Thicker than Water


At the end of last year, there was a ‘film in a day’ project that has been written about elsewhere. Under the pressure of this event to produce a workable script, I came up with some characters and made a short family drama.  Following on from this, I found myself exploring one of the characters and developing a longer script, which I decided I wanted to make as my first ‘serious’ fiction film.

The protagonist is an elderly lady who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and in the drama we see her both coping and not coping with everyday life, and going off on a quest to defend a member of her family.  I gave it a working title of ‘Thicker than Water’, which has stuck.

I’m both scriptwriter and director, but I’m well supported by Patrick De Landre-Grogan, who volunteered to be my producer and has put in nothing less than sterling work helping me keep the show on the road.  The first task was to recruit actors; I already had Christine Sargent of SPP Theatre Company, who’d starred in the short, and with her help I went about casting three other family members.  This proved to be great as there were already strong links between the actors, which meant they worked together beautifully.  We shot some preliminary scenes at Patrick’s house at the beginning of June with him on camera which went well, and then we began to gear up for and plan the main shoot.

Mouse-over the thumbnails to enlarge each photograph.

We were hugely lucky to be lent a house in Butcombe while my friend Gill made her annual trip to Glastonbury, and her partner Will, who’s not unfamiliar with filming, even stepped in as a minor character. With another half-a-dozen club members helping out on sound, clapper, cameras, etc, including Jane Andrews as assistant director and Steve Andrews as DOP, we were well and truly away.  The shoot went extremely well – I was very chuffed when Steve said to me that he thought it had been ‘…a very well-organised shoot’, and the footage is now safely on my computer and backed up on the club’s hard drive.

There’s one more shoot to go, which is happening in October, with the addition of two new cast members, including both Tim Smart, and the delightful Imogen Greenwood, who is not only new to the club but new to Bristol and keen to act in films.  Once I have all the footage safely under my belt, I shall embark on the edit. I’ve splashed out on a new editing programme – Sony Vegas Pro 13 – because I was finding the version of Pinnacle that I was using a bit limiting, and rather than just upgrade I thought I’d try something new.  So, I may not be around much for some time once I’m stuck into the editing process.  Which I’m really looking forward to.

Sue Mansi

September 2014

UPDATE:  October 12

Here are couple of photographs taken on the final shooting day by Tim Smart.

Mouse-over to enlarge.