Final films: Presentation

And here is the final stretch of my degree presented in the form of my two films that I have produced this year:

‘The Sea Room’ (2016): Experimental Documentary


SYNOPSIS: In this poetic documentary set by the shores of the Baltic Sea, Jonas and Aiste, a couple from Lithuania, share and explore their memories from the first day they met and fell in love, through a mixture of archival footage and on-location recordings.

Lived by: Aistė Jucytė and Jonas Urvakis;
Director & Editor: Jonas Urvakis;
Producer: Rita Santos;
Cinematography & Colourist: Sara Roque Peres;
Sound: Zilvinas Puras;
Score: Denis Mikhailov.

 

‘Bad Coffee’ (2016): Mental health drama

 

SYNOPSIS: Violet “Tuck” Tucker, a veteran in a Depression Alliance group, meets Ashley Conway, a troubled young woman, and together go on a journey of love, losing control and acceptance.

Producer: Rita Santos;
Director: Andrija Petkeviciute;
Director of Photography: Nathalie Pitters;
1st ACs: Jonas Urvakis, Filippo Locatelli;
Camera Operator: Katrina Ytteborg;
Sound recordist & Sound design: Peter Williams;
Music composer: Tom Kopca;
SFX Makeup Artist: Iulia Roman;
1st AD: Catarina Ribeiro;
Production Assistant: Amnah Pervaiz;
Set design: Rita Santos; Amnah Pervaiz;
Editor: Mariana Valente;
Ashley SFX: Lucia Gilibert;
Colourist: Dominika Besińska.

 

Evangeline Beaven as Violet “Tuck” Tucker
Roseanna Frascona as Ashley Conway
Simon Christian as Barry

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TONY: Production Assistant

My secondary role consisted in production assisting my fellow producer and friend Amnah with her social realist film “Tony”.

My job consisted in organizing the call sheets of some of her production days and contacting pharmacies to see if they’d give permission to have part of the film shot in the premises.

The call sheets are presented below:

Amnah’s Call Sheet: Day 1

Amnah’s Call Sheet: Day 2

Amnah’s Call Sheet: Day 3

 

Overall it was a great experience working with Amnah once again but I only wished I could’ve been on set for the shoot, but I was unfortunately detained at work for most of it.

BAD COFFEE: Day 3

This morning was a very early start as we came at 8am but we all had to leave our house at 6am to be able to be on set on time, so everyone needed a strong cup of coffee to help to get things going faster.

We quickly moved into to shooting the breakup scene between the two main characters so we could have that completely done long before we needed to leave the house so the tenant could come in to quickly check the house before the next clients.

Thankfully we finished in time, although barely, and managed to pack everything fairly quick whilst giving a quick sweep of the house to make sure that everything was a clean as possible before leaving.

We then moved to a pub called “The Durell Arms” where we would shoot our coffee shop scenes with our two protagonists.

What was supposed to be a a shoot to wrap at 5pm, it ended at 11pm because of various different types of adversities that ranged from the obvious noise of clients in the opposite side of the pub, mixed with music blaring from the speakers to a low but distinguishable sound of a heater and the chattering between the extras that liked to talk amongst themselves when the cameras were actually rolling. So it was a hard day because of that.

Then because of the rehearsals, setting up and change of clothes, also contributed to the long overdue wrap for the day.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience because I managed to set design, along with Amnah, the location to make it look more like a coffee shop which was quite fun to add another “hat” alongside the Producer one. As well as the staff working there were absolute rockstars for being so understanding of our filming to the point that they accommodated us to not have music on in the pub for 3 hours whilst they had customers in and for not kicking us out when our shoot overran. The crew continued to be brilliant today as well as the cast.

I really feel like these struggles have only enhanced my passion for the craft and the respect I have for all those involved in making a film, any film, happen.

Namaste,

Rita

BAD COFFEE: Day 2

The house we shot in today was a house I found on Airbnb, situated in Fulham, which myself and Andrija reccee’d and fell in love with. Thankfully the owner was very kind and interested in having his house be centre stage to a film.

After having secured the house, the day of our shoot we had a very limited amount of hours that we could use the house for our filming purposes before the next client would check in the following day, 21st March, at 12pm.

Which meant that by the time we arrived at the house at 1pm, we would have to shoot into the night to be able to accommodate the lengthy scenes we need to film which included the first argument followed by the breakup scene of our two protagonists.

Unfortunately, by the time all the crew and the two actresses arrived at the location, we were already behind schedule for nearly 1 hour due to heavy traffic to get to the house. So I had to have a quick talk with our makeup artist so she knew we needed to move quick and get the actresses ready to shoot as soon as we finished setting up the equipment for the first scene of the day.

