When Directing for Drama

I love being a director. But the job is not as simple as it can sometimes look, the problem is you can’t learn without doing it. I had directed short narrative pieces before, short films, monologues, music videos etc, but my first serious piece with Tailwind was in 2013. We had been approached by a pharmaceutical company to write and shoot a 30 minute short film that followed a teenager being diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Handling such a delicate and serious subject matter required a close relationship with the client, hours of talk, debate and storyboarding, searching for the right framework to present the story.

Casting always brings its own set of challenges, finding an actor who can bring your words and storyboards to life is an exciting process that is central to the success of a production, however it’s extra important to find an actor who can accurately portray symptoms of a complicated mental health condition. I worked with Lorraine Brunning who helped us cast ‘Freddie’s Story’. Lorraine is a behavioural coach in Communication Skills, she worked closely with me on the shoot to make sure we were representing elements such as the hallucinations and delusions accurately. It was a challenging shoot (as all are) due to the amount we had to get through in three days but it was a great crew and such a pleasure to work on. Collaborative relationships like this are one of the most enjoyable things about working in film.

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