CHAPTER 6: SUNSHINE?

All my meetings in London went well, but as soon as I started to chat with Philippa about my script, I just knew she was the one I wanted to work with.  She was exactly what my film needed: not only did she totally understood the world I had created, I also I felt that she would bring an abundance of sunshine to my garden.

It was music to my ears when she said that she wanted to direct it, but, she had projects in the pipeline and wouldn’t know for a couple of weeks whether she would be free in August.

I had to wait for the sun to shine for sure…

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CHAPTER 5: PETALS PLEASE

So, I needed a director, preferably based in the UK…

Ambarish, who was still supporting the project, if only in spirit, put me in touch with a couple of his UK contacts, and I also put out the feelers.

I posted an announcement in Shooting People and arranged to meet with two interesting directors during my forthcoming trip to London.

A personal contact I reached out to was ex-Drama Centre classmate and friend: actress Tara Fitzgerald.  Always generous, Tara said she’d be happy to read the script and have a think as to who might be suitable.  To my great delight (and relief) she loved it and contacted Philippa Langdale with whom she’d worked recently.  The director of Skins, Waking the Dead and, as I write, ITV’s Breathless, was expecting my script!  I could hardly believe it!

Within a few days of sending it to Philippa, I received the response I imagine all writers dream of, and she was looking forward to meeting me during my trip to London.

Excitement hardly contained, I set off, pleased to be meeting petals…

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CHAPTER 4: A THORN

Growing a rose garden has its ups and downs…

On a grey, bitterly cold February morning in 2013, Ambarish informed me, with great regret, that due to his now confirmed professional engagements, he could no longer direct my short.

I felt the prick of the thorn, but understood.

I headed back home in the sleet, sat in my living room, which felt unusually dark, and shed a wee tear.

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CHAPTER 3: PLANTING A ROSE GARDEN

So, how was I going to learn to cultivate roses? A keen gardener, I’d written short stories, poems, radio plays, etc, in the past, but I’d never penned a screenplay. So, I decided to do one of my favourite things – take a course! The City Lit was offering 2 days with writer/director Phil O’Shea and so, in June 2012, off to London I went to find inspiration and technique.

By the end of the first day, the film’s premise and its two female characters – Fiona and Millie – had been conceived.  Within a month or two my first draft had germinated and after positive feedback from both Phil and Ambarish Manepalli (who had originally hoped to direct), I knew that Prick Thy Neighbour would one day, in the not too distant future, bloom into being…

Six drafts later (thanks again to Ambarish’s kind and constructive feedback) I had a very polished version!

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CHAPTER 2: WANTING A ROSE GARDEN

In March of 2012, I initiated the making of my first short film: Inside Out, directed by Ambarish Manepalli.  It was for the 48h Go Green Film Competition, and it was one of the most enjoyable working experiences I’ve had.  Not only did we make a super little film in 48hrs that reached the final, but the team we put together (No Time To Lose Films) got along just brilliantly.

I was to wear two hats – co-producer and actress – and it was this aspect that I loved so much: being involved in two different areas, nurturing the film from start to finish.

By the time we handed in our quirky environmental drama, I knew that I wanted to make more. I knew I wanted a rose garden.

BUT, I’d never written a short for the screen, never planted a rose…

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CHAPTER 1: ROOTS

If desiring, devising, developing and ahhhhh, at long last, delivering a creative project is rather like coveting, conceiving, carrying and giving birth to a child, then a project in which roses play a major role could be equated to that of a landscape gardener creating a rose garden from seed to full bloom.  So, to follow the petals and thorns (not so many, we hope) of the making of Prick Thy Neighbour, grab a cup of rose-hip tea and prune on…

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