Ginny Reaper caught on Camera!
Ginny Reaper caught on Camera!
Bright Red Sparks April winner Niamh McKeown gets to work filming her new mockumentary!
Our monthly pitching competition Bright Red Sparks has yielded winners from a wide variety of fields, including the creative industries! In April 2022, Niamh McKeown (an alumni of Napier who studied Film) looked to return to her grass roots of independent filmmaking with her producer - Chloé Berger. As a freelance screenwriter/director, Niamh already has excellent connections within the filmmaking community, and wanted to bring to life a new short mockumentary piece called Ginny Reaper.
The film tells the tale of grim reaper - Ginny - who takes her first holiday in one hundred years only to be haunted by the ghosts of her past. The film stars Tanya Reynolds (SEX EDUCATION), Lewis Gribben (GET DUKED) along with Flora Bird and Ross Johnston.
Niamh acknowledged that "filmmaking is an expensive endeavour and every penny counts." When applying for the Bright Red Sparks pitching competition, she had a clear understanding of what she wanted to do with the £500 - hoping to put the money towards equipment hire and location costs. When pitching for any amount of money, it is key that your investor knows why you are asking for that amount, and can show how valuable the money would be. Having a clear breakdown of how money will be spent shows you've put a great amount of detailed thought into your project. Do be aware investors will often be quick to question these breakdowns, so be sure and confident in your ask.
Having spent many years working on the script, Niamh next sought out key collaborators, finding many amongst the friends she has in the industry. Casting the film, and gathering together an immensely talented crew, they set about figuring how to bring their 20 page script to life over a weekend for as cheap as possible while ensuring everyone was well cared for.
Shooting began at the start of July at the Leny Estate in Calendar, Stirling. Spending three days shooting and living on site, they came across no challenges on set - a rarity Niamh admits! Niamh says that "since our film was our passion project, we really wanted to prioritise everyone's wellbeing while on set" endeavouring to create a "summer camp atmosphere" with home cooked meals, and time to get to know each other when not filming.
After the smooth sailing of filming, post production began, editing the film at Blazing Griffin post house in Glasgow, while also starting to work on a strategy for releasing the film. The team had a Kickstarter running to cover the post production costs as well as festival submission fees, and raised close to £2000! They are hoping to bring the film to many audiences in the coming year.
Niamh was kind enough to share some observations to conclude the process, which may be of use to other creatives looking to embody a similar spirit with their project. Niamh acknowledged that she knew to make the film happen, they had to convince a lot of people to get on board with the project. Taking a collaborative approach helped as filmmaking requires a variety of skills. She wanted every collaborator to be able to take some ownership of the project, and get as excited about it as herself and Chloé.
We want to thank Niamh from BRT for being kind enough to share her thoughts and photos with us. The initial screening of the film is taking place next month for a select audience, and we're happy we will be in attendance to support the team who worked so hard to bring it all together.