With filming due to start in a few months, it is important to start developing a look for the film. Although at this stage it is just a script and a set of story boards, the mood of the film has to be conveyed through it's pictures, not just its words and music. It is a careful balance. The film deals with the the feelings of loss and the fear of loss and the implications of not being able to deal with those feelings. Yet the film is not dark, it is emotional but not heavy handed. It is felt that the look of the film should be implicit of a warmer mood. 'I still feel quite restricted in what I can achieve,' says director Andrew Davidson, 'that the full extent or impact of the story has to be sacrificed for what I'm physically able to put on screen. That's what happened to LiMBO, for a first film and with a restrictive running time, we were ambitious and just couldn't get everything we wanted. It just wasn't possible for us then. We could do it now. Thankfully the film still emerged with a story, but we lost a lot of our thematic points.'
On a recent scouting trip a series of digital photos were taken of the locations to be used in the film - Churnet Valley Railway and the surrounding area - these photos have been used as mock-ups of proposed shots for the film. The following images show both the original and the colour corrected versions. The images are presented in 'scope as this is currently still the aspect ratio that will be used for the film. 'If I can do it, and it doesn't distract from the story or performances or kill myself and the editors then I'll do it. I don't want to make the minimal effort film for students. I'm concerned with making something that emulates a theatrical production. This will never be presented on a big screen, but it's the aspiration.'
It will fall to the editing team during the post-production period to try and recreate the feel of these images. This is a new step for Last ATAK Pictures and the director. 'LiMBO was black and white, and to be honest was before we wrote it, but it stayed that way for both narrative and location factors. The Silent Voice had intended to be colour corrected, but in the end we never went through the process.' So Andrew Davidson is hoping that third time is a charm as he prepares for shooting to commence.
'My biggest fear is making the actors look unnatural or ill. They are in danger of looking jaundiced. I have done a couple of colour tests with people, but those involved would kill me if the pictures were put online,' he laughs.
The current plan includes a small scene from the script being shot during the next month and a half, with the actors, then being put through the computer to see if the same look can be successfully recreated and to what degree the colour alters the actors faces. 'It's all David Fincher and Peter Jackson's fault. The DVDs for 'Se7en' and the Extended 'Fellowship of the Ring' put me up to this. The editors should blame them, not me.'
Shooting starts in early March.