For the last few days I’ve been helping on a short film called The Grand. The film is set in modern day Nottingham and was entirely shot on location. It follows Scott, who begins the film with a black sack over his head. He is given 12 hours to find £1000. Running parallel to Scott’s story is Naomi’s. She suffers a sudden shock and decides to change her life. I don’t want to spoil the story by revealing more. I worked mostly on the set dressing and makeup for the shoot.
The opening scene in the warehouse was filmed in the largest location, however it didn’t require much dressing other than the action props as the warehouse was still in use and was full of boxes of stock. The action props included the black pillow case to go over Scott’s head, the cable ties around his wrists (for which I also applied bruise makeup), a standard stacking chair and a prop gun. This was the set used for the opening scene and it really had the right atmosphere to set the tone for the rest of the film. I particularly liked how most of the boxes in the background were torn open or partly crushed, this added to the tense scene and reinforced the feeling of danger for Scott.
For this scene some camera movement was required such as which was achieved effectively by using a wheelchair with the camera.
The other locations used for the shoot were house interiors and outdoor locations. The first place we filmed in was a large suburban house based in Beeston. The house was modern and quite large, although I still sometimes watched the live camera feed from another room in this location. The two rooms filmed were the kitchen and living room. The characters that ‘lived’ there were an unhappily married couple, Michael and Janet, who are later connected to both Scott and Naomi’s stories. There was minimal dressing in this set so that the space increased the feeling of distance between the characters.
The set dressing and makeup was fairly minimal for the scenes in this location as we wanted the characters to look very natural and used the empty space between them to reinforce the sense of their fractured relationship.
The most ‘dressed’ location was for the scene in Naomi’s living room on the final day. The set required a lot of clutter and had some sinister objects amongst the newspapers and junk food wrappers that hinted at drug use by the occupant. I also used different patterned fabric to make the furniture look mismatched so that the room appeared run down.
The two lead characters needed the most complex makeup for the film. Naomi began with heavy, chalky makeup making her look drawn and tired. I used a little foundation on her lips and darkened her eyebrows and around her eyes. Later in the film she becomes more optimistic and the makeup is lighter and more dewy.
The lead character, Scott, had the most ‘FX’ makeup as he needed bruises on his wrists and ribs. I also used dark circles and a little red under his eyes to make him look more stressed.
Written & Directed by Simon Dymond.
Produced by Sophia Ramcharan.
Executive Producer – Steve Deery.
DoP – Karl Poyzer.
1st AD – Jason White.
Editor – Silvia de Abreu.
Sound Designer – Chris Cubitt.
Original Score – Tom O’Sullivan.