• Ecstasy

    A disabled father and his son try to buy drugs...what could possibly go wrong?

Title

Ecstasy BIG UPDATE

Tue 10th Mar 2020, 8:59
SO here it is… the big Ecstasy UPDATE ALERT. It’s long, fun… potentially emotional. So here goes…

For those of you that don’t want to read a seriously long update you can watch a 4 minute video here: https://greenlit.fund/project/ecstasy

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The big news, the BIG BIG NEWS is that on January 27-28th we shot Ecstasy. We’d been planning throughout the crowdfund and all over Christmas and finalising in January and here we were, 2 days to capture movie magic. But before that, let’s talk about casting…

After the crowdfund ended we had a myriad of things to plan. But finding our cast was the most important one. We knew going in that we wanted amazing actors to be involved. We had Nathan. Nathan’s incredible, but we needed more. Enter Heather Basten. A casting agent extraordinaire. Now outside of adverts this was new territory for me. We’d planned in our budget to use a casting agent as a way to make our movie even better. It can be really difficult to get talented people to come onboard a short film. The hours are long, the pay is low and I’m not Spielberg… yet.

So what exactly does a casting agent do? Well, they read the script and come up with ideas for the roles, they find you talented people, make the connections with their agents and try to convince them to work for equity minimum on a shoot in deepest darkest South East London, half filmed at night with the prospect of rain. But boy did Heather deliver. We were lucky enough to cast Brian Bovell (The Missing, The Bill, Gimme Gimme, Gimme) Holli Dempsey (Black Mirror, Harlots, The Aliens, Derek) Laura Jane-Hudson (Derek, Johnny English Strikes Back, Four Weddings and a Funeral), Hilary Tones (Bliss! Eastenders, Doctors) all combined with a spectacular cameo from my Dad, Bob, we were in for  some incredible acting.

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The wheels were firmly set in motion and 3+ months of planning rested upon two fateful days where everything had to go right. So inevitably the day started with a lie in. Not cause we’re lazy but because we were going to be filming until 1am. After a morning of positive vibes and packing up kit, snacks and importantly my Dad we rolled forth to the setting of Day 1. A car park in Thamesmead for the all important drug deal scene. And this is where everything that was out of our control that could go wrong… started to go wrong.

A burst tyre on our lighting van way over in west London set off a chain of events that I’ve never faced filming. Our producer Emily was in the van with our runner Alex and they’d rolled up to Panavision, one of the UK’s leading kit hire companies who were giving us a 90% discount on lights. Emily and Alex’s smiley faces were met by some very concerned looks by the staff there. THE TYRE! With no experience changing tyres on a Luton box van the lovely team there helped us out but it took a lot longer than expected, this combined with disastrous traffic led to a 4 hour delay in the van’s arrival on location. Don’t ask me how, but it happened and it was stressful.

Meanwhile at the car park, the community centre that had agreed to let us use a space from 2pm - 12pm decided to change their minds last minute and only allow us in from 6pm - 11pm. This was a problem because we’d planned on using their electricity. So we had to hire an emergency generator to power our lights. With Emily and Alex’s ETA now 4.30pm we made the most of what we could whilst keeping an eye on some very grey clouds looming in the distance. Our contingency was to film some scenes at sunset, but the traffic was truly horrendous and our actors 1 hour journeys doubled meaning that they arrived as the sun was going down.

Finally, the lighting van arrived but the sun had set and as you can imagine setting up a car park filled with lights in the dark takes double as long as it does in daylight. I have never faced these kinds of issues before so externally I was trying to show that this was all character building but internally I was dying.

Okay so finally we got everything up and running. A healthy 4 hours later than planned but we had to push things forward. And that’s when the rain started. I’m not talking a gentle drizzle, I’m talking BIBLICAL Noah’s Arc styled rain. We had hired big movable tents called ‘Easy ups’ to cover equipment and the team but the rain was so powerful and so loud that there were points where we simply couldn’t record because of the sound. Anyway we powered through our key drug deal scene, which in spite of the conditions was amazing. The acting was incredible.

At this point it was dinner time. We’d been given the keys to the centre and all the crew tucked into a lovely hot meal that kept spirits high. Food = morale. Me and the core team assembled for a crisis discussion. It was obvious that at this point with 4-5hours to go that we were not going to film all of the movie. It was a heart breaking decision to come to but it was the truth. So we came up with a battle plan to try and film all the actors out of the movie except Nathan, and we’d come back with Nathan at a later date to fill in the gaps.

