest 5-star hotels! All tickets and details at the Eventbrite website

World Premiere – A resounding success

A wonderful audience response to Do Something, Jake at our World Premiere last week: cheers, smiling faces, laughter, a few shocks! I think it’s what we do this for! Pics and news of other screenings (including London) to follow soon on this website and social media.

IMG_5527
Actors Mia Mills and John Savage. Photo: David Ward
  • 110 minutes
  • 63 crew
  • 49 cast
  • 22 shoot days
  • 1 stunt coordinator
  • 1 director
  • 1 writer
  • 1 World Premiere
  • ZERO production budget!
  • 263 people cheering & applauding…
Odeon
Photo: Caroline Spence

Premiere Tickets On Sale!

The World Premiere is at the ODEON, Loughborough on Thursday 20th September 2018. Be sure to BUY TICKETS early!

THE SCHEDULE

17:00
People start arriving, gathering

17:45 to 18:15
Main photographs

18:30
Film programme start

20:30 until Late
The Orange Tree informal drinks

* These are approximate timings and may vary.

“UNMISSABLE!” Tickets still available (online only, not at the Odeon) but they are now going FAST → BUY NOW

This video shot some days ago sets the scene!

Film classified by BBFC as ’15’

Following our crowdfunding campaign, the DCP is complete and DO SOMETHING, JAKE has now been classified as ’15’ by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

A BIG THANK YOU to all of our A-List crowdfunding supporters who have mad this possible!

#DoSomethingJake

Crowdfunding Launch for THE BIG SCREEN

An Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign has been launched to get Do Something, Jake onto the BIG SCREEN.

Help us to raise £2,000 GBP for a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) and BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) certificate so that we can hold the UK Premiere (September 2018 – Loughborough, UK) and subsequent screenings in the UK and worldwide.

Click the CAMPAIGN LINK for full details of all the perks available and ways to support this unique no-budget feature film.

Thank you for your support!

#DoSomethingJake

Extreme UK Guerrilla Film-making #5

Why Extreme? Well, this is a feature film project shot in multiple locations (Leicestershire) with large cast, in 21 days, with no money or subsidy of any kind – nada, zilch. That’s what we did with Do Something, Jake and here are some insights in a series of blogs from the director and production team.

At time of writing, the film is nearing completion.

People and Gear

How do you source people and equipment when there is no production budget? In the case of Do Something, Jake this was through local contacts in Loughborough (UK), spreading the word, and a bit of luck. When we put the word out, many university graduates looking for experience approached us. Also local businesses, individuals, and a charity contacted us to help out. It seemed the story’s premise and the opportunity to work on a full-length feature film captured people’s imaginations.

This office location was kindly loaned by the Twenty Twenty charity in Loughborough. The crew had to work quickly on this long dialogue scene with actors Imogen Hartley, Alex Doddy, and Jamie Alderson. Image © 2017 Raya Films

None of the equipment was hired, so it was a matter of pooling together camera, lights, and grip gear that the crew owned. Fortunately, filmmaker, Tom Wallbanks, was able to loan a set of good quality lenses. Some of these were quite old and, unlike modern lenses, did not have full automatic functions. So, it was a matter of adapting our working methods to accommodate whichever lens we were using at the time. Despite the unconventional gear, the nature of these lenses, together with the autumnal light in November, seemed to deliver a certain ‘warm’ look to the film.

On Set

The crew gelled immediately. We seemed to find a balance between taking enough time to achieve a quality result and moving on quickly (essential when working on the street or in working environments such as restaurants, offices, etc.) Some people were not available throughout the entire shoot and so crew (and sometime cast members) would have to take other roles. For example makeup artist, Rachel Goodger, was invaluable as a runner and clapper loader when crew members were absent or busy with other tasks. Nathan Ifill also took on many roles from boom operator to clapper loader and runner. Rachel and Nathan are just two people from many cast and crew members who offered their time and skills to make the film happen.

Makeup artist, Rachel Goodger, regularly stepped in as clapper loader and runner. Image © 2017 Raya Films

Camera Department

The Director-DoP (Director of Photography) relationship is a vital and often fractious one, since the collaboration involves many subjective and technical decisions based on countless factors.

Cinematographer, Jonathan Hawes, steps in as clapper loader whilst the actors await nearby. It was windy with erratic noise from traffic, passersby, etc. Image © 2017 Raya Films

Furthermore, with our no-budget project, we had little or no time to prepare and scope out locations, and not all of the camera department were available for the entire shoot. Thus, the film is credited with three cinematographers: Jonathan Hawes, Josh Penlington, and me on the main film, plus Nick Williams for our short film A Real Peach (this was shot to provide additional black-and-white footage that the character of Jake watches on television in his apartment).

