Bamboo House is a short film with a long history of development. I initially entered a shorter, less Welsh centric version of the script to Jameson First Shot 2016 but was unsuccessful. The brief was to write about the great and/or unexpected things that can happen when you fear less and invite life in. I found out about the competition not long before the deadline and only had a week to prepare. I adapted the script from a premise I’d come up with a few weeks before, which meant that the protagonist was quite a bit older than the intended lead, Maggie Gyllenhaal. I thought this could be easily achievable with a bit of makeup, but I have a feeling this, along with some of the locations and shots, may have been overambitious and put the judges off, as judging by previous winners, they were looking for maximum simplicity.
I later entered a version very close to the one available here to It’s My Shout. I was unfamiliar with the competition when I saw it advertised in the BBC Writers Room; the brief stating they wanted scripts with scope for budding actors of ‘all’ ages. When I later checked their website, it stated they wanted scripts with scope for as many budding ‘young’ actors as possible. By this time, the deadline was upon me, and my script had just one young character. Again, I was unsuccessful.
I was not discouraged by my failure, in fact, it not only motivated me to enter as many competitions as possible in future (including the two mentioned – making greater efforts to fulfil the brief) but to film the script myself! It was the success of my previous film, Total Investigation Television, that really got the Bamboo House project rolling. Total Investigation Television was nominated for best Fiction at Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2016, and it was there that I met Boyd Clack and Kirsten Jones, who were hosting the awards ceremony. After pitching the script to them, they wished to be involved in the project. With actors of their calibre and reputation on board, there was no question that Bamboo House would be filmed!
From extensive storyboarding, securing the perfect locations and shooting test footage, to enlisting trusted crew I’d worked with in the past and fresh talent with expert skills, I made every effort to make sure Bamboo House was the very best film it could be. I leave it to you, the audience, to judge if I achieved my goal.
Mair, recently bereaved, spends her lonely days in her empty flat. Her visits to Bamboo House, her local Chinese takeaway, are her only departure from her introverted lifestyle. It is there she meets Griff, an eccentric man with an insatiable sense of fun. On a romantic day out, Griff encourages her to fear less and invite life in. But will Griff’s own fear that Mair is unable to move on from the loss of her loved one put an end to their happiness?
Achievements: Bamboo House was nominated for best Fiction at Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2017 and selected for St Neots Film Festival 2017.