Lockdown Films

Date 12th June 2021
Society MSD Productions
Venue The Barn@Barra Castle, Inverurie
Type of Production Film
Director Rhona Mitchell, Josh Simpson, Imogen Watt

Report

Author: Douglas J Clark Regional Rep

Whilst being unable to put on their usual theatre production due to the Covid restrictions, with the help of some former students, the Mitchell School of Drama Performance Class decided to write, produce, direct, film, edit, write soundtracks and act in a series of short films. The films were all shot on locations in and around their hometown of Inverurie.

The first film Like You (written by Ruby Harrison, Honor Smith, Emma Thomson, Imogen Watt, Olivia Watt, Freya Wilson and directed by Rhona Mitchell) told a story about two young women, played by Ruby Harrison and Honor Smith, who met whilst out walking. It turned out the meetings were not totally by accident – one of the women had become obsessed with the other. There was a nice twist at the end when it was revealed who was stalking who! Both of the actors gave very convincing performances and the camera work by Matthew Reed and the sound and edit by Euan Banks were excellent. The original soundtrack was written by former student Graeme Waterhouse.

The second film Left Behind (written and directed by Josh Simpson) told the story of a young couple who were going to run away from home together. The young man, played by Josh Simpson, was having second thoughts and the film depicted him trying to explain to the young woman, played by Katie Lister, the reason why he could not go through with it. Both the actors portrayed their conflicting emotions extremely well. Again the camera work and sound and edit were carried out by Matthew Reed and Euan Banks respectively. The emotion of the piece was greatly enhanced by the original song written and performed by Josh.

The third film Hidden from View was a series of eight monologues written and performed by Millie Goodyear, Lucia Ferrara, Fraser Third, Arwen Scott, Katie Lister, Stephen Henderson, Freya Wilson and Jessie Martin. The subjects covered ranged from missing a sister who had been turned out of the home for being gay (Missing by Fraser Third) to a teenager railing against restrictions placed on her by her parents (Unfair by Katie Lister) to political views expressed by a posh tory-leaning girl delivered with a hint of humour (A New Campaign by Jessie Martin). All the pieces were delivered with great conviction. Direction was by Rhona Mitchell, camera work was by Matthew Reed and Alex Thomson and sound and edit by Euan Banks.

The fourth film Big Night In (written and directed by Imogen Watt) depicted a young woman getting ready for going out on a date and then receiving a text from her beau that he was held up at the pub. The film followed her reactions to this news and her growing annoyance as the time passes until he eventually comes in in the early hours. The only dialogue is the three word uttered by the (unseen) beau when he returns! Olivia Watt gave an outstanding performance as the young woman – her facial expressions were a wonder to behold. Her performance elicited knowing noises from the female members of the audience! Camera work and editing were by Alex Thomson and the accompanying original song written and performed by Graeme Waterhouse.

The fifth film Bitter Sweet (written by the young cast members Lola Brown, Amy Robson, Nyla Robson and Eilidh Swanston) told the story of four young schoolgirls – supposedly friends – and how they pick on the one who appears to be different and, by their words and actions, make her feel an outcast. The acting of the four girls was excellent. Camera, sound and edit were by Alison Sandison with additional camera work by Michael Watt and direction was by Rhona Mitchell.

The sixth film A Night to Forget (written by the cast of Arwen Scott, Olivia Watt, Emma Thomson, Imogen Watt and Josh Simpson) showed a group of “friends” at the wedding reception of Aidan (Josh Simpson) and the back-biting – and shenanigans - that can go on when a few drinks are partaken of! This piece allowed the versatility of the actors to come across as it showcased their comic talents after the more serious parts played in the other films. Camera work was by Przemek Wasilewski, sound by Natalia Gaweda, editing by Michael Watt and direction by Rhona Mitchell. This was a delightful way to end the evening.

 

Congratulations to everyone involved in the project which allowed the young people to expand their experience to so many different aspects of the theatrical world.