The first real block of filming and the main focus of pre-production was planning the World Championships part of the shoot which is the last act of the film. I'm going to try and go into as much detail as i can as any filmmaker starting out may be interested it how we managed to pull this off.
Location scouting When scouting the venue i knew i wanted it to be in the north west as that's where i live and most of the actors do. Theres a few reasons why this is important, mainly to keep costs as low as possible, if an actor or crew member can commute to set rather than need a hotel that is a huge saving. The Riley Smith theatre at Leeds university was the perfect venue as it was close to train stations and hotels not to mention it was a state of the art venue and able to accommodate the disruption having a film crew take over creates. We had 55 cast and crew and over 100 supporting artists on hand at Leeds university. Universal extras provided the SA's (supporting actors) who were frankly brilliant to work with. The peace of mind knowing that we would have a full theatre rather than relying on friends to maybe help (out which usually means not turning up) was a god send.
Having a full, energetic crowd for the actors to feed off legitimised the production and also seeing the scene play out and having the exact reaction you wanted from essentially a live audience was great reassurance the story and characters were working as we intended. Rehearsals/Set up
This time around we had the luxury of plenty of rehearsal time with the actors. I booked a smaller theatre on the campus for us to run scenes and block and for the actors to get to know each other in a stress free environment before cameras rolled.
We had 2 solid days of rehearsals as the crew worked to set up the theatre close by to shoot in. Ironing out script problems or performances in rehearsals is quite satisfying. Craig Jenkins and his assistant Nico dressed the set up and set up all the various props furniture and technical bits and bobs.
Having Craig onboard was a huge bourdon off my shoulders, he knew exactly what i wanted and added various touches that made the location look like a real event. Day 1 Riley Smith Theatre Int
The first scenes we shot on location in the theatre were of our commentator Marcus played brilliant by Benjamin Hartley. He was so good that we just rolled a 30 minute take of him riffing and giving variations of his lines in between us all laughing.
Day 2/3 Riley Smith Theatre ext/Int
Our first shot of the day was of the 100 supporting artists lining up to enter the building, seeing so many people gave me chills of excitement, i knew it was going to be a fun day. We picked out several sa's to be featured and have a few lines and more camera time. We then headed inside for the main event so to speak, i can't go into too much detail for spoilers sake but it was a lot of fun. I'll update this page when the film is out and go into more detail. Cheers!