So, we ploughed on, through awful rain and having to re-wire our lights at 11pm when they kicked us out of the centre. My feet were so drenched that I had to change my socks for carrier bags just to keep them dry! We finished filming at 1am and left the car park at 3am. When I got home I had a very early hours conversation with my wife and I was sad. Everything we captured was beautiful and the acting was incredible but we simply run out of time. Sigh.

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Day 2 conversely was one of the best days of filming that I’ve ever had in my entire life. Legally you have to give 11 hours between the end of the day and the start of the next day so we started at 2pm (Losing 2 hours). But my day had started to Nina Simon’s - ‘Feeling good’ so I knew we were onto a winner from the start.

We kicked off things outside a community hall in Mottingham. Filming the movie’s opening scene, where our characters Kristian and Ian drop off Mum and wife, Rachel to a dance class. It was a lovely scene and a joy to see Hilary, Nathan and Brian all inhabiting the characters I’d lovingly created over the previous 6 months. Once we wrapped there the guy who was closing up the church hall casually dropped into the conversation that he was the steadicam operator on the Shining! A 22month shoot filled with gruelling days. It sort of made our 2 day short film feel like a breeze!

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Buoyed by this we moved the team to my parents' house for the final bits of filming. A big party scene! How I’d convinced my poor parents to let us film at their’s beyond me because the house was rammed. Equipment vans all around and inside was full of our lighting team and art director, assistants and runners dressing the set whilst party extras filled the kitchen, bedrooms, hallway and bathroom waiting for us to be ready. This was an extra special moment because we had a number of people living with Parkinson’s disease as part of the scene and it was a joy to see them witnessing the madness and having what seemed like a great time! I don’t want to give too much away but we had some beautiful moments with an all important steadicam sequence and a spectacular cameo from my Dad, Bob. There was a moment before a certain sequence that I had to give a big speech to explain to everyone what was about to happen and I’m not going to lie, I broke down into floods of tears, it was a very emotional moment and one that I’ll never forget. We finished at 2am and I found a case of beers in the garage which I shared amongst the crew. If my parents are reading this, I owe you a 20 pack of Stellas!

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So, what’s happened since? Well, after returning all the kit, cleaning my parents' house and paying everyone's invoices we all had to go back to work to earn money! I’d put work on hold for a quite a few months to make this film and so we put our heads down whilst our editor assembled the first draft of our movie. A month later Emily and I sat with him to watch the film for the first time with the lights turned off for true cinematic effect and we held our breathes…

There were laughs, tears and a fair bit of dancing in our seats, the movie is going to be very very special. BUT what we know and what we knew all along from day 1 is that it wouldn’t be complete. Looking at it, it’s 70% complete and we need to film for 1 more day. And that’s why we need to raise money again to film in the car park. At 2pm today we launch a new crowdfund to cover the costs of re-shooting at the car park and we’d love it if all of you could share it far and wide so we can complete the movie and make it happen! https://greenlit.fund/project/ecstasy

We have to film it this month on March 25th because of a number of extreme factors. Firstly, the car park location is getting DEMOLISHED. It was an email out of the blue, but the Peabody estate has told us the car park is going very very soon! I cannot describe the continuity problems we will face if we can’t film there. Secondly if we’re to get Brian back for this shoot, which would be ideal, we need to get him before his beautiful beard is shaved off for other roles. And lastly, it has always been our ambition to do a screening on April 11th which is World Parkinson’s Day.

You have helped us so much so far and believe me when I tell you that this isn’t the position, we’d planned to be in. But we are here and we’re going to do everything we can to make it happen and if you can help us along the way we’ll be eternally grateful! From the start we've wanted to tell a story about Parkinson's disease and dancing that's very different and ask the question, if you were disabled what lengths would you go to, to dance with a loved one, one last time. Thank you! Peace and love, Grant and the whole team!

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£3,695.00
raised of
£7,000.00
53% funded
86
Days left
  • 286 Backers
Genre: 
Comedy
Scope: 
Short
Seeking funding for: 
Completion

