Great film! Enjoyed every second of it. It tells so much about past and present life of the family, their struggles and choices. Fantastic soundtrack.
Thanks for all your kind comments. Really appreciated and encouraging. The team did a great job and I owe a great deal of gratitude to all involved who have helped bring my script to life. In particular James Skinner who directed and has been guiding me all the way. Oh, and if you hadn't guessed from the credits the two girls are my daughters so very proud of them! A plan to do a blog, From "script to scream". In response to E Marlowe, we do have some front shots in the lane but the houses either side did not fit the feel of the film. You make a very interesting point too about cutting before the bottle, I assume ending that scene after the kiss. That is where the original script finished. It was all about the kiss. Producers notes suggested I bring in the older sibling more so I added the bottle. A sense of her taking control and giving what she thinks Dad will need. She'd given up on kisses. I like now how that shows his weakness and leads to learning of Dad's g rief. But always good to re-visit and likewise with edit in the first half. Though I'm enjoying have a rest from it for a bit! Thanks again.
Ben and team, a massive wow! What you've all created here is something utterly beautiful and haunting. It stays with you just as the script did with me when I first read it. I'm thrilled you got it made. The cinematography was beautiful, some of those shots were really cinematic. The direction just amazing, you can see the director really understood this script. And the music, it fit the script perfectly and along with the girls acting bought a lump to my throat and a knot in. My stomach. Not surprised you are proud of your girls! They are very talented. The only thing I'd change in the edit is exactly what Evan Marlowe said, leave it at the first little girl's kiss of her dad. It's so moving, so poignant that the second little girl coming in with the bottle distracts us from the most beautiful piece in the whole script and film. A massive well done Ben, to everyone involved as it's stunning.
Wow Mcsqueak (is that your new writer's name) such lovely comments which I know the team will be chuffed to read. So that's 2 of you who think we can lose the bottle and end that scene with the kiss. I agree the kiss is the heart of the story so do not wish to detract from it and would be interested to hear what others think. Thanks again so much!
This film is so poignant, a stunning piece of writing, wonderfully transferred to the screen. I'm sure a lot of film makers balked at the idea of working with kids, but those girls totally do it justice. I personally love the scene with the kiss, for me that made it gentle and real. The only bit I felt I didn't need to see was the dad's final yell... the girls holding hands on the swings in those final moments said it all. A superb bit of screenwriting and film making.
Ben this is fantastic. I was welling up by the end. The girls were great. The music was fantastic and a really touching ending with the swings, the holding hands and especially the intercuts from the wedding. Superb Ben. You should be proud.
An absolutely fantastic film Ben and one that you and everyone involved in its production should be proud of. Cinematic, beautifully shot and touchingly acted! My only critique, and I'm almost certain I'll be alone in saying this, is the dad screaming right at the very end. For my personal taste it was too harsh in comparison with the rest of the piece, especially when the story is mainly about the girls and could've ended with their screams into the wind. That is only a very minor point though in an otherwise outstanding film. Well done!
Wow! Brilliant - it had me wondering what would happen all the way through. As far as the kiss Vs bottle is concerned, I can understand the reasoning behind the older girl's action but on balance I'd probably go for ending the scene with the kiss. I also agree that the scream is too harsh given the emotional subtlety of the rest of the film but I like the father waking in shock.
I can only echo previous comments. This is a stunning and visually beautiful film, Ben. The girls holding hands, the wind at the end... Such powerful images. It really was overwhelming. Congratulations.
Ben, I'm curious... did you get lucky and have a naturally windy day when you shot this, or did you have to bring in a wind machine? I haven't got anything to really add, as everyone else has offered up the same suggestions I was thinking of, especially Evan's comments. Your eye for casting is excellent, as your young actresses are quite talented. They played their parts very well. No small feat for children. I'm sorry I don't have more to say or offer.
Thanks again all for taking time to review and for your further comments. It's been good to have a bit of time away from it and I am now clearer on some edits needed once reviewed with the rest of the team. All suggestions have certainly helped. @ Carole, Dave and Fiona - very interested to read your views on the Dad's scream. Glad you like the swing/hand hold and we added the scream to pack a punch as everything builds to a climax. At first the idea was to perhaps hear the roar of the blast approaching but when Ant did his scream it seemed natural to use it. @ SYoung. The guy who plays Dad, Ant, is a gardener by day so handy to have his two large petrol leaf blowers for the wind. They were so noisy it really added to the intensity of the shoot. The girls are in fact my daughters and thank you for your comments. We really asked a lot of them!
Hahahahaha. The gardener's leaf blowers! Genius! I love it!
Hi Ben, This is a really powerful film and I love what you’ve done with it since the earlier cut I saw. I got that the older girl cheats on the first rock paper scissors to get out of telling Dad. But although I also got that the younger girl won second rock paper scissors, I wasn’t conscious of knowing it was due to the older girl letting her win, but I perhaps I did realise it from the big smile on the younger girl’s face. You don’t want to be too obvious so maybe just leave it. After reading the other comments about potentially dropping Dad screaming as he finally wakes up, it's a difficult one - for me, it's about the girls' story, their relationship with each other (as well as sad Dad) and their absent mother. It's your call!
This film did nothing for me at all. Decisions made on games of rock,paper, scissors! No I didn't get it.
Love the children's view of this. They just want the best view and go where Mum went. It also told well the decline of the Dad after the death of their Mum. Also that they still loved him. Very nice.
This was one of my favourite scripts, so I'm really pleased to see what a great job you've made of filming it! I wasn't keen on the first view we get of the father - the chair seems too small for him to be comfortable in, and it seems a little staged, with the contents of the recycling bin in the corner. For me, I'd prefer it if 0:28-0:39 was cut, so it goes straight from the girls upstairs to her opening the door, revealing her father asleep. We do see a wine bottle in the background of this sequence, but maybe you have a close up of him in the chair with a bottle, that can introduce the self-medication issue? Or the part when the older daughter leaves him a bottle could be a later reveal... The rock/paper handhold on the swings was really touching. Great acting by your girls, all the way through. Personally, I didn't have a problem with the father screaming at the end - it reflected the girls' emotions and showed he had awoken from one nightmare to fall straight into a final one. Excellent job!
I can't add much from what has been said already. Great acting from your girls. Very powerful ending with the girls reaching out to each other. I am in two minds about the dad's scream. It did not bother me at the time of viewing it but now it has been mentioned... Obviously this is something for you to decide. Great film.
This new edit adopts a number of the helpful comments in the feedback received. The first half has been tightened and colour graded more. Whilst I still think the “bottle in the lap” worked from a narrative/script point of view, we decided to remove it to focus on the “kiss” – as a number of people suggested. We love the kiss shot and didn’t want to take anything away from it. However, we couldn’t be convinced to remove the final “scream” from Dad which a couple of people suggested. The team did discuss it but we think the Dad’s scream coming together with the girl’s holding hands works together. The intention of the script, and those two contrasting shots, is to show both human weakness and human strength as humanity faces the end. Thanks again for all the feedback!
`this is really touching - well done all involved! I have read the comments and watched the scream ending a few times - I think it might be stronger if you keep the audio of the wind and the girls very faint screams going under the music build then cut so it fades into reverb and have him screaming but in silence for the end (or maybe keep the girls screaming and wind and music underneath but with his visual - might be effective too). It's a great image but I don't think the sound of him screaming is great for such a great piece. Just my tuppence worth!
Very engaging, and the sibling rivalry was pitched really well, there but not overpowering in the face of what's to come. Well done.