The filming of “Personal”

“Personal” is a short movie made by a friend of mine, Nicole, who asked if my flat could be used as the main location of the 4-day shoot. This was a big decision to make as of course, my home & personal space was to be completely invaded by up to 15 strangers. But with … Continue reading “The filming of “Personal””

“Personal” is a short movie made by a friend of mine, Nicole, who asked if my flat could be used as the main location of the 4-day shoot. This was a big decision to make as of course, my home & personal space was to be completely invaded by up to 15 strangers. But with the consent of my landlord & my interest in the industry we opted in.

With filming due to start on Saturday morning, the preceding week was filled with uncertainty. I kept myself busy taking pictures of local pubs with pool tables & a garden. Friday night felt like the top of a roller coaster – the big rush was eminent. I didn’t know whether I should be worried about my home or excited about the experience & there was no going back now.


I was woken by the first actress at my door. A woman named Adrian had travelled from Kent by train to play the part of Frumpy – the mature on the phone. Before I knew it, most of the crew were in my lounge going through the various equipment – cameras, lenses, lights, stands, poles, mics, filters; I could hardly move.

A make-up girl & another actor arrived & some voice over lines were promptly recorded. Many of Saturday’s shots were done in the upstairs bedroom, with all the windows closed – which was very warm especially with the lighting – & was a bit cramp for spectators.

Sunday started in the pub. So we popped down there to see what was happening. We got there just in time for a take of James saying one line whilst taking a shot on the pool table. That was it for inside & the next hour or so was lunch time & setting up the phone call shot outside.
It seemed some people didn’t get much sleep & I could sense some grumpiness from people begging to get impatient.

Sunday evening seemed to go on forever. Shots were taking ages to set-up in my lounge which was all over the place. I was starting to get tired & filming didn’t finish until around 9 o’clock.

Monday I was back at work & quite glad to be. The novelty was starting to wear off & I wanted my personal space back. The day flew by for me & by the time we had walked home we were excited to see what was going on & I was interested to see Stuart (who was supposed to be on holiday from his day job on Family Affairs) in action as he was helping out on the sound.

Because the street shots took so long & some actors & crew had to go, the evening scenes in the living room were rushed. We had soon learnt that the Camera Assistant had not turned up today (which explains why she needed to take home her precious clapper board) & found ourselves helping out with many of the crews tasks.

It was very interesting to watch the professional actors in action in my very own living room. It did freak me out when I played the part of John’s knee double & they all turned to me after their lines looking straight into my eyes.

By the time we had cleared up & everyone had left it was 12:30am. Definitely bed time. Tuesday though, there were only a couple of scenes left at my flat & I was glad to come home to an empty & almost normal flat. Time for me to put everything back in it’s place.

All in all it was a very interesting first hand insight into the world of movie production & also great for people watching. I loved helping out & would do it again, although not in my own property. There was minimum damage – broken chair, 2 cracked windows & a broken shower head. There are places like Location Works where you can advertise your home for TV/film production.

I am glad we did it. It was a good experience. And you have to take a risk now & again.

2 thoughts on “The filming of “Personal””

  1. So when will we get to see the film, and how? Will it be on TriggerStreet or similar?

    Obviously it’ll be particularly interesting for me and Pam as we haven’t seen the inside of your flat yet (hint, hint)…

  2. Oh yeah, I forget to say. Nicole had not yet got a date for editing. So I guess we’re going to have to wait a while. Once it is edited, she is planning on taking the short to film festivals & will try to sell it to Channel 4.

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