We're hurtling towards the finish line, of course there are still a few things that need to be completed before we get there - a few shots need tweaking in the grade and we still have the sound mis to go, but the sound edit is 90% there.
I've spent the last ten days looking at potential venues for the WORLD PREMIERE (woooo) and the cast and crew screening - as ever these things take forever and I'm still awaiting final confirmation - but things are looking good. Talking of looking good (what a fricken' segue - I should be on the telly, me) James and I spent yesterday looking at and making decisions on Stagg Do merchandise! You know T-shirts, mugs, keyrings and such like… I'll be putting up a store on here in the next couple of weeks and you can all start preordering your "merch" as the cool kids say. In many ways that's what this particular post is about - what sort of merchandise would you guys like to buy - if any? DVDs, CDs and T-shirts are a definite - but what else would float your boat? Fancy emailing us? Or just bunging an answer in the comments below?
Also if you know anybody who might be interested in sponsoring our release or advertising with us then please send them our way. And finally if you a spare quid or two that you can sling into our Paypal account we'd be most grateful.
Memes, memes, memes
And finally - check out our meme contest - the entries are currently here and our our tumblr. Why not visit a meme generator and knock some up for us? You can submit them on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr or if social media doesn't appeal, you can email them to us. There will be EXCLUSIVE prizes and discounts for the winners, including a pair of tickets* to our WORLD PREMIERE this summer.
Memes are also a great way for us to spread the word about the film and to help us bring people to the website - so feel free to share any you like along with a link, to us here, on any platform that you use. I think I'll be setting up a Pinterest and Instagram account soon - so any pointers you might have will be appreciated. And one last thing - would you be interested in signing up to our newsletter for exclusive updates and offers?
*WORLD PREMIERE will be in North East England - transport not included
accept no substitutes.
35 months ago Pob and James went for a pint to The Cluny, there's nothing in that - at the time we were talking about working together on some comedy sketches. Anyway, when I when to pick them up, they were like a couple of kids on Christmas Eve.
"We've come up with an outline for a feature film - something we can do on NO money" they babbled. "It's Pissheads Go Camping - but it's not just a camping trip, it's a stag do. We've even got a title The Stagg Do." You see one of our characters in Pissheads is called Staggy… he'll be the one getting married in the film!
I was instantly on the hook - "yeah this is possible" I thought - it was finally an opportunity to take what we had around us and craft a story and film from that - we already had the characters, they had the plot - we had the kit… what were we waiting for?
Fastforward 3 months, and 6 drafts later, we entered principle photography… which was HELL. Proper old fashioned hell, I could go into detail - but what's the point in raking over old ground? If you're really interested, read the archives from July and August 2011 as it was all blogged about at the time.
Anyway we got through it and then some. I had my right knee reconstructed - we shot new scenes, scenes we dropped and scenes we fucked up the first time around. David (our editor) busted his balls to get us a decent cut, James and I spent hours and days shooting extra footage. Richy corralled some mates to help with a big reshoot/ shoot night and on we went. Ashleigh and The Kid (Chris) slogged their guts out on animations and visual effects, music was found and replaced, musicians were contacted.
We edited, reedited, experimented - laughed, cried, pulled our hair out and generally got stuck in… And finally in December 2012, we had "picture lock". Then we ran out of money. Literally. James and I were flat broke and everything in the house decided to die at the same time.
We had had so much momentum and then we stopped - dead.
We didn't give up though, determined to get it finished and get it out there. As much for our own sanity as anything else. Stephen at Fantomeline kept grading - we kept praying for a lottery win and then came another kick in the teeth. An Irish film - The Stag was premiering in Toronto and it sounded remarkably like our film. How was that possible? What could we do? Without money not a lot… So we cried to ourselves (swore a lot) gritted our teeth and went on with our lives. In January though we learned that The Stag was getting a UK release in March… And we decided - let's beat them. Get out before them.
But there was still too much to do. I reckoned we had 5 weeks, Aris (our sound god) said we needed 6 to sort out the sound - which of course was recorded by 3 different people! He wanted to ADR - I didn't think the lads (Pob and Staggy - non-actors) would ever be able to do it… We STILL had no money.
Anyway a load more favours were pulled in, Richy agreed to finesse Chris' VFX (he'd now moved to Leeds), Aris persuaded Rich to help us with the ADR sessions and to let us use his studio for the mix - and so the madness resumed…
We're going into the mix next month, and we'll be going for our BBFC soon after and then finally we will be ready to release the film. It's rude, it's crude, it's insanity to the max. It's experimental both in storytelling and in filmmaking - if it were a drama we wouldn't need to explain ourselves - but apparently you can't make experimental (almost arthouse) comedies if they are chockful of low brow nob gags! Who knew?
Yesterday we shot the last major sequence from the film. From the start, this sequence was *always* going to be shot outside principle photography because, well mainly because principle photography was really short (8 days) and also because it's a flashback to Pob and Staggy as kids and I knew it would take ages to find the right boys.
DoP Richy Reay (playing the shopkeeper) gives chase
As recently as late January, I was beginning to panic that I'd never find them; I had tried a few casting companies, drama schools and what-not and I was drawing a blank at every turn - and then a coincidence...
A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was thrilled her son had got the lead role in a local theatre production, I didn't even know her son was into acting. We auditioned Dylan and his mate Torin and as well as a physical resemblance they had just the right amount of mischief for the roles. So we booked the day, rang the ever helpful Ashley at Pinball Films to borrow his jib arm and then went location scouting. James and I spent an afternoon traipsing around the alleys of Walker but we couldn't find what we were looking for - the crappier parts of Walker have all been knocked down or regenerated lately so we gave up on reality and came closer to home. A few more hours driving around our beloved Bensham and we came across a fabulous alley just of Saltwell Road. Red brick oppression on 3 sides.
Anyway recreating the 1980s in an anonymous alley isn't too hard, so we managed without a big crew. In fact this was the smallest crew yet: just me, James, Richy (who was acting in this scene too), Dougie and Dryden. Needless to say, without the extra bodies, we cracked through the sequence of 3 scenes really quickly and we wrapped two hours early! This little shoot brought our number of shooting days to fourteen (including the two reshoot days) - which in some ways is silly considering principle photography was only 8 days, but 3 of the extra days related to new scenes that weren't even written when we shot in the summer and another was yesterday - which as I said was always an extra day. Then as you'll know if you've been following this production from the start we had some major problems in production - so really it's not too shabby at all.
David is up from Leeds at the weekend and then we'll sit and put the new footage into the timeline; and at that point we will pretty much have the entire film in front of us for the first time and then we'll know if we have anymore shots to pick up. From there it's on to final cut, the grade and the mix... the finish line is well and truly in sight.
Will try our best to keep this busy during the shoot and post-production.