Highwayman was the first "real" film I made on my own. Before this, I had made experimental films, worked on films in groups, and even made a music video. This was the first time I had ever got together actors, locations, costumes, crew and written and directed a short film.
The focus of the production for me was to get everything organised. The story for the film is extremely simple and not challenging in any way but for my first film I believe this to be a good thing. It gave me a chance to get used to the producer side of film making. Having to organise everything myself really taught me that there is always a way to bring your ideas to life.
When you are making your own film, it is a difficult balance between focusing on the story and focusing on the logistics of the production. In a professional environment, a director will only have to focus on the art of film making as producers and other crew members will take care of the rest. Unfortunately, you are not always given such a freedom as an independent film maker. But this shouldn't limit any aspect of your film, it just requires a lot more hard work!
I came up with the idea for this film after watching lots of twilight zone episodes (hence the surreal nature of the film). The total time I had for this production was about 5-6 weeks so it was a very steep learning curve! The main lesson I learnt from the production of this film was how much work you can achieve in a short amount of time.
- During the shoot day, the police were called as some of the local farmers had had horses being stolen recently and they thought we were doing the same. Luckily I had called the police before the shoot and informed them that I would be filming here. (God knows why they thought a group of people with cameras and a man dressed as a clown would be stealing horses!)
- The cutaway shot of the birds flying away was achieved by getting one of my friends to jump into the field and run at the birds.
- We only used a small stretch of road for the entire shoot but as the background was just hedges, we could drive past the same hedge and it would give the illusion that the characters had driven a greater distance.
- The car never goes above a speed of 30mph but due to the background, it looks like it is going a lot faster.
- The shoot was completed in around 6 hours as it was winter and there wasn't many hours of daylight.
If you have any questions about the production of the film, feel free to leave a comment below!