Behind the Scenes: Missed Me?

By 12th October 2020Projects

Behind the Scenes: Missed Me?

A short article from Sarah Findley, who was kind enough to grace us with her help and presence whilst we filmed our new short film ‘Missed Me?’ for our campaign Not in our community. Sarah discusses her experience being a part of a film production team, exclusive interviews with the cast, and challenges faced when bringing a film to life with the new Covid-19 restrictions.

The Project

 

Hull-based marketing and social good company – eskimosoup – joined forces with the ‘Not In Our Community’ campaign to produce a series of short films, focusing on vulnerable young people in the local area. After months of rigorously planning and writing four intertwining storylines, the ‘Missed Me?’ project was ready to be filmed over the course of one late September weekend. Each short film follows the lives of one particular young person and their surrounding peers. The stories of Tabby, Rosie, Lisa, and Billy centre around sensitive topics, such as grooming, sexual abuse, drug dealing, and children in care. The main aim of the film project is to recognise and educate audiences on how such social issues lead to young people going missing.

My Experience

I first contacted eskimosoup on LinkedIn late last year, eagerly attempting to find some form of work experience in the marketing industry. After researching the company, I found that eskimosoup prides itself in not only focusing on the commercial side of marketing, but also the aim of creating socially good campaigns, which can implement change for the better in the local community. These attributes instantly sparked my attention and despite the challenges of lockdown, I remained in touch with Managing Director John. When the team offered me the opportunity to become a part of the production crew for the ‘Missed Me?’ project, I became overwhelmingly excited and grateful to be included in such a meaningful campaign.

My role for the weekend consisted of controlling the clapperboard, photographing the production process, interviewing members of the cast, running the Not In Our Community Instagram page, and generally aiding in the organisation of the sets. The experience introduced me to numerous local actors, with the younger members of the cast particularly impressing throughout. I look forward to seeing the cast’s future projects and successes.

The Team

Despite the rather wet weather and continuous chill in the air, the team at eskimosoup, consisting of John, Iain, and Pippa, remained professional and enthusiastic throughout. The outdoor scenes required the team to wrap up in a few more layers and remain extra cautious with expensive equipment, after strong winds sent one light flying over on the first night. With Iain heading up the camera work, John and Pippa focused on the story line and organisation of the sets and cast. The team welcomed me as part of the crew swiftly and made me feel very involved throughout the whole weekend. Although the indoor sets were temperature-wise a lot more enjoyable, the challenges Covid-19 posed often proved difficult for certain scenes. However, I completely admired the team’s persistence to enforce distance, check temperatures, keep hands sanitised, and wear masks. All done whilst successfully keeping a fairly young cast engaged with the project’s aims. The sensitivity of the team towards such difficult and complex stories was evident throughout the whole production process and I am sure that this will shine through on screen.

Interviews with the Cast

I was fortunate enough to spend some time interviewing three members of the cast over the weekend. Their experiences of acting and views on the project are recounted below.

Amara (Rosie):

Me: Why did you get involved with the project?

Amara: I used to do drama a lot when I was younger and was even with an agency for a while in Manchester. After a break from acting and a move to the local area, I decided to get back into drama, realising it has always been my passion to be an actor. I have recently been an extra in the Channel 4 show Ackley Bridge, but the ‘Missed Me?’ project seemed like the perfect opportunity to get some experience in a lead role for a bigger production.

Me: Do you think you will continue to be a part of more projects like these?

Amara: Yes. I thought I would be more nervous, but I actually relaxed and enjoyed the filming. It felt like I had never been away. I definitely want to pursue more projects like this one and think about doing acting in the long term.

Me: How did you feel about Rosie’s story?

Amara: My mum read the storyline out to me at first. The role of Rosie made me want to help people who are being groomed or abused. The difficulty of the issues in the story did make me feel nervous when on set, but I soon settled in well with the help of the cast and crew.

Chris (Dylan):

Me: Why did you get involved with the project?

Chris: I know a few people who have been involved with projects like these before with eskimosoup. That’s how I found out about the role. I want to be a part of productions which help others. The character of Dylan interested me as it shows how anyone can play a part in dangerous situations, including people you trust and care for.

Me: Have you been a part of a project like this before?

Chris: I recently graduated with a degree in drama from the University of Hull. However, I have mainly done theatre and university productions. This was something new for me.

Me: Are you interested in being a part of more productions like this one?

Chris: Yes. I was initially worried about playing the ‘bad guy’, but I have come to understand the message the film is portraying. I hope to do more acting like this in the future.

Savannah (Lisa):

Me: Why did you get involved with the project?

Savannah: A former teacher, who was in the Not In Our Community film ‘Alfie’s Story’, showed me the advertisement for the project on Instagram. I do performing arts at Wyke College and NAPA, but wanted to get back into acting in other projects.

Me: Do you think you will continue to be a part of more projects like these?

Savannah: I actually found out about the work Not In Our Community does about a year and a half ago. I was fascinated by the previous projects and would definitely like to continue to be involved after this film is released.

Me: How did you feel about Lisa’s story when you first read it?

Savannah: I think it doesn’t really click until you start performing this kind of story yourself. People my age seem so open about dealing and taking drugs on Snapchat stories. I find it quite shocking to see sometimes. This project really gives you a completely new outlook.

Release of the Film

The team at eskimosoup and Not In Our Community are aiming to release the series of short films on 9th November 2020. The production will be a resource used in schools and throughout the community to educate the public about how vulnerable young people can eventually become missing. The producers and cast of the film are all hopeful that such a project will have a long-lasting effect on the local community, inspiring change and a desire for a safer environment for all young people.

Written by Sarah Findley.

 

 

 

 

 

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