When Dan and Shirley get the call from their solicitor to let them know that they've finally completed on their house and they're able to move into their dream home, Shirley realises that they may already be too late...
A few months ago I reached out to the writing community on Twitter looking for sketches to film during the current pandemic. I had a huge response from a bunch of talented writers and I thought that I would look at putting together a mini-series of the best ones.
I received a really fun sketch from Draycott & Trimm (Ann-Marie Draycott and Charity Trimm) called Early Shirley and thought it would be a great first sketch to make.
As the director I was tasked with finding two talented actors to fill the roles and luckily I remembered a great actor called Mufrida Hayes who had done a script read for me recently. I got in touch and offered her the role (which she kindly accepted) because she had an amazing energy and I knew that she would bring something really special to the role.
When I began looking for the other lead, I asked Mufrida for a recommendation and she told me to get in touch with Ravin J Ganatra, a friend and a fellow actor with quite a bit of comedy experience. I had a chat with Rav and again he also liked the script and he came on board to play Dan. I loved Rav's portrayal of Dan, he managed to capture the hopelessness of the character and with just one look we immediately 'got' how he was feeling.
SAFETY FIRST! Keeping the set Covid-safe meant that we had to ensure the actors kept a safe distance at all times and we made sure we rehearsed outside on the day and wore masks when we filmed. Oh and we had buckets of hand sanitiser as well!
We also kept the crew very small which meant that I doubled up as director and DOP and filmed everything myself on my Sony A7iii camera and my talented partner Sophie, recorded the audio and dressed the set.
We shot on a Weebil gimbal, Samyang prime lenses and managed to use all natural light which gave us a nice look but also meant we didn't have to spend too long on the set up.
I edited and colour graded the film myself using DaVinci Resolve studio. I regularly colour grade in DaVinci but this was one of the first times I used it for editing as well. I usually use Premiere Pro but was pleasantly surprised how simple and initiative it was to assemble the edit.
As it was edited in Resolve I didn't have to worry about any workflow issues between the software and graded the sketch to be as vibrant as possible.