Photo: Jesse Nandra.
Nearly a couple of weeks ago, I was involved in filming a movie as part of Seven Five Productions. It’s called I’ll Be Waiting, and it’s a short film about those lives lost during the First World War, not only in the bunkers and the fields but in the towns back home.
It tells the story of Mary (Vaiva Jankauskaitė), a young girl waiting for her betrothed Arthur at the railway station once the Great War is over. Even if he doesn’t come on the first train home, Mary remains loyal to her promise and keeps sitting down on the same bench every day, restlessly, as her resources and health — but not her hopes — vanish day by day.
This is the first film directed, written and produced by Eve Harding; an actor previously seen in short and feature films such as Shelter by Tom Young, the Australian Drown by Dean Francis, and Red Glasses by Sheena Karia, Meera Sakaria and Krissy Varia. With Laura Wilkinson (Finding Richard, Red Glasses) keeping things under control, Roger Ellis (Shelter, Brotherly Love 2015) and Alexander Donald (Failing, The Green Door) capturing the scenes for posterity, Jesse Nandra (Molecular Audio) taking pictures on set and behind the scenes, and Peter Collins (Flawless, My Pretend Friend) recording sounds with his beloved boomer, Eve knew she was in a great place — and with the best people — to take this idea into fruition.
But what did I do, you may ask. I was Second Assistant Director/Clapper Loader. You know, the fun bit. The one who does this:
With the Great Central Railway’s blessing, we recorded the whole film in the now unused Rothley railway station. Filming only took a couple of intense days, but it was an everlasting experience for all of us involved, experts and rookies (yours truly part of the latter). The perfect mix of professionalism and friendship was floating in the air, and everyone’s individual talents were cherished equally. It was not only an opportunity to share our abilities and be part of the jigsaw, but a brilliant way to practise in action and learn new skills and information.
It was wonderful to be surrounded by people not only passionate about filmmaking, but about history and our society yesterday, today and tomorrow. The staff at Rothley station, specially Andrew Morely, were kind enough to let us portray the spirit of the times in a very faithful manner. They even let us film and record a train — several times! — for more realism.
As Eve and Laura would say later, ours was a Dream Team. And a dream adventure too. Something I would repeat over and over again, regardless of the physical and mental exhaustion afterwards. Filming is almost like giving birth, and I believe our baby — Eve’s baby, rather, and we were surgeons and midwives — will be a very beautiful one.