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The making of Sinking

Ken Wilson shooting 'Sinking'.Sinking

The film won a Gold Standard award.

Comedy is generally acknowledged to be the hardest genre to get right. It usually produces the best (fun) time when actually on a shoot, as you are asking your actors to do the strangest of things. Behind the scenes it is often hilarious as shots are being rehearsed and the madness of the whole thing, becomes apparent. However, Sinking was not without its problems.

The idea was another of those that had been around for some time. The "race-against-time" theme, is one which has been used since the dawn of cinema, although not one which we as a group had fully explored. My original concept had been the thought that someone should be trapped, perhaps down a pot-hole, or hanging off a cliff, perhaps in the Yorkshire dales, but beyond this I had no idea where the story would go. As is often the case, the plot needed an additional element. This came about many, many months later, during a conversation I had with our actor, Keith Pottage. He was having trouble with his car, (a frequent theme in our films as it happens) and couldn`t get it into reverse. The big problem was, he had driven into a parking spot facing a wall and the only way out was to reverse. This discussion created an abstract and obscure fragment of an idea, which became the missing piece in the jigsaw. (Unfortunately, to reveal more here would ruin the plot, so you will just have to see the finished film.)

The making of 'Sinking'. The making of 'Sinking'.

Carol Wilson, Keith Pottage,
Emma Wise, Narelle Summers.

Emma Wise and Sara Aleghea.

The three shoots were not the idyllic blissful sessions that I would have hoped for.

Although it was the end of May and early June, the weather was vastly different on each day. Actors had to maintain continuity of course, by dressing the same way each time and were either boiling hot in a mini heat wave, or freezing cold on a bleak moor top over Holmfirth. Adjustments to layers of clothing were therefore continually being made between takes. Uncomfortable shooting conditions sometimes causes friction and therefore disagreements between some of the cast, which ends in some degree of tension. However, this was not so with Phase 4 regular, Paul Crossley who, as always, was a real trooper (as they say.) He potentially had the worst role to play, as the man in danger awaiting his rescue, but as it turned out, thoroughly enjoyed the experience of spending a whole day partially submerged in water.

Paul Crossley in 'Sinking'. The making of 'Sinking'.

Paul Crossley, Emma Wise and Sara Aleghea.

Keith Pottage came into the story several minutes in
(re-uniting the actors from Dropping Off) and the
remainder of the cast consisted of Emma Wise and
Sara Alaghea
(from Deadly Quest.)

The four actors gave fine performances in my view and
this was a comedy which for once ended up on screen
as it had been in my head. With a running time of just
12 minutes, I think we got the pace just as it should be
for a short film.

- Ken Wilson     March 2006

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