After a few rehearsals, with the entire crew and cast, we stared filming properly at 4pm. And the shoot ran until midnight, but not before myself, Andrija and the 1st AD, Catarina, decided that we needed to film the breakup scene tomorrow morning, before we needed to leave the location, so that we would have time to shoot it without having to be too worried with the time span we would have to do so.

After this was decided, I told Rosie, who plays Ashley, that she was wrapped for the day so we could focus on getting Tuck’s individual scenes out of the way.

Overall, our crew felt more comfortable in their respective roles today as we slowly get into the groove of the film and it’s importance for myself and Andrija. The actresses did a wonderful job in their portrayal and I could not thank them more. And the superstars that were our sound recordist, Peter, who always is ready to crack a joke with his dry sense of humor; Amnah, the production assistant, for being my right hand and the person that helps keep my sanity intact; Jonas, the 1st AC, for being so great in everything he does and the Iulia, the makeup artist, for being so talented and up for anything.

Onwards and upwards for tomorrow!

Namaste,

Rita

BAD COFFEE: Day 1

Today marks the beginning of a very emotional journey into a very personal film for myself and my Director, Andrija.

Our first scene with the full cast and crew happened in a classroom, on campus, where we shot the Depression Alliance group meeting where our two main protagonists meet eachother for the first time.

This day proved to be a hardship from the start as having to transport the equipment from the Grove building all the way to the opposite site of the campus, to the Williams building, and then up the stairs to our filming location was hard enough but then the set up of props, equipment, prepping the actresses’ hair, makeup and clothes and receiving calls and meeting with the extras I hired, made our first production day go three hours over schedule.

Not only that but the room we were situated in proved to create a lot of echoes Peter, our amazing sound operator, did not appreciate but also the sound of the hand dryer from the woman’s bathroom was quite audibly heard through a couple of intense scenes and we had to keep going to turn them off so we could swiftly continue.

Unfortunately, due to our shoot having overrun the estimated time frame we had set out to combined with the fact we needed to exit the building fairly soon as it was closing down for the evening, meant that we didn’t have enough time to finish the two of the scenes in the classroom and that we needed to reschedule the exterior scenes for another day.

Overall, it was an incredible first day because it was the first time we could see our characters, Tuck and Ashley, brought to life in front of our eyes and that made myself and Andrija quite emotional. And our crew has proved to be amazing with having to deal with so many adversities and still battling through and conquering them.

The next shoot day we will be filming in Fulham, through a house I found on Airbnb.

Namaste,

Rita

BAD COFFEE: Crowdfund video and website

After a long struggle of getting our crowdfund campaign up, it finally is online on YouTube, as seen above, and I created our online crowdfund page on GoFund that can be viewed HERE.

So far the way I constructed the the page offers the viewers three different levels of prize:

  1. Bronze level: For people who donate £10. They will receive a private link to the film before anyone else gets to see it.
  2. Silver level: For people who donate £50. They will receive a DVD copy of the film upon its release. They will also receive the above prize.
  3. Gold level: For people who donate £100. They will receive the above prizes and also an Executive Producer credit in our film.

The initial goal we aim to hit it £500, so hopefully we can do so!

We hope that through YouTube and our though publicity in our film’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages will help us to gain an audience that is interested in helping us bring our story to life.

Namaste,

Rita

THE SEA ROOM: Day 5

Today we wrapped our film. I still can’t believe it’s done. But it is and I am about to tell you what happened in the final day of our stay in Lithuania before myself and Sara had to fly back to London on the evening of the 17th January.

Since myself and Jonas started to discuss the initial ideas for the film back in October 2015, a lot has shifted in the storyline, the message, the theme, the basic ideas of what we wanted and didn’t want to showcase. But now, in January 2016, our film is complete and the nostalgia has already set in even though we were still filming two days ago.

Alas, on our last day which was the 16th January, we were exhausted by the conditions of shooting in Sventoji mixed with the two hour car ride back to Telsiai so we needed to recuperate our energy and we decided to draw out our credits for the film. It offered us the opportunity to connect more to eachother without having to be solely work related, although it was.

We began shooting early in the morning and we knew that the majority of what we needed was simply insert shots and cutaways of the house and outdoors. So we wrap our shoot before 12pm and pack everything up.

I feel so lucky that myself and Jonas found eachother again, after him being away in Prague for the whole of 2nd year, and that we reconnected and decided to work together again. I love the fact I got to share this project with him through which he has become one of my best friends. Sara, Zilvinas and Aiste have also become very important to me and I can’t for our screening in July so we can come together and see our film brought to life in front of our eyes.

Namaste,

Rita