Created By Granttaylor

Donation

You can make a pledge to support Ecstasy without receiving a reward. The minimum donation is £1.00.
£
SHOUT OUT
Pledge
£5.00
Thaaaaaaanks! Get our never-ending gratitude and a shout out on our Twitter and Facebook for being a kind supportive soul.
SPECIAL THANKS
Pledge
£10.00
Thank you kindly. You'll be getting a ‘Special Thanks’ in the credits of the film as well as a shout out on social media.
GET THE FILM
Pledge
£15.00
Thanks! Once the film is complete, you’ll be sent an exclusive private link to watch ‘Ecstasy’ online as well as a ‘Special Thanks’ in the credits of the film and a shout out on social media.
GET THE FILM & DONATE TO CHARITY
Pledge
£30.00
Wow! This is an extra special pledge because we’re going to donate £5 of this pledge to a UK Parkinson’s research charity. This is your opportunity to support a film and help to find a cure. On top of this you’ll also receive a shout out on social media, a ‘Special Thanks’ in the credits of the film and, once the film is complete, you’ll be sent an exclusive private link to watch ‘Ecstasy’ online.
SCRIPT LOVER
Pledge
£40.00
Thank you! This is for the film fanatics out there. You will get to see how the script has been developed, from the very first draft up until the final shooting script and storyboard - truly seeing how the film has come to life. On top of this, you’ll also receive a shout out on social media, a ‘Special Thanks’ in the credits of the film and, once the film is complete, you’ll be sent an exclusive private link to watch ‘Ecstasy’ online. Plus, we’ll donate £5 of this pledge to a UK Parkinson’s research charity.
THE RAVER
Pledge
£50.00
Thank you and thank you again! You’ll get an exclusive MP3 copy of the films Original Soundtrack composed especially for the film and a Unique Postcard from the filmmakers - what more could you want? On top of this, you’ll also receive a shout out on social media, a ‘Special Thanks’ in the credits of the film and, once the film is complete, you’ll be sent an exclusive private link to watch ‘Ecstasy’ online. Plus, we’ll donate £5 of this pledge to a UK Parkinson’s research charity.
THE ALL NIGHT RAVER
Pledge
£100.00
A huge thanks! These rewards keep on getting better and better. You will get a gorgeous unique film still of your choice from the film. On top of this, you’ll also receive a shout out on social media, a ‘Special Thanks’ in the credits of the film and, once the film is complete, you’ll be sent an exclusive private link to watch ‘Ecstasy’ online. Plus, we’ll donate £10 of this pledge to a UK Parkinson’s research charity.
LIMITED EDITION
Pledge
£150.00
Thanks a million! You’ll get a Limited-Edition Poster signed by the Cast and Crew. On top of this, you’ll also receive a shout out on social media, a ‘Special Thanks’ in the credits of the film and, once the film is complete, you’ll be sent an exclusive private link to watch ‘Ecstasy’ online. Plus, we’ll donate £15 of this pledge to a UK Parkinson’s research charity.
Platinum Edition
Pledge
£200.00
Thanks a platinum! You’ll get a 'Platinum-Edition' Poster which is signed by the Cast and Crew. On top of this, you’ll also receive a shout out on social media, a ‘Special Thanks’ in the credits of the film and, once the film is complete, you’ll be sent an exclusive private link to watch ‘Ecstasy’ online. Plus, we’ll donate £20 of this pledge to a UK Parkinson’s research charity. Big up!
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Pledge
£500.00
Thank you, boss! You’ll be credited as an Associate Producer on the finished film, with an official IMDb credit and get a copy of the finished script. On top of this, you’ll also receive a shout out on social media, a ‘Special Thanks’ in the credits of the film and, once the film is complete, you’ll be sent an exclusive private link to watch ‘Ecstasy’ online. Plus, we’ll donate £50 of this pledge to a UK Parkinson’s research charity.
FILM EXEC
Pledge
£1,000.00
Thank you, boss! You’ll be credited as an Executive Producer on the finished film, with an official IMDb credit and get a copy of the finished script. On top of this, you’ll also receive a shout out on social media, a ‘Special Thanks’ in the credits of the film and, once the film is complete, you’ll be sent an exclusive private link to watch ‘Ecstasy’ online. Plus, we’ll donate £100 of this pledge to a UK Parkinson’s research charity.
The Halcyon maker
Pledge
£3,500.00
You've taken the halcyon days and brought them crashing down into the present. You're coming on board as a Special Exec Producer of our movie, your name will be in the credits and it will be big! And you will have gotten us half way there to making our heartfelt movie happen.
Ravesaver
Pledge
£7,000.00
You are the RAVESAVER, you've swooped in to make our lives easier and have come on board as a huge partner in the movie. We'll share the current edit of the movie with you and the plans for how we're going to win an Oscar and raise awareness of Parkinson's to the next level. You'll be forever in our debt and your name will be HUGE in the credits. But most of all you'll be safe in the knowledge that you've helped make movie magic and done a great thing.