Same location. Cameras are now rolling as actors Mia Mills and Simon Crudgington deliver their lines out in the street in the village of Quorn. Image © 2017 Raya Films

Adding to our workload, we did not have a full team in other departments, and so Jonathan, Nick, and Josh were required to set up the lights, operate cameras and focussing, help out with production design, and a host of other tasks.

Despite these challenges, we found a way of working to best use our individual skills. Importantly, we worked swiftly enough to complete the film within three weeks without any major technical hiccups.

Jonathan Hawes pulled off an incredible ‘one take’ Steadicam shot, my first time using this type of camera stabilizer. Image © 2017 Raya Films

B-Rolls

In clip #5 below, Peter Pizzeria in Loughborough kindly loaned the use of their premises for a few hours. It’s starting to rain and a local building site is firing up, so we’re working as quickly as possible and dealing with problems as they arise. Jonathan is operating the camera, I am directing, and Josh is clapper loader. We need to sync the visuals and sound in two different positions: with Simon Crudgington in the foreground and with actors Tom Loone and Domenic Tiberius Russo in the distance. The sound crew are hiding in the container, to which Josh runs to get an audio sync mark.

In clip #6 below, Josh and actor, Jamie Alderson, struggle to keep the rain off themselves and the clapperboard. I try to move things on as quickly as possible as traffic hurtles close by.

In clip #7 below, US actor, Ed Bergtold, is required to deliver his lines opposite Sue Moore. He warms up to give the impression that he’s just run up the stairs, whilst the rest of us try to position the microphone, adjust the lighting, and camera position. We’re in a rush, as this is a large private property with residents coming-and-going, and we do not wish to outstay our welcome!

And then there was post-production, a phase that makes – and often breaks – a film. Those traumas will be exposed in the next blog post… coming soon!

James Smith, writer-director

@DoSomethingJake
#DoSomethingJake

 

Extreme UK Guerrilla Film-making #4

Why Extreme? Well, this is a feature film project shot in multiple locations (Leicestershire) with large cast, in 21 days, with no money or subsidy of any kind – nada, zilch. That’s what we did with Do Something, Jake and here are some insights in a series of blogs from the director and production team.

The film is nearing post-production completion and due to be released in 2017.

Auditions

The best decision we made on Do Something, Jake was to thoroughly audition the actors. It’s often tempting to watch reels online, do Skype auditions and interviews, thus saving time, venue hire costs, etc. This is shortsighted – something I have learned through hard experience!

Actors Jamie Alderson and Becki Lloyd. Copyright © Raya Fims 2017

There is no substitute for seeing people face-to-face under the pressure of an audition. When I look back at the auditions for this film, I had, in most cases, decided that an actor was suitable within a few minutes of them walking in and saying a couple of lines. We auditioned many people, and it was clear who shone – have a look at the Full Cast and Crew to see who made it through. It was interesting that some people were cast in roles that they were not auditioned for. This is one reason why actors should have a go at a role, even if they think the chance is slim – you never know what other roles the director and producers are looking for.

Notably, some experienced actors did not take up our invitation to audition for the film, deciding against involvement in such a speculative venture (or simply not replying). So, full credit must be paid to our cast (and crew) who took the plunge, and it is they who will now benefit.

Directing the Actors

For many actors, this was the first time working on a full-length feature film. Furthermore, the pressure of no-budget and real locations (not studio sets) meant that we were up against very tight deadlines, often in working premises or residential properties where people were going about their everyday business. Shooting quickly with the least disruption was the only option, thus adding pressure on the actors to deliver.

I did sense that this created nervousness with some of the actors, but also a healthy buzz. I tend to dump actors into the ‘deep end’ (in the nicest possible way of course!) so that we can get them in front of camera as soon as possible. They’re not always keen on this, but there are no amount of bathroom breaks, cups of water, makeup adjustments, or any number of other excuses, that will prevent the inevitable: they need to step in front of the entire crew, lights, microphones and cameras all rolling, and deliver their lines.

Fortunately on ‘Jake’, they all endured the pressure beautifully (as they had done in the auditions). So, by the skin of our teeth, we shot the whole film on no budget within three weeks.

But what about working with the crew? That’s in the next blog post… coming soon!

James Smith, writer-director

@DoSomethingJake
#DoSomethingJake