Below you will find the personal accounts of members of the cast and crew as they reflect on their experiences of making Autumn Heart. The date that the entry was made is included.
12/07/03: Andrew Davidson - Writer/Producer/Director
Autumn Heart turned out to all my expectations. I think if I said that it exceeded them then I'd be lying. I had a very clear idea of how the film should look in my head and the end result is what I had intended.
The evolution of the film, looking back now, staggers me. A musical to an emotional drama is not a simple 'join the dots' and the whole process took a lot out of me, both emotionally and physically. I'm not complaining mind, it's been a time that I wouldn't have changed for anything. I've made new friendships, strengthened existing ones and lost some. I kept my directing job from LiMBO and was determined to push the group much, much, MUCH further than before. They followed, sometimes reluctantly, but the end product is a testament to the effort that was put in.
The film is very personal, not only to me, I think that anyone can relate to James' feelings of confusing and fear. They are universal themes and we explored how to deal with them.
I feel that I have developed enormously as a director and comparing LiMBO and Autumn Heart is hard as both are very dear to my heart, they're like children (albeit freakish moving picture children) so I couldn't, nor shouldn't, pick one. I took what I learned from LiMBO and put it into Autumn Heart and I'll do the same with the next production.
Whatever that may be. But I can assure you it'll have Darren McAree in it...
12/07/03: Darren McAree - Actor (James Hadley)
My expectations were
1- That when the morning of the shoot came, I was happy with the script and comfortable with my relationship with James.
2- That when the director shouts 'Action' everyone in the room sees and hears James Hadley.
3- That when the director shouts 'Cut' I feel that I have achieved points one and two.
I do watch everything else that goes on, but always with a sense of not actually being there. If you ask me what sandwich filling I had for lunch or what I watched on TV the morning of the shoots, I probably couldn't tell you. Maybe I missed out on some of the things that would have made Autumn Heart an 'experience' and didn't allow myself to get over-excited, maybe I took it a bit too seriously? But when I see the reaction that the film has generated, I change my mind.
This is after all what I want to do for a living.
And when the Director 'Calls a Wrap', Darren McAree comes back again.
And there's plenty of other things in life for me not to take too seriously.
PS - Considering all the things that went wrong, you guys did an amazing job keeping it together.
12/07/03: Angela Slade - Executive Producer/Editor/Writer
At first I must admit I thought that the storyline would be hard for me to work with, it's such a personal and emotional one. No where near your average student film which I'm glad it isn't. I was impressed by the two leading actors, not knowing each other that well to begin with, and then working on a script that required them to have a special closeness they performed it well. I'd like to thank the rest of the cast who had to put up with us screwing up on the first day and then having to reschedule (yeah thanks Churnet!) Unfortunately we lost a few of them but we all thank them for being patient especially Taxi man! Putting aside the mishaps I enjoyed making this film and although this seems quite strange to say, I liked taking part in the editing (even though I did go slightly insane stuck in that oxygen-starved room). But all our hard work paid off because as I watch it, everyone's individual roles in the process came together to produce a beautifully shot story.
12/07/03: Kerry Kirkham - Actor (Young Woman)
I wasn't sure what to expect for the 2 days filming of Autumn Heart, being a complete novice to the heady world of motion picture recording. Would it be hard work, boring, would friendships be stretched to the limit? What was I letting myself in for?
What I got was 2 days of absolute bedlam. It was hard work (not for me, for the lead actors and the crew). It was never boring - some of the funniest people I have ever met were on that film set. And the camaraderie was amazing. Two days that I will never forget and could never hope to recreate - and I can't wait to see the finished article. Kezzington K
PS I'm quite taken with filming now so if there's any Hollywood hot shot producers/directors reading this, I'm no beauty but I can do the "bitter, twisted, evil mad woman" a treat!!
12/07/03: Mark Allen - Actor (Man)/Set Medic
Autumn Heart was my first experience in the film and tv environment, and it has to be said that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was there at first as an extra, then got a speaking role and by the second day I had even had a go at the marker board. The cast and crew were all fantastic in their roles and helped the less experienced people. The fun side will be tonight (08/07/03) when we finally get to see the premier of the documentary. I am quite worried about what Ross filmed some of us doing. To finish on a positive note, I was also asked to go to the filming as a set medic and I can thankfully report that I was not needed in that capacity. Well done guys!!!
14/07/03: Angie Dean - Executive Producer/Editor
Autumn Heart - Well, what can I say about my experience and involvement in the production of Autumn Heart? One things for sure, I really enjoyed every moment.
I have gained great knowledge from all involved. The cast were superb - always professional and patient, even when things sometimes looked doubtful! I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the crew. We gelled well and worked effectively as a team.
I am extremely proud with the end result and would definitely like to work with the cast and